A year ago this game goes differently. A year ago, this is a loss for the El Dorado Wildcats.
What a difference a year makes.
Zach Wittenberg ran for 167 yards and the Wildcats ran for a combined 325 yards and they kept the mistakes to a minimum in the 14-7 win over county rival Augusta on Friday night.
The win is El Dorado’s first over Augusta since 2011.
"It’s a testament to how hard these kids work," El Dorado head coach Wes Bell said. "They didn’t like how last year’s game ended.
After letting last year’s game slip away, the Wildcats made sure they were the ones cheering at the end.
"We keep telling them to keep working hard and it will pay off," Bell said. "We were in a lot of games last year and we hurt ourselves. We hurt ourselves last week. This week we got it done."
El Dorado (1-1) ran 81 plays to the 28 plays for Augusta. It is hard to give up points when you do not let the opposing offense on the field.
The Wildcats set the tone early, going 78 yards in 15 plays. It was spurred on by a key fourth down penalty by Augusta. There were too many players on the field, making it a 4th-and-3, instead of a long fourth down. The Wildcats went for it and got it to extend the drive.
The drive was capped off with a 24-yard run by sophomore Drew Veatch to give El Dorado the early 6-0 lead. The extra point was missed wide left.
El Dorado’s defense forced a quick three and out after the more than 8-minute drive, setting the tone for how the game would go.
Augusta (0-2) would finally get a drive going as they found themselves in good field position, going seven plays, and capping it with a 21-yard touchdown run by senior Ryan Andrews. A 12-yard pass from Jett Hand to Duke Lichlyter on a third-and-long set up the go-ahead touchdown for Augusta.
The Orioles took a 7-6 lead into the break.
The ball continued to bounce right for the Wildcats as they recovered three fumbles in the second half, including one in the end zone when Tyler McConathy fumbled at the 1-yard line and El Dorado would recover in the end zone.
"Our defense just binds us together," junior Gavin Bell said. "We go back out there and shove it down the field, giving us even more confidence."
Veatch would score his second touchdown of the night on another nice run. The Sophomore sprinted down the El Dorado sideline for the 27-yard touchdown run with 3:57 remaining in the third, and the ensuing two-point conversion, put El Dorado up 14-7.
Jalen Rice would pick up another fumble with 5:17 to go, sealing the win for El Dorado.
El Dorado held Augusta to only 28 plays and 146 yards of total offense.
Seven different players had at least two carries for El Dorado.
The Wildcats now turn their attention to Labette County (0-2).
"We are going to get ready for the next one," Wittenberg said. "Labette isn’t just going to give it to us."
ELDO 69-325; AUG 24-119
ELDO 23; AUG 27
ELDO 1-4-0; AUG 2-4-0
ELDO 348; AUG 146
ELDO 2-0; AUG3-3
EL DORADO 6;0;8;0 — 14
AUGUSTA 0;6;0;0 — 7
ELDO – 24-yard TD run by Drew Veatch (kick no good).
AUG – 21-yard TD run by Ryan Andrews (kick good).
ELDO – 27-yard TD run by Drew Veatch (2PAT good)
Rushing — ELDO: Wittenberg 34-167; Veatch 9-60; Sundgren 7-52; Rice 8-32; Fowler 3-15; Wade 2-0; AUG: Andrews 9-59; McConathy 5-23; Lichlyter 4-22; Anderson 3-17; Hand 3-(-1); Williams 1-0
Passing — ELDO: White 1-4-0; AUG: Hand 2-4-0
Receiving — ELDO: Sundgren 1-23; AUG: Wilcox 1-15; Lichlyter 1-12