Wildcats ready to host playoff game

(Herald Review photo/Bob Allan)
(Herald Review photo/Bob Allan)

EVART — Getting to the playoffs was one goal for the Evart Wildcats. But having it at home Friday makes it even more special for senior Jake McKinstry and junior Derek Bowen.

The Wildcats are coming off a 7-2 regular season including a 42-7 victory over Manton in the regular-season finale on Friday. Carson City-Crystal comes to town for an opening round playoff game at 7 p.m. on Friday.

McKinstry plays center for the Wildcats.

“I felt like we played pretty well every game except the two we lost,” he said. “We played good in some parts of those games. We stalled on some possessions. Lake City shut us down in the second half. We had some turnovers and kind of beat ourselves. Beal shut us down in the second half as well.”

McKinstry has been happy with the play of the offensive line. It’s been a quicker and stronger season for him as an offensive lineman.

The win over McBain was a key turning point, McKinstry indicated.

“After we won that game, we knew we could make the playoffs,” he said, adding that against Manton. “We had a good game plan We’re pretty excited, everyone is and the whole community.”

The Wildcats are hoping for a big turnout from Evart football fans and to use the home field edge to their advantage.

“I don’t think it’s too much of a difference but we like home games better,” McKinstry said.

Against Carson City-Crystal, “we’ll have to stop their run game for sure,” McKinstry said. “We need to be really disciplined.”

Bowen, an outside linebacker, indicated the 7-2 record was due in part, to the team’s senior leadership.

“Reading your keys and playing as a team, not just solo,” were among the key aspects of the win over Manton..

“I’m really excited, I’m sure the rest of the team is too,” Bowen said. “It’s great for the seniors to have (at a least) one more home game to play. There’s not a big difference between home and away games for us. But it’s nice not having that long bus ride. There’s a lot more people who can come and support us.”

Against CC-Crystal’s offense “we’ll have to play tough, stay aggressive and wrap up,” Bowen said. “Being there (for one game) isn’t good enough. We want to keep going.”