By LaDonna Swedberg
Game two for Wallace was very similar to the first game: domination on both sides of the ball from the opening kickoff until the final buzzer.
Creek Valley came to town with a very young and inexperienced team and the Wildcats totally controlled every aspect of the game.
Shane Anders started the game by kicking the ball deep to the two-yard line and then he hustled down the field to make the tackle on the four yard line. The Storm came out on the move and completed a 13-yard pass on their second down but that was all they would be allowed. The Wallace defense stepped up and moved Creek Valley backward to force them to punt on fourth and 19.
Landon Swedberg was waiting for the punt near mid-field and 41 yards later, he was in the end zone for the Wildcats first six points. Andrew Gardener ran up the middle for the extra two points to give Wallace an early 8-0 lead.
Anders sent the kickoff to the endzone so the Storm began their next drive on the 15-yard line. The Wildcat defense picked up where they had left off, stopping Creek Valley in their back field and forcing another fourth and 19 punt.
An out of bounds punt gave Wallace the ball on the Storm 35-yard line. John Marquardt’s hot passing hand apparently didn’t cool off during the week of high temperatures because he once again was spot-on to Swedberg for a 35-yard touchdown pass. Jacob Melton got around the outside corner for the two-point conversion and a 12 point Wildcat lead.
Creek Valley’s woes continued on their next possession when they once again lost yardage on each down, only this time Bi Gatobu forced a fumble which he recovered on the one-yard line. Anders went to the backfield to get the one yard touchdown but he turned the one yard into at least 25 yards when he ran to the far side, hit a wall, reversed the field and ran to the other side before crossing the goal line. The extra long one yard touchdown was good for another six points for Wallace.
The stingy Wildcat defense continued to force the Storm to punt after three downs. Tanner Clough returned one of the punts 40 yards for a touchdown and Swedberg added the extra two points.
Following Creek Valley’s next punt to the Wildcat 27-yard line, Swedberg took the handoff from Marquardt and ran for a 53-yard touchdown to give Wallace a 38-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Storm got a break early in the second quarter when the Wildcats fumbled a punt, but the defense spoiled it once again for Creek Valley. Marquardt tipped a pass and then managed to pull it in and take it all the way for a touchdown. He also ran up the middle for the two-point conversion.
Creek Valley experienced a similar situation on their next attempt on offense. As the quarterback was pitching the ball to his running back, Jacob Melton batted the ball down then picked it up and ran it in for six more Wildcat points. Jacob also scored the two extra points for a 54-0 lead.
Before the half came to an end, the Wallace defense forced another punt to give the offense an additional opportunity. Marquardt ran the ball a couple of times for good yardage and then Andrew Gardener completed the drive with a 10 yard run. Gardener also ran in for the two-point conversion to give the Wildcats a 62-0 halftime lead.
A running clock made the second half go by rather quickly which was a blessing due to the stifling heat. Each team had the ball for two possessions in the third quarter. Wallace was forced to punt on their first possession but they made the most of their second opportunity.
The Wildcat defense stopped Creek Valley on a fourth down to take over on downs at the Storm’s 18-yard line. Jacob Melton only needed one down to scamper into the endzone for Wallace’s only third quarter touchdown. After providing a key block for Melton on his scoring run, Josh May carried the ball for the extra two points to give his team a 70-0 lead with 4:28 remaining in the third quarter.
Creek Valley put together their best drive as the game moved into the final quarter. The Storm was using a successful passing game as they moved the ball to the Wildcat 34-yard line but that is where the Big Blue ended the drive by stopping them on a fourth and two attempt.
Wallace took over on downs and Clough needed just one down to find his way to the goal line for a 46-yard touchdown run. The extra point attempt failed so the score was at 76-0.
Creek Valley nearly scored on their final possession of the game when Cody Simmons got loose for a 46-yard run and made it to the Wallace 11-yard line before Clough brought him down. The young Wildcat defense wanted the shutout so they ended the drive when Logan Hock recovered a fumble on the six-yard line.
The Wildcats were on the move again when the final buzzer sounded giving Wallace the 76-0 victory.
In spite of the merciless heat, all of the Wildcats put together an impressive win. The younger players got some valuable game time experience and made the most of it.
A number of players put up some impressive stats for Wallace. Tanner Clough was the leading rusher with 65 yards on four carries. Jacob Melton and Landon Swedberg were close behind: Melton had 60 yards on five carries and Swedberg had 56 yards with two carries. All three boys had a rushing touchdown. Marquardt was one for one passing with a 35-yard touchdown pass to Swedberg and he rushed for an additional 32 yards.
Andrew Gardner led the way on defense: he had six solo tackles and four assisted. Jeff Harms followed with two solo and seven assisted and Swedberg had six solo tackles and one assist. Each Wildcat deserved recognition for their efforts in a well played ball game.
Next action for Wallace will be on the road again this week when they travel to Paxton to take on a tough Tiger team. Kick off will be at 8:00 p.m.