Evart records first ever playoff victory in football

IN FOR THE SCORE: John Danley runs to the end zone for Evart as teammates Jake McKinstry (56) and Dean Marsh (58) celebrate. (Herald-Review photo/John Raffel)
IN FOR THE SCORE: John Danley runs to the end zone for Evart as teammates Jake McKinstry (56) and Dean Marsh (58) celebrate. (Herald-Review photo/John Raffel)

EVART – Jared Pattee figured out what was going to happen on what proved to be Evart’s biggest defensive play of the game.

With Carson City trailing by four points and just over two minutes to play, the Eagles had a fourth and nine at the Evart 34. On a misdirection play, Will Beedy seemed to have enough for the first down but was stopped by Pattee to preserve a 16-12 Evart victory in the Division 7 predistrict Friday night.

“I read his hips and made a pretty good play,” Pattee, a junior defensive back, said.

“If he doesn’t make that play then the other crowd might be singing,” said Evart coach Pat Craven. “He’s a crafty little bugger and he’s sneaky when he’s tackling the ankles. He’s good in the open field.”

The Wildcats, 8-2, secured the school’s first playoff win and will play at Lake City in the district final Friday night.

”It means a lot,” Craven said. “We’ve had a rough six months here with the plant closing down here and other things.”

Carson City ends the season at 7-3.

“We capitalized on their mistakes,” said Craven. “We made some mistakes ourselves. There were a lot of nerves (Friday). I thought our defense played a great game. We gave up one big play. They hung tough and put us where we needed to be.”

“It was probably one of the best games we’ve played all year,” said Evart linebacker Robert Burge. “It was great communication on the field.”

“We were one block away from scoring a touchdown and being on the ether end of this game,” said Carson City coach Jason Gray. “Our kids played for four quarters. Our kids understand what playoff football is all about.”

Evart was driving late in the first quarter, trying to eat the clock up, when the Eagles recovered a fumble at their own 40 with 4:46 to play. But the Wildcat defense was able to make another key stop.

The Wildcats bolted out to a 9-0 lead and had a 16-6 edge midway in the third quarter. The Eagles got back in the game on Arron Haines’ 65-yard touchdown scamper late in the third quarter.

Carson City was stuffed by the Eagles on a goal-line stand late in the fourth quarter but the Wildcats got two points out of it when Brandon Albright and Devon VanOrder combined to tackle Eagle running back Robert Failing in the end zone.

Evart scored on the first play of the second quarter when Derek Bowen had a 6-yard scamper. The Eagles later in the quarter took advantage of two major penalties on Evart and scored on Failing’s 10-yard run.

Danley’s 6-yard scoring run put the Wildcats up 16-6 midway in the third.

Midway in the fourth, the Eagles tried an option pass and a wide open Chris Shockey dropped the ball at the Evart 15 to keep the Wildcats ahead.

“We had good speed and we have a great front four and that allows our back seven to get to the ball and pursue,” Craven said. “We did a good job against all of their misdirections.”

“We slowed their offense down,” Gray said. “They had many games over 40 points. We held them in check.”

The Wildcats survived four turnovers.

“You could tell there were nerves,” Craven said. “We have to get over that if we want to keep going. We were lucky to move on. Our defense pulled through.”

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