Evart's passing attack shines in victory over Mantontake

Evart's Larry Van Buren (52) makes the defensive play in recent action for the Wildcats. (Herald Review photo/Bob Allan)
Evart’s Larry Van Buren (52) makes the defensive play in recent action for the Wildcats. (Herald Review photo/Bob Allan)

EVART — Jacob Fortune completed 20 of 24 pass attempts for 318 yards and four touchdowns to lead Evart to a 31-0 Highland Conference victory over Manton last Friday night.

The Wildcats had a 7-0 halftime lead and outscored Manton 24-0 in the second half.

Dillon Danley caught a 5-yard pass from Fortune in the first quarter and Larry VanBuren kicked the PAT for a 7-0 lead.

Fortune passed 89 yards and 68 yards to Jacob Hopkins for two touchdown receptions in the third quarter. Danley had a 6-yard scoring run in the third.

Fortune connected with Jared Pattee 13 yards in the fourth quarter for a TD pass.

“Fortune continues to throw the ball really well,” said Evart coach Pat Craven. “He’s really slinging it with accuracy and has a lot of confidence right now. He has a couple of really good receivers he feel he can go to at any time.”

Pattee led the rushing attack with five carries for 58 yards. Evart gained 120 yards on 28 attempts. Pattee caught eight passes for 54 yards while Hopkins had eight receptions for 235 yards and two TDs

“We had some nice work from our tight ends underneath to open up the outside on our passing game,” Craven said. “We’re pleased with our passing attack. We have to beef up our running game.”

Robert Burge had eight solo tackles and eight assists. VanBuren had seven tackles and six assists, Holden Moore had five tackles and six assists and Josh Decator had four tackles, six assists and a blocked punt. Manton had 114 yards rushing and 69 passing.

“The defense, I thought, played well,” Craven said. “We came out and Manton’s opening offensive drive, they took it down to the 2-yard line and we had a defensive stand. We followed that with a 98-yard touchdown drive. I thought it was impressive for our defense to be able to hold them and let our offense go to work. Our defense played sound all night long. Manton does a lot of things different things offensively and our kids had to prepare for a lot this week. They did a real nice job.”

Evart 3-0, is home Friday night against Beal City in league action. The Wildcats are 1-1 in the Highland Conference.

The Aggies are coming off a 64-13 win over Pine River last week. They’ve also had 61-0 and 48-0 wins over Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart and Clare.

“It will be our greatest test to date and a wonderful opportunity for our kids to gauge where we’re at and have an opportunity to compete at a high level against a team the caliber of Beal City,” Craven said. “We hope to make an imprint on our conference standings. This is a tremendous opportunity to do so.”

Beal City will be focusing on running the ball, Craven noted.

“They have a couple of quick backs,” Craven said. “Like every week, we’ll have to establish ourselves at the line of scrimmage and do a great job tackling.”

Evart’s passing attack “is going to need to cause some problems,” against the Aggies, Craven said. “If they force us to be one dimensional into the run game, like any team, we’ll be in trouble.”