Wildcats take control in 4th, down Northeast
ARMA — When Northeast receiver Nathan Boswell took a jet sweep into the end zone almost six minutes into the fourth quarter here Monday night, it looked as though the Vikings had a chance to break their long losing streak.
But just moments later, Yates Center’s Thayne Smith took the ensuing kickoff 76 yards for a score, giving the Wildcats the momentum as they went on to a 42-22 victory in a Three Rivers League-Upper Division contest that had been postponed from Friday night due to flooding in Yates Center.
Later in the quarter, Smith took a handoff down the left sideline and scored from 62 yards out with 6:25 remaining to make it a 35-22 contest. Northeast (0-2 league and overall) forced a fumble that they recovered at their own 36-yard line with 4:15 to go but were forced backward by the Wildcats’ defense and were unable to convert a fourth-and-19.
Two plays after that, Kendrick Jones ran in from 13 yards out with 1:57 to go to seal the deal for Yates Center (1-1, 1-1).
The Vikings lost their 23rd consecutive game, which, unfortunately, is a school record. There had been two 22-game losing streaks (2004-07 and 2007-09).
Both teams struggled to get any offense going in the first quarter. While Jones was moving the ball for Yates Center, his teammates were having trouble getting anywhere. Of the Wildcats’ 15 first-quarter plays, nine were for zero or negative yards and even Jones lost yards on two carries. On the other side of things, Northeast gained only 11 yards on 11 plays — seven of which were for zero yards or less — and didn’t have a first down in the opening period.
Things changed quickly in the second quarter when Yates Center scored on its third play — after the first two totaled minus-1 yard — a 27-yard run by Jones with 9:57 on the clock. Nolan Jones kicked the extra point.
Northeast responded later in the period after Boswell recovered a Wildcat fumble at the Yates Center 43. The Vikings exploited the middle of the Wildcat defense by sending quarterback Karter Dugan up the middle several times. He gained 15 on a fourth-and-2 sneak from the 35.
Once the Wildcats were forced to respect Dugan’s running, he hit Jasper Atchison for a 6-yard gain on a first-and-10 from the 20. Then Boswell ran a jet sweep left for a first down at the 2 before Dugan snuck over from there with 4:32 on the clock. Dugan hit Josh Dickey for s 2-point conversion to give the Vikings an 8-7 lead.
Yates Center ran 11 plays on its ensuing possession, driving 81 yards in a little over four minutes to get a score on an 11-yard pass from Kayle Smith to Quin Lowder with 16 seconds left. Jones’ kick made it 14-8.
The Wildcats decided to squib the kickoff, which Nick Hail fell on at the Vikings’ 41. Northeast suffered a penalty on the first play but got a pass interference penalty on the second for a first down at the Yates Center 49. On the final play of the half, Dugan rolled to his left and found Boswell in the left flat. He hauled in the pass and ran the rest of the way to tie the game as time ran out in the half. Dugan plunged in for the 2-point conversion to give the Vikings a 16-14 lead.
Northeast also received the second-half kickoff and drove down to the Yates Center 14 before penalties and losses pushed them back. The Vikes turned it over on downs at the 23.
Yates Center took advantage, scoring on just four plays as Smith hit Nolan Jones a 67-yard scoring pass with 4:27 to go to put the Wildcats back in front, 21-16.
Northeast’s last scoring drive began with 57 seconds remaining in the third. Dugan found Tejay Cleland for 14 on the first play. Then Brayden Broyles found 17 on a jet sweep. Dugan hit brother Kadin for a 7-yard gain before he snuck 6 yards for a first down at the 24.
A Boswell jet found 10 yards to the four. But the next four plays resulted in gains of only 3 yards with a fourth-down penalty canceling a Karter Dugan touchdown sneak. Boswell scored on the next play but was stopped on the ensuing 2-point conversion attempt.
Dugan threw for 125 yards for Northeast, completing 10 of 31 passes. Cleland caught 3 of them for 39 yards while Boswell had 2 receptions for 66 yards. Boswell was the team’s leading rusher with 80 yards on 12 carries.
K.Jones finished with 111 yards on 15 carries for Yates Center while Smith had 65 on 8 rushes.
Northeast outgained Yates Center in all areas with 16 first downs, 152 yards rushing on 33 carries and 277 yards of total offense. The Wildcats has 12 first downs, 132 rushing yards on 36 carries and 220 in total offense.
Northeast will look to finally end this losing streak on just three days’ rest as they play at Uniontown Friday night.
YATES CENTER.................. 0 14 7 21 — 42
NORTHEAST....................... 0 16 0 6 — 22
YC — K.Jones 27 run (N.Jones kick), 9:57 [3, 21, 1:03]
NE — Kar. Dugan 2 run (Dickey pass from Kar. Dugan), 4:32 [7, 43, 3:16]
YC — Q.Lowder 11 pass from K.Smith (N.Jones kick), :16 [11, 81, 4:09]
NE — Boswell 49 pass from Kar. Dugan (Kar. Dugan run), :00 [1, 59, :15]
YC — N.Jones 67 pass from K.Smith (N.Jones kick), 4:27 [4, 76, 1:59]
NE — Boswell 5 run (run failed), 9:14 [10, 68, 2:53]
YC — T.Smith 76 kickoff return (N.Jones kick), 9:06
YC — T.Smith 62 run (N.Jones kick), 6:25 [3, 69, 1:36]
YC — K.Jones 13 run (N.Jones kick) 1:57 [2, 27, :33]
RUSHING: Yates Center — K.Jones 15-111, T.Smith 8-65, N.Jones 1-minus 1, Hurst 4-minus 12, team 1-minus 15, K.Smith 7-minus 16. Northeast — Boswell 12-80, Kar. Dugan 10-32, Broyles 4-27, Dickey 3-7, T.Cronister 3-6, Scroggins 1-0.
PASSING: Yates Center — K.Smith 2-5-0-78, Hurst 1-4-0-10. Northeast — Kar. Dugan 10-31-1-125.
RECEIVING: Yates Center — Q.Lowder 2-21, N.Jones 1-67. Northeast — Cleland 3-39, Boswell 2-66, Dickey 2-2, Kad. Dugan 1-7, J.Atchison 1-6, Broyles 1-5.
MISSED FIELD GOALS: Yates Center — N.Jones 35 (short).