Evart offense struggles in loss to Lake City

Evart's Justin O'Dell (4) is stopped by the Lake City defense in Friday's game. (Herald Review photo/John Raffel)

Evart's Justin O'Dell (4) is stopped by the Lake City defense in Friday's game. (Herald Review photo/John Raffel)

EVART -- It was a football game the Evart Wildcats wanted to help keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Wildcats started out the season 3-0 but have now lost their last four after a 44-6 loss to Lake City.

Evart entered Friday's homecoming game with Lake City 2-3 in the league. But the Wildcats needed in the last three games to win all three for an automatic qualifier and two to get an at-large berth.

The Trojans (4-2, 4-3) prevailed during a rainy night.

The Trojans used two rushing touchdowns for a 13-0 first quarter lead. They added two more touchdowns in the second quarter including one in the final 15 seconds after recovering a fumble deep in Evart territory. It was 25-0 at halftime.

Cameron Brasington caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from Danny Witbeck with 4:47 left in the third and it was 25-6. But Evart was outscored 19-0 the rest of the way.

"Lake City has been a difficult match up for us in years past," Evart coach Pat Craven said prior to the game. "They have tough and talented kids and are always solid up front. Their defensive coaching staff always puts together a solid structure and game plan. Their kids are well coached and very disciplined.

"It won't be so much about Lake City as it will be about us. We have really played championship defense for most of the season, but our offense has struggled to find its footing. We have worked to shore up some areas of inconsistency this week and look to establish a solid presence offensively."

The focus in practice prior to the game, "continues to be personal accountability and improvement," Craven said. "We have to each work to make ourselves better so our team can improve. A big piece of that is continuing to grow mentally and emotionally. Our growth has to come in understanding down and distance, situation of the game, and specific job description for each player on every play."

Defensively, Reese Ransom had 16 tackles and a sack, Brasington had 12 tackles and Justin O'Dell had nine tackles, a fumble recovery and a sack.

"We had 93 yards total offense, so it was a pretty rough night for us, not many yards offensively," Craven said.

Evart ends the Highland season at Roscommon next Friday. The Wildcats can still make the playoffs with a 5-4 record if they have enough computer points.