By Staff for www.mcpherson-county-ks.com
MOUNDRIDGE – Opening the 2022 season at home, the Moundridge football team lost a halftime lead and ended with a 20-point, 34-14 loss to Ell-Saline on Friday.
“Although we were disappointed with the loss, I felt there were many positives in the first game of the season,” noted first-year Wildcat head coach Bret Lange.
The season began with a bang as Kaden Elmore put the Wildcats on the board at the get go when he returned the opening kickoff 76 yards to the end zone, giving the home folks a 6-0 lead.
After allowing Ell-Saline to put points on the board in the second quarter on a run and then a pass play to take a 12-6 lead, Moundridge was back in business and with 2:49 left in the first half, Joaquin Huff scampered into the end zone from 12 yards out and with a converted two-point conversion, the Wildcats went into the halftime break with a 14-12 advantage.
Unfortunately, Moundridge lost a couple of key defensive starters in the second half and Ell-Saline took advantage to score once in the third and a second time in the fourth while shutting down the Wildcat offense to gain the final 20-point win over Moundridge.
Coach Lange continued his brief post-game reflections by adding, “I was very pleased with how hard our young kids played against an experienced Ell-Saline team. After leading 14-12 at the half, we lost two key defensive starters early in the third quarter and Ell-Saline eventually wore us down late in the game.”
According to the stat sheet, Ell-Saline ran 63 offensive plays to just 48 for the Wildcats and out-gained Moundridge 427 to 187 yards. Most of the Ell-Saline work came on the ground as they ran for 333 yards while Moundridge only covered 124 yards rushing. One area of work to be done will be the penalties as the Wildcats were flagged 10 times for 70 yards.
Individually, Henry Hecox passed for 63 yards and ran for 50 to lead the Wildcat offense while Joaquin Huff rambled for 43 yards and Kaden Elmore had 37. While Logan Churchill caught three passes for 27 yards, Barrett Moddelmog took his lone pass for 36.
On defense, Moundridge was led by Banky Hayes and Braden Den Hartog who both recorded seven tackles while Lane Durst and Paul Grill had 6.5 and Henry Hecox had six. Logan Churchill chipped in with three tackles that went for a loss of yardage.
Lange concluded his reflections by saying, “I am very proud of this group of young men as they continue to improve each day and we look forward to another tough opponent on Friday.”
Looking to get into the win column on Friday, September 9, the Wildcats will be on the road at Bennington.
Ell-Saline at MOUNDRIDGE WILDCATS
Ell-Saline 0-12-8-14=34; WILDCATS 6-8-0-0=14
WILDCATS (11:48) – Kaden Elmore 76-yard kickoff return (2-point conversion failed) 0-6
Ell-Saline (11:55) – 2-yard run for score (2-point conversion failed) 6-6
Ell-Saline (6:50) – 27-yard pass play for score (2-point conversion failed) 12-6
WILDCATS (2:49) – Joaquin Huff on a 12-yard run (2-point conversion, Henry Hecox pass to Logan Churchill) 12-14
Ell-Saline (6:23) – 1-yard run for score (2-point conversion was good) 20-14
Ell-Saline (9:37) – 65-yard run for score (2-point conversion was good) 28-14
Ell-Saline (4:25) – 1-yard run for score (2-point conversion failed) 34-14
Ell-Saline: 1st Downs – 22; Total Offense – 63 plays for 427 yards; Passing – 7/13 for 94 yards, 1 score; Rushing – 50 for 333 yards; Fumbles – 1/1; Penalties – 6 for 35 yards; Time of Possession – 24:34.
WILDCATS: 1st Downs – 12; Total Offense – 48 plays for 187 yards; Passing – 4/17 for 63 yards, 1 interception; Rushing 31 for 124 yards; Fumbles – 1/1; Penalties – 10 for 70 yards; Time of Possession – 23:26.
WILDCAT INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS:
Passing: Henry Hecox – 4/17, 63 yards, 1 interception.
Rushing: Henry Hecox – 15 for 50; Joaquin Huff – 6 for 43, 1 score; Kaden Elmore – 9 for 37; Paul Grill – 1 for -6.
Receiving: Barrett Moddelmog – 1 for 36; Logan Churchill – 3 for 27.
Defense: Banky Hayes 7.0 tackles, 4 solo; Braden Den Hartog 7.0 tackles, 5 solo; Lane Durst – 6.5 tackles, 5 solo; Paul Grill – 6.5 tackles, 5 solo; Henry Hecox – 6 tackles, 5 solo; Logan Churchill – 5.5 tackles, 4 solo, 3 for losses; Barrett Moddelmog – 5 tackles, 4 solo, 1 for losses; Joaquin Huff – 3.5 tackles, 2 solo; Kaden Elmore – 2.5 tackles, 1 solo; Weston Miller – 2.5 tackles, 1 solo; Layton Schmidt, Thomas Jenkins, Layton Weins, Ty Rains – .5 tackles.
(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)