Slavens Leads 'Cats Past Lone Jack For District Win

Adam Dean Howe
Enterprise Staff
Slavens Leads 'Cats Past Lone Jack For District Win
The Wildcats released pent-up frustration from the previous two week’s losses to Skyline and Buffalo as they manhandled the Lone Jack Mules at home last Friday in a 42-7 win in the opening round of Class 2 District 7 play. 
Junior quarterback Brady Slavens had a night to remember as he accounted for 36 of Warsaw’s 42 points. 
After winning the coin toss and deferring to the second half, the Wildcats defense held strong on the Mules first possession, Cameron Seevers would set up the Wildcats with strong field position with a good punt return and Slavens would take over from there. 
A long touchdown pass from Slavens to Jack Gardner in the back corner of the endzone was called back by penalty, but a 37 yard strike from Slavens to Zach Sharp put 6 on the board for the Wildcats, much to the delight of a large home crowd at Randy Morrow Field.  The 2 point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, but the Wildcats led early, 6-0.
The Mules next drive was halted by a Sharp interception for the Wildcats, but the offense couldn’t convert on that extra possession and would be forced to punt the ball away.  However, that punt was fumbled by the Mules Kaiden Goosman, but recovered deep on their end of the field forcing desperation for the Mules with time winding down in the first quarter.  That Mules desperation turned into points for the Green and Black defense when Seevers would sniff out a pass, jump a route and pick off another Tanner Ward pass attempt and race 80 yards for a pick six for the Wildcats.  Slavens would cross the goal line untouched for the 2 point conversion and the Wildcats jumped out to a 14-0 lead at the end of the opening period. 
The Wildcats would force a three-and-out on Lone Jack’s first possession of the second quarter and Slavens would lead his troops downfield for another score when he would connect with Seevers on a 10 yard touchdown pass in the left side of the endzone for another Warsaw score.  Slavens would add the 2 pointer as the Wildcats were starting to take control with a 22-0 lead.
Lone Jack would pull things together and have maybe one of their best drives of the night when they marched the ball downfield on their next possession.  With the ball spotted on the Wildcats 19 yard line, Ward dropped back to pass but was intercepted by Warsaw’s Tayten Boyer at the goal line to halt the Mules threat. 
The Wildcats would tally their final score of the first half with 2:04 left to go  when Slavens carried the ball into the endzone for a 3 yard touchdown run.  The 2 point try was no good, but at the half, the Wildcats stretched their lead to 28-0.
“Our kids did a good job this week in practice, cleaning up some of our mistakes from previous weeks,” Wildcats head coach Ryan Boyer said.
Slavens would score again on the opening drive of the second half when he would keep the ball around the right side and race 47 yards into the endzone.  His 2 point plunge was also good as the Wildcats upped the ante to 36-0.
“He (Slavens) had a big night, but he did a good job of creating plays when he needed to,” Boyer commented. 
The final Warsaw touchdown would also come off of the feet of Slavens as the Wildcats varsity took full advantage of their last possession when he would put the nail in the coffin with a 26 yard touchdown run.  The 2 point attempt was no good, but the Wildcats had all they would need at 42-0.
“Our defensive line did great controlling the line of scrimmage and creating pressure,” Boyer said.  “In turn, our secondary was able to get 3 interceptions.”
Lone Jack would post their only score of the night early in the fourth on a 24 yard touchdown pass from new quarterback Fletch Titus to Goosman.  Their point after try was good, but that would be the final tally for either team as the horn sounded later with a 42-7 Wildcats victory. 
“We came out and took care of business,” Boyer added.  “We need to build on this momentum as we go into this next round.”
Slavens big night saw him account for 85% of the Wildcats offense and 86% of their points.  He had 188 yards rushing on 12 attempts and was 6 of 14 through the air for another 141 yards.  Slavens scored 3 touchdowns on the ground, 2 came by way of the pass and he was also good for three 2 point conversions. 
Justin Martin had 34 yards on 5 carries and Nick Bagley added 24 tough yards on 9 rushing attempts.  Shane Ashlock, Riley Taylor and Boyer had 11, 3 and 1 yards, respectively.
Sharp hauled in 2 passes for 73 yards while Gardner was the recipient of 2 passes for 54 yards.  Seevers caught 1 pass for 10 yards and Martin also was on the receiving end of a 4 yard completion.
Riley Taylor led the Warsaw defense with 4 tackles and 3 each were contributed by Boyer, Bagley, James Kellner and Tim Burkhardt.  Bagley and Martin both had quarterback sacks and Sharp, Boyer and Seevers all had 1 interception each.  Seevers' went for the pick 6 touchdown.
The win earned the Wildcats (4-2) another home contest this Friday when they’ll host Hogan Prep Charter Academy (4-2) out of Kansas City.  They won their trip to Warsaw with a 42-0 win over Holden last Friday night.  That second round game will take place at Randy Morrow Field on the campus of WHS and can also be seen live on BCE TV.  Game time is slated for 7:00pm.