The Paden City High School Wildcat football team achieved their first win of the year on Sept. 13 at home at Berger Field against the Gilmer County Titans, 18-15.
A classic Class A Friday night football game, both teams kept the competition interesting for fans in attendance.
"All of our kids stepped up and played a good game in this one," said head coach of the Wildcats, Brent Croasmun.
Wildcats come out ready to battle
"Gilmer was not a bad team and we finally got it together and played well both offensively and defensively."
The game started out on an even keel with both the Wildcats and Titans battling for yardage without either giving up a score for the majority of the first quarter.
With just over two minutes to play in the first, the Titans made good on a three yard run followed by the extra point kick to light up the scoreboard in their favor for the first time in the game, giving them the lead, 7-0. At halftime, the score stood the same.
Catching their second wind, Paden City came out more determined and focused in the third quarter. With 7:35 to play, it was the home team's turn to take advantage of field position with junior quarterback, Zach Heasley, hitting sophomore Luke Cooper with a 19 yard pass for six points.
Gilmer County was quick to answer back though with the Titan quarterback connecting on a nice 20 yarder with 4:30 to go in the quarter and the team made good on the two point conversion to give the visitors the 15-6 lead.
In the fourth quarter though, it was all Paden City, recovering fumbles, intercepting the quarterback, forcing turnovers, sacking the quarterback and scoring two touchdowns in the space of seven minutes to take control of the game.
Heasley put up a nice 30 yard pass to Hayden Hizer with seven minutes to play in the game to score six and before time could run off, the junior quarterback found Deven Price 20 yards downfield for six more.
At the buzzer, the Wildcats pocketed their first win of the season, 18-15, handing the Titans their second loss of 2013.
"Zach had a good night," the coach said. "He played well on offense and defense both. Like I said, all of the kids stepped up to get this win. They earned it."
Heasley completed 17 of 31 passes for 203 yards in the game, his best effort of the season thus far.
Cooper was the leading receiver with six catches for 54 yards and one touchdown; Hayden Hizer caught four passes for 58 yards and a touchdown; Deven Price had three catches for 68 yards and one touchdown; Brandon Cross caught three for 11 yards; and Craig Allen had one catch for for 12 yards.
Sophomore Brandon Cross led the Wildcat rushers in the contest, carrying the ball 16 times for 57 yards. Kane Pyle had six carries for 36 yards; Hizer, one for four yards.
Defensively, the 'Cats were led by junior Spencer Billings who had 10 tackles, one sack of the Gilmer quarterback and one tackle for a loss. Kane Pyles had eight tackles, three quarterback sacks.
Logan Carroll, seven tackles; Hizer, seven tackles; Cooper, seven tackles, one for a loss and recovered a fumble; Heasley had five tackles, three quarterback sacks; Allen, five tackles; and Isaac Hall had five tackles.
Paden City will welcome the Hundred Hornets to Berger Field on Friday in their Homecoming game, scheduled to begin at 7:30 with the Homecoming Queen to be crowned at half-time.