Evart cruises past White Cloud in season opener

EVART — It’s a three-peat for the Evart Wildcats.

Evart fired out to a 43-6 halftime lead and posted a 49-14 nonleague win over White Cloud in the season opener for both football teams on Friday.

It marked the third straight season Evart has opened with a win over White Cloud.

“I thought our kids were intense and were focused,” Evart coach Pat Craven said. “They came out and played very physical and did the things we asked them to do. I thought we did very well on both sides of the ball. We were physical up front both sides and were able to run the ball.”

The Wildcats scored on their first three possessions and had a 22-0 lead after the first quarter. Two second-quarter touchdowns on drives of 6 and 5 yards came after a mishandled White Cloud punt snap and a Jonah Smith fumble recovery.

Danny Griffin had runs of 10 and 46 yards and Cody Pritchard added a 58-yard scoring run in the first quarter. Trevin Ladd passed to Jacob Kleeves for one two-point conversion and Layne Nadig ran for the other.

It was 30-0 until White Cloud scored midway in the second quarter on Alex Dokes’ 3-yard run. But the Wildcats scored 13 points later in the half for the 37-point intermission lead.

The second quarter touchdowns were on runs of 6 and 1 yards by Nadig and 23 yards by Griffin. Pritchard ran for two points and Ladd kicked a PAT.

The entire second half was played under the running clock. Garrett Johnson had a 3-yard scoring run for Evart, while Devon Trice passed 76 yards to Eric Plotts to end the scoring.

“There were will be plenty of stuff we’ll have to look at and fine-tune and work to get better at,” Craven said. “The score doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. We’ll have plenty of things to build at.”

Evart had 317 yards rushing and 38 passing. Pritchard gained 88 yards rushing while Griffin had 87 and Nadig 60.

“We feel we have a strong backfield and we can share the work load if you have the fellows to do it,” Craven said.

White Cloud had 130 yards passing and 21 rushing.

“We played excellent,” sophomore linebacker Billy Conklin said. “In the first half, we had the intensity and we couldn’t be stopped.”

“We kept the intensity up throughout the game,” junior offensive lineman-linebacker Josh Dorn said. “We kept the focus the entire game.”

Evart is at Harrison on Thursday.

“We’ll be happy tonight but we have a short week and have to get ready for Harrison,” Craven said.