Wildcats open with 14-8 victory
BREWSTER -- Southwestern United's Riley Van Westen scored the go-ahead touchdown with just over eight minutes remaining in Thursday night's Southwest Ridge Conference football game, as the Wildcats defeated the much-improved Cedar Mountain/Comfrey Cougars, 14-8.
SWU, which defeated CM/C by a 59-8 count last season, won despite turning the ball over three times on fumbles and twice on interceptions.
"We had some turnovers, but we scored just enough, and our defense played a great game," SWU co-head coach Jason Fisher said. "Give CM/C a lot of credit, as the Cougars have really improved and have a great team this year."
On the Wildcats' second offensive play of the game, quarterback Tyler Timko (3-for-11 passing with 35 yards, seven carries for 80 yards) darted for 65 yards on an option keeper to the right.
On the next play from the CM/C 10-yard line, the Cougars forced and recovered a fumble to halt the Wildcats' opening drive with 7:51 left in the first quarter.
The Cougars later put together a nice drive, as Nick Johns found Alex Madsen for a 22-yard gain through the air to help CM/C move to the Wildcats' 30-yard line early in the second quarter.
But on fourth-and-five, Mitch Reimers sacked Johns to get the ball back into the Wildcats' hands.
The Cougars forced and recovered another fumble on SWU's possession, but had to punt the ball right back to the Wildcats.
Beginning at their own 14-yard line, the Wildcats marched 86 yards on 13 plays and scored the game's first points with 3:23 remaining in the second quarter.
Tyler Obermoller (12 carries for 57 yards) picked up 34 of those yards on four carries, and Nick Ober (five carries for 23 yards) hauled in a 12-yard pass from Timko to help the Wildcats reach the Cougars' nine-yard line.
Obermoller then rushed up the middle before fumbling the ball just before the reaching the goal-line. However, lineman Tim Haberman recovered the ball in the end zone for a Wildcat touchdown, and Octavio Jimenez booted the PAT for a 7-0 lead.
On the ensuing Cougars' drive, SWU linebacker Mike Stenzel (nine tackles) stuffed Madsen for an eight-yard loss on third-and-long to force a punt.
The Wildcats had a chance to score just before halftime, but CM/C made a defensive stand as the first half ended with SWU up 7-0.
SWU, which rushed the ball 41 times for 228 yards and held the Cougars to 29 rushing yards on 31 carries, began the third quarter with the ball, but the Cougars forced and recovered another fumble at the Wildcats' 13-yard line.
Jake Smith (six tackles, one sack) and Josh Edwards (five tackles, two sacks) combined to sack Johns on fourth-and-four from the seven to keep the Cougars off the scoreboard.
On the Wildcats' third play of the ensuing possession, Collin Phillips intercepted a Timko pass to get the Cougars back in business at SWU's 14-yard line.
Tony Schumacher then dashed for nine yards, and Dale McMullen plunged for three yards to make it first-and-goal from the two.
After Schumacher was stopped at the one, McMullen broke the plane with 6:11 showing on the third-quarter clock to make it 7-6. The extra-point attempt was no good.
Later in the third quarter, Dylon Dahmes downed Madsen's punt at the Wildcats' one-yard line, and two plays later, the Cougars had an 8-7 edge.
Dustin Casper rushed for two yards before Timko was sacked in the end zone by Phillips for a safety with 35 seconds remaining in the third period.
The Wildcats stopped CM/C on the following possession and then drove 42 yards to go up 14-8.
A pair of eight-yard bursts from Obermoller, and a 10-yard dash by Van Westen aided the Wildcats' push to the six-yard line. Van Westen (12 carries for 64 yards) then scored on a sweep to the left, and Jimenez added the PAT with 8:08 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Cougars had the ball three more times after that, but did not get the ball past midfield, and the Wildcats closed out the victory.
SWU is off until Saturday, Sept. 8 when it visits Hills-Beaver Creek/Ellsworth, while CM/C hosts Lakeview Tuesday.
CM/C 0 0 8 0 -- 8
SWU 0 7 0 7 -- 14