EPC came into the season ready to prove the critics wrong. Coming off a down year in 2015 where they finished 2-7, the Wildcatz jumped back to the top of the NUIC this year with an 8-1 record and a 2nd place finish in the vaunted Northwest Division. That rewarded EPC with a 1st round home playoff game in the IHSA Class 2A playoffs. The opponent would be the Rockridge Rockets coming out of the always tough Three Rivers Conference.
Rockridge came into Lanark looking to avenge a playoff loss to EPC in 2014. And the Rockets would get on the board quickly. After receiving the opening kickoff they would drive 60 yards in just over 2 minutes and cap it off with a 44 yard TD run by QB Riley Fetterer. The extra point attempt failed giving the Rockets a quick 6-0 lead.
After and exchange of turnovers, EPC would start their 2nd drive on their own 18 yard line. Just as quick as Rockridge drove the field on their 1st possession, the Wildcatz would follow suit with an 82 yard drive in just over 2 minutes capped with a 9 yard TD run by Jarod Kempel. The extra point was good and the Catz were up 7-6.
Unfortunately for the Catz, this would be their last lead of the game as the Rockets would score on their next 3 possessions to take a 28-7 lead into halftime. Nathan Parchert would have TD runs of 14, 80, and 7 yards to lead the Rockets.
The 2nd half would open up on the wrong foot for EPC as they fumbled the opening kickoff and Rockridge recovered at the EPC 36 yard line. Just under 3 minutes later Fetterer found the endzone again to put the Rockets up 35-7 as they cruised to a 42-13 win over EPC in Round 1 of the Class 2A Playoffs.
Rockridge would out gain EPC on the day with 522 total yards to EPC's 273 yards. The Rockets were led by sophomore QB Riley Fetterer as he finished the day with 21 carries for 201 yards and 2 TD's, was 6-11 passing for 72 yards with 1 INT, and had a defensive INT. Nathan Parchert had 18 carries for 159 yards and 3 TD's on the day. Cade Kendall capped the scoring for Rockridge on the day and finished with 12 carries for 79 yards and 1 TD.
For EPC their season comes to an end with an 8-2 record. Great job to EPC on a great season that many didn't see possible at the beginning of the year. EPC was led Jayden Kempel as he finished with 10 carries for 76 yards and 1 TD. Keegan Schubert was held up all day as he finished with 6 carries for 12 yards. Brighton Haverland was 11-17 passing for 183 yards and 1 INT, and had 8 carries for -29 yards as he was sacked 5 times by the Rockets. Jarod Kempel had 4 carries for 18 yards and 1 TD.
With the youth of the Wildcatz, look for them to be back towards the top of the NUIC next year.