EVART — Danny Griffin scored the Wildcats’ lone touchdown on a 95-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter on Thursday in a 33-6 loss to Harrison.

Harrison led 14-0 heading into the fourth quarter.

“I thought our kids played hard,and played extremely tough,” Evart coach Pat Craven said. “We’re a little shorthanded now at a few different positions. We have to continue to work to get better. That has to remain our focus.”

Cody Pritchard led the Wildcats (1-1) with 63 rushing yards.

“Harrison is a good football team,” Craven said. “Defensively we played them tough for most of the game. We gave up two plays through the first three quarters that made it 14-0. Then we ran out of steam at the end. We have to win the battle at the line of scrimmage both sides of the ball. We have a lot of things we have to get better at. We have to continue to work to improve in those areas.

The Wildcats also used Robbie Tapling at quarterback. Craven said quarterback Trevin Ladd is out for the “forseeable future” while recovering from a rollover car accident that occurred the night after the White Cloud game.

“He had some pretty significant head trauma,” Craven said. “He’s doing better but we don’t know about the timetable (on his possible return).”

Tapling will continue to play quarterback during Ladd’s absence, Craven indicated. Tapling was a quarterback as a freshman and has been a backup the past two seasons on varsity.

“He’s a good athlete and a super smart kid, a hard worker,” Craven said. “He plays close attention to detail. He’ll do OK. I was pleased with how he did (against Harrison). He’ll keep getting better for as long as we need him there.”

Andrew Maxwell, who starts at tight end and outside linebacker, broke his nose early in the game Thursday night.

“I don’t know if we’ll have him back or not,” Craven said. “We don’t have a lot of depth to begin with. We have to work through that.”

Evart travels to McBain on Friday to open the Highland Conference season.

“We’ll have to play fast and play smart,” Craven said. “We need to worry about ourselves and work to get better. In the Highland Conference. Beal City is the cream of the crop. But everyone else, in my opinion, is evenly stacked. They’re going to be close games. It’s going to be a tight conference race.”

Pioneer Sports Editor Ryan Zuke contributed to this report.