Evart rips Montabella 39-7

EVART — Nolan VanOrder had the feeling from the opening kickoff that Friday might be Evart’s night.

The Evart junior recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff that led to a Wildcat touchdown and a 27-0 first quarter lead, en route to a 39-7 victory over non-league foe Montabella Friday night.

Jared Pattee ran for 79 yards and two touchdowns while Larry Van Buren highlighted a superb defensive performance with a 66-yard fumble return for another score to send the Wildcats into the playoffs with a 7-2 record.

VanOrder recovered the kickoff at the Montabella 20 and a few plays later, Pattee went in from 7 yards out.

“Robert  (Young-Burge) ran down the field, lit up one of the guys and then I recovered the ball,” VanOrder said. “I was on the side getting blocked. It really set the tone. We were ready to go after that.”

“That gave us some energy right off the bat,” Evart coach Pat Craven said. “Our offense put it in quickly and everything rolled from there like a big old momentum title wave.”

Dillon Danley had a 7-yard scoring run later in the quarter, then the defense went to work. VanBuren scored on his fumble recovery and on the next drive, Young-Burge returned an interception 37 yards to the 2-yard line, setting up a scoring pass from Fortune to Jacob Hopkins.

Evart added two scores in the second quarter on runs of 2 and 30 yards by Jamin Drake and Pattee.

Twice in the first half, the Wildcats stopped Montabella drives deep in Wildcat territory.

“I thought our defense played really well,” Craven said. “They gave us a lot of different looks and we had to prepare for different things that we hadn’t seen all year long. I thought our kids did a good job of executing our game plan.”

The only scoring in the fourth quarter was a 46-yard TD pass from Brady Burggren run early in the fourth quarter.  Up to that point, with Evart up by 39 points, a running clock was in effect.

“We played well (Friday),” Craven said. “Our goal was try to play a clean penalty free game and I thought for the most part we did that.”

The Wildcats gained 222 yards on the ground and 50 in the air.

“I thought our defense played exceptionally well against kind of an exotic offense,” Craven said. “We had one defensive score and almost another one that really kind of set the tone in the first quarter.”

Montabella’s season ends at 3-6. The Mustangs gained 106 yards passing and 151 yards rushing.  Zach Taubitz gained 104 yards on 23 carries.

The Wildcats found out Sunday they’d be playing this Friday at Carson City-Crystal. Craven didn’t think ahead of time his team’s chances of a home game were that high.

“Our two losses are both at home, against Beal and Lake City,” Craven said. “We just have to find out who we play...luckily we have a group that’s been here before … set up for our game plan on whoever it will be and execute what we put together.”