Wildcats bid for winning record
EVART — Evart’s football team enters the last week of the season at 4-4 with a chance of finishing 5-4.
The Wildcats last Friday defeated Mesick 34-6 to bounce back from a tough 20-19 loss to Lake City the previous week.
“I thought our kids played well,” said Evart coach Pat Craven. “We shortened up and played strong. We started four sophomores on our defense Friday night and only gave up a touchdown. Offensively, we ran the ball for over 300 yards again. Good things happen when you run for over 300 yards.”
The Evart running trio of Jon Danley, Austin Grein and Brady Hasse had another strong night.
“It’s tough to defense when each of them is carrying the ball over 10 times a game,” Craven said. “Pick your poison. They’ve been doing a good job. It’s a tribute to the kids up front.”
The season ends at Manton Friday in Highland Conference play.
“They’re a pretty solid football team,” Craven said. “They’re 4-4. We’re going to have to be physical and stop the run and play good sound football, tackle in the open field and what not.”
The Wildcats can’t get to six wins which automatically puts a team in the playoffs. A 5-4 record makes a team eligible if it has enough computer points to quality.
“I’m not a playoff point guru like some of my other league coaches are,” Craven said. “I know our strength of schedule and nonleague wins aren’t giving us too many points. But we can’t worry about that. We just have to take care of what we take care of and take care of the rest.”
The Bucks fell to 2-6 with a 49-7 loss to McBain, the Highland Conference champion, on Friday. Joe Miller had a 1-yard run for Pine River’s only score.
“They’re talented, they’re huge,” said Pine River coach Chad Phillips. “Their offensive line averages (far more weight).”
The Bucks end the season at Beal City on Friday night.
“They’re definitely not as loaded as they usually are,” Phillips said. “They still have very good running backs.”
Stone Beckwith is a running back who can give any team a lot of fits. Ty Rollins, a sophomore is also a talented back.
“We need to be able to establish the run a lot better,” Phillips said. “We have to do a better job on the line of scrimmage. I thought we played hard last week. We’ve got to get those third-down stops.”