Evart's football season ends at 7-3

The Evart offense takes on the McBain defense in Friday's home playoff game.

The Evart offense takes on the McBain defense in Friday's home playoff game.

Herald Review photo/Joe Judd

EVART — With a 42-7 defeat at the hands of the McBain Ramblers, the Evart football team saw its season come to an end Friday night in Evart.

The occasion marked the second time since Oct. 1 in which Evart and McBain have met on the gridiron at Tom Smith Memorial Stadium, as the Wildcats marched to a convincing 40-12 win, but on this night the Ramblers got their revenge.

Controlling matters from the opening kickoff of the game, the visiting side managed to put points up on the board in each of its first two drives of the game.

In contrast to this, Evart’s first drive of the ballgame stalled out near midfield after a failed fourth-down conversion attempt, giving McBain possession of the ball in ideal territory.

With 12 minutes played, the Ramblers led 14-0 after going 1-for-2 on their respective two-point conversion attempts.

Trailing by two scores, the Wildcats got the ball for the first time in the second quarter and set their sights on their first score of the evening.

During this drive, the home side also managed to convert on fourth down on two separate occasions.

Using speed to its advantage, Evart marched down the field into McBain territory and found itself knocking on the door of the red zone, until an interception in the end zone brought a once-promising drive to an end.

The interception was the first of three forced by the Rambler defense.

A 68-yard McBain touchdown run coming with 5:22 left in the first half put Evart down 22-0 with enough time for one more drive before halftime.

Once again, this Wildcat drive looked as if it would bear fruit, but another interception with 56 seconds left on the clock in the second quarter prolonged the team’s scoreless run.

In the first half, McBain averaged 9.9 yards per-play, good enough for 207 total yards, while Evart gained 71 during that same span of time.

Despite this, Evart’s eight first-half first downs were one better than its adversaries in the first 24 minutes of football.

Evart scored its first and only touchdown of the evening on its opening drive of the third quarter, a six-yard touchdown scamper by Cole Hopkins which brought the score to 22-7 and gave the Wildcats a fighting chance for a comeback.

The third Rambler touchdown of the evening came not long after Evart’s first, bringing the game’s tally to 28-7, in favor of McBain.

From this point McBain kept its foot on the gas pedal, found the end zone twice more, and cruised to a road playoff triumph.

With the defeat, the Wildcats finish their season with a 7-3 overall record.

Hopkins had 14 carries for 79 yards. Bryant Calderon had seven carries for 45 yards and four catches for 54. Dakobe White had four catches for 44 yards. Quarterback Preston Wallace was 11 of 21 for 124 yards and three interceptions.

Defensively, Hopkins had 13 tackles and Riley Ransom had nine.

“Neither team punted but McBain didn’t turn the ball over and scored on every possession,” Evart coach Pat Craven said. “We turned the ball over three times and stalled inside their red zone three times. We didn’t play well enough to win the football game.”

McBain will play the winner of Saturday’s semifinal game between Traverse City St. Francis and Harrison in the district final Nov. 5.