By Riley Hicks
It took an interception late in the fourth quarter by Whitewater’s Hunter Williams to finally put away a late run from the Union Grove Wolverines Friday night at Union Grove.
The Whitewater Wildcats (1-0) played a game of momentum against Union Grove (0-2) taking the win 25-17. This was the first real test for the Wildcats after their preseason game was canceled.
“We had a lot of untested waters and a lot of new faces in starting positions, I thought we handled things very well and I was very pleased, it was a learning experience for us,” head coach Bryan Holley said.
The Wildcats, following a fumble recovery, drove down the field to score the first points of the game. It came off a 14-yard quarterback keeper by sophomore Maddox Mueller, followed by an extra point from Evan Rogers, to go on the scoreboard 7-0. Rogers came back later in the second quarter to make a 35-yard field to put Whitewater up 10-0.
The Wolverines finally strung together an offensive drive after being shut out by Whitewater’s defense for almost two quarters. The drive only allowed a 43-yard field goal by Cade LeJeune, drawing the score to 10-3.
Following the field goal, the Wildcats came back on offense to score a 64-yard deep pass from Mueller to senior Jamal Jenkins to stretch the lead to 17-3. This pass helped Mueller close the night, completing 9-of-15 passing attempts for 113 yards.
Union Grove completed a 12-yard pass from quarterback Casey Pattillo to Devin Tumlin to end the first half with the score 17-10.
Whitewater started the second half quiet when they did not score until the end of the third quarter when, sophomore Miles Montgomery ran for a 64-yard burst for a touchdown, followed by a two-point conversion from Mueller extending the lead to 25-10. The Wildcats ended the night with 338 rushing yards off 33 attempts.
The Wildcats defense, hung tough again throughout the whole second half, not allowing the Wolverines to put anything together on offense. The only points allowed came late in the fourth quarter, on a 1-yard touchdown from Tumlin, closing the gap to 25-17.
In a last-ditch effort to tie the game, Pattillo stepped back to throw a pass to only have it intercepted by Williams, stopping any chance for a comeback.
This week the Wildcats attempt to go two in row making their home debut against the Hampton Hornets (0-1) at 7:30 p.m.
“They’re pretty athletic, we are going to have to play disciplined football and defense, and play assignment football.” Holley said.