Week 6 | EPC vs Galena
In a Northwest match-up tonight, the Eastland-Pearl City Wildcatz traveled to Galena to take on the Pirates. Coming off of tough losses two weeks in a row to Forreston and Le-Win, the EPC Wildcatz looked to get back on track against the Pirates. Galena on the other hand was searching for victory number one on the season.
The Wildcatz wasted no time getting to the end zone, when running back Jayden Kempel set himself up and ripped off a 35 yard run, and followed it up with back to back 3 yard runs to hit the end zone. After a successful PAT, the Wildcatz took an early 7-0 lead.
On Galena’s first possession, they went a quick 3 and out, handing the ball back to the Wildcatz. After getting the ball, EPC would fumble, handing the ball right back to the Pirates. On this possession, the Pirates were again forced to punt, giving the ball back to EPC in good field position. The Pirate defense would force another turnover, when they intercepted a pass from EPC quarterback Braden Smargiassi.
After forcing yet another Pirate punt, the EPC offense got their bearings and began to move the ball. Relying on the quick hitting run game, they used fullback Braeden Heeren to move the ball down the field. On the last two plays of the drive, Heeren fought for a tough 14 yard gain, and then finished off the drive with a 13 yard touchdown carry. After a successful PAT, the Wildcatz went up 14-0 with 6:27 remaining in the first half.
On the kickoff following the touchdown, the Pirates’ Colton Bauer had a beautiful 50 yard return where he fought through tacklers for the final 20 yards. The EPC defense would still stand strong, and intercept Pirates quarterback Mickey Lorento. After a solid interception return from EPC’s Lucas Petersen, Braden Smargiassi would roll out of the pocket on EPC’s first play, and take the ball himself to the endzone for a 30 yard touchdown run. The EPC 2 point conversion attempt was no good, leaving the score 20-0 in favor of the Wildcatz with 4:28 remaining in the 2nd quarter.
After each team punted the ball away on their first possessions of the second half, the Wildcatz would again post another touchdown, this time coming from running back Jayden Kempel. Kempel was the go to guy in the second half for the Wildcatz, and that showed on this drive. The Kempel touchdown would bring the score to 26-0 after a failed PAT.
After forcing another Pirate punt, the Wildcatz would move the ball down the field with efficiency again handing the ball to Jayden Kempel and Heeren consistently. At the end of the 50 yard drive, Braeden Heeren found the end zone yet again, this time on a 9-yard carry. After the PAT, the Wildcatz would go up 33-0 with 1 minute remaining in the 3rd quarter. The last scoring drive of the game came from the Wildcatz yet again. After Jayden and Jarod Kempel helped to move the ball down the field, Braden Smargiassi would find his intended
target wide open in the end zone to complete the drive, putting the Wildcatz up 40-0 after a successful PAT with 9:06 left in the game, and go on to win by that score.
Jayden Kempel ran for 179 yards and two TD's on 20 carries, while Jarod Kempel added 123 yards on 12 carries to lead the Wildcatz. Braden Smargiassi completed 9 of 12 passes with one touchdown and one interception, and Braeden Heeren added 73 yards rushing on 10 carries for EPC.
Up Next: EPC (4-2) vs. West Carroll (4-2) Galena (0-6) vs. Forreston (5-1)