Wildcats drop season opener at Wauneta
By Travis McConnell
Two big special team plays by Wauneta-Palisade’s Adam Simpson offset a four rushing touchdown performance by Wallace quarterback Sean May, as Wauneta-Palisade broke open a close game and raced to a 68-40 win on Friday night.
Wauneta-Palisade jumped out to an early 8-0 after taking the opening kickoff and marched 58 yards to the endzone.
Quarterback Myles West scored from six yards out with 7:51 to play in the first quarter. West found Simpson for the successful two point conversion pass.
Following a Wildcat turnover at the Wallace 30 yard line, West scored again from 15 yards out to give the Broncos a 14-0 lead with 5:25 to play in the first quarter.
The young Wildcats would respond on their next possession. The Wildcats marched 55 yards for their first score behind the running and passing of May.
On the drive May found Lane Swedberg for passing gains of 10 and 17 yards. He also rushed four times for 26 yards including a 13 yard touchdown to cut the Wauneta-Palisade lead to 14-6.
On the ensuing kickoff, May recovered his own onside kick at mid field and the Wildcats grabbed the momentum in the game.
On first down fullback Tanner McCoy rumbled 20 yards to the Bronco 20 yard line. Three plays later McCoy scored from two yards out. May tacked on the two point conversion to tie the game at 14.
All the momentum the Wildcats had grabbed quickly disappeared on the ensuing kickoff as Simpson returned it 70 yards for a touchdown.
Following a Wallace three and out, Simpson struck again with a 50 yard punt return for a touchdown to give the Broncos a 30-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Simpson’s spark would lead to 38 straight points scored by the Broncos over the second quarter and first half of the third quarter. At one point the Broncos led 52-14.
But, the Wildcats never quit. After a touchback on the kickoff and a 10 yard sack put the ball at Wallace’s own five yard line, May bootlegged around the left end and raced 75 yards for his second touchdown of the game.
Taylor Doell intercepted a Bronco pass at his own 30 yard line to stop the next Bronco possession.
On first down, May once again got loose around the left end and ran untouched to the endzone for a 50 yard touchdown to cut the Wauneta-Palisade lead to 52-28 late in the third quarter.
The Broncos squashed any comeback hopes on their next possession. On fourth and eight from the Wallace 30 yard line, West found Brandon O’Neil behind the Wildcat secondary for a touchdown that gave the Broncos a 60-28 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Wallace scored on both of their fourth quarter possessions on a one yard sneak by May and a nice five yard run by Ethan Scott. However, it was too little too late as Wauneta got the victory 68-40.
The Wildcats will host the Maywood Tigers Friday night.