Lake City outlasts Evart

EVART — Battling both their opponent and the elements, Evart dropped a 41-21 contest against Lake City on Friday.

The Wildcats (6-2, 4-2) trailed 34-21 heading into the fourth quarter with momentum on their side after Jacob Fortune connected with Dillon Danley on a 37-yard touchdown pass with 2:06 left in the third quarter, but the Trojans (7-1, 4-1) were able to chew up the clock in the fourth quarter and eventually put the game away with a 27-yard touchdown strike from Drew Marion to Lucas Marion with 5:22 left in the game.

“I’m really proud of our kids,” Evart coach Pat Craven said. “We did a lot of different stuff defensively to try and stop their quarterback. I thought our kids played tough and we came right after them and a break here or there and things could have been different.

“I don’t look at the score and think ‘wow,’” he continued. “I thought it was tight and our kids played tough. We just have to be a little better at some things.”

The Trojans struck first early in the first quarter when Drew Marion connected with Kevin Kunkel on a 23-yard touchdown pass to take the early 7-0 lead.

With Lake City again in the red zone with 4:00 left in the first, the Trojans went for it on fourth and goal at the Evart 9 but Drew Marion’s pass fell incomplete in the endzone to give the ball back to the Wildcats.

The endzone stand by the Evart defense gave the offense some momentum as Danley rumbled 91 yards down the field for a rushing touchdown on the very next play to knot the score at 7-7.

Lake City responded with 11:44 left in the second quarter as Drew Marion ripped off a 23-yard touchdown run but the Trojans missed the extra point attempt to jump ahead 13-7.

Danley once again got in the endzone for the Wildcats with a 17-yard touchdown run with 8:24 left before the half to jump back ahead 14-13 but the Trojans answered back once again at 5:41 to go before the half with a 9-yard touchdown run by Drew Marion to take a 21-14 lead, with Marion connected with Kunkel on the 2-point conversion.

The wet conditions finally led to a turnover when the Wildcats got the ball back as Evart quarterback Jacob Fortune fumbled the ball on his own 14 when getting hit and the ball squirted all the way back into the endzone where Lake City’s Cody Burns recovered it for a touchdown to put the Trojans up 28-14 heading into the half.

“It’s tough to give their defense a score after we battled for field position for most of that first half,” Craven said.

The Trojans continued their offensive assault with 7:04 left in the third quarter as Jacob Truesdale exploded for a 35-yard touchdown run to put Lake City ahead 34-14 before Danley’s touchdown.

Danley led the Wildcats with 135 yards on the ground and 37 yards receiving while accounting for all of their touchdowns. Fortune went 8-for-28 passing for 102 yards and two interceptions while also rushing for 32 yards. Jared Pattee hauled in four receptions for 38 yards for the Wildcats.

Despite the rainy conditions, Craven said he thought his team took care of the ball for the most part in Friday’s game.

“I thought we took care of the ball well,” he said. “Unfortunately, we had the two picks but we were really behind the eight ball and we had to zing it around and they were playing some really soft coverage so we had to attack through the air.”

The Wildcats have already clinched a playoff spot and will finish their season next Friday when they host Montabella in non-conference action.