Evart comeback bid barely falls short

Evart's football winning streak ended at six games with the loss to Oscoda. (Herald Review file photo)

Evart's football winning streak ended at six games with the loss to Oscoda. (Herald Review file photo)

OSCODA - A highly successful and memorable football season came to an end for Evart's Wildcats on Friday in a 38-35 loss to undefeated Osceola (9-0) in the Division 7 district title game.

But Evart overcome huge deficits and nearly pulled it out.

The Wildcats are 6-3. They had won six straight prior to Friday's setback. Evart improved from a 4-5 season last year.

Evart fell behind 30-15 at halftime.

Osceola built a 24-7 lead after the first quarter. Quarterback Danny Witbeck had a 5-yard touchdown run for the Wildcats in the first quarter.

With 2:46 left in the second quarter, Witbeck threw a 5-yard scoring pass to Bryant Calderon. The 2-point conversion came on pass from Witbeck to Brayden Cass. It was 30-15 halftime and stayed that way going into the fourth.

It was a dramatic rally attempt for Evart in the fourth.

The Wildcats scored in the fourth on a reverse pass play which went from Cass to Calderon to Witbeck for 35 yards. But with only 5:05 to play, Oscoda was up 38-21.

Evart got the onside kick and Witbeck had a 28-yard touchdown run, making it 38-27 with 3:16 to play.

Oscoda fumbled and Witbeck threw to Cass 46 yards for the TD. Cole Hopkins made the two-point conversion run and it was 38-35 with 2:22 to play. But Oscoda was able to secure the win.

Evart had upset McBain 34-31 last week to advance to the district title game.

"We understand how good our opponent (Oscoda) is and we must work to limit our mistakes while working to minimize their strengths," Evart coach Pat Craven said entering the game. "They are good. They have very talented skill kids and good lineman. This will be our toughest challenge. We are excited for the opportunity to compete against such an opponent.

"We just love coaching these kids. We will cherish every moment we have with them as we work to prepare to compete. These kids love the process and it shows on Friday nights."