In front of a large home crowd that turned out despite near freezing temperatures, the Waconia football team dropped its 2012 homecoming game to Holy Family 21-7.
The Wildcats fumbled on their fourth play of the game, which the Fire then marched down to the Waconia goal line. A four-yard rushing touchdown from Holy Family senior Conner Byrnes, and a successful extra point by sophomore Jonathan Coppens made it 7-0 in favor of the Fire. Neither team scored in the second quarter and the Fire led 7-0 at the half.
Holy Family opened its lead in the third quarter, scoring twice. First, sophomore Chazz Johnson rushed a 22-yard touchdown, before senior quarterback Rob LaRose completed a nine-yard touchdown pass to senior Derek Ogren, to put the Fire up 21-0.
In the fourth, Waconia senior quarterback Cody Clark connected with senior Jacob Fettig on a 50-plus yard pass that Fettig carried down the field into the end zone. An extra point from senior Ben Kullman finished the Wildcat scoring. The Fire defense would shut down Waconia for the remainder of the game and the Fire would win it 21-7.
Holy Family’s game plan was simple, to control of the ball as much as possible and to keep it out of the Wildcats’ hands, according to Waconia head coach Pat Foley. The Fire succeeded, as they posted 20 more offensive plays than the Wildcats. Foley said the ‘Cats are losing games because of too many penalties and turnovers.
“You can’t do that against solid football teams,” he said. “We just like to beat ourselves, I guess.”
He said with the wind and the weather, he would have liked to throw the ball more, but a lack of confidence can hinder that idea. Two Wildcats were injured during the Oct. 5 game including junior Tommy Gove. Gove, who is a two-way starter, broke his collarbone near the end of the first half. Senior defensive end Cole Sawyer also suffered a most-likely broken arm.
Against Holy Family, the Wildcats totaled 247 offensive yards (106 passing, 161 rushing) on 45 plays. Clark was 7-20 at quarterback for 106 yards and one touchdown. Seniors Ryan Mattson and Fettig were the team’s top receivers, with 44 and 63 yards, respectively. Fettig led the Wildcat rushers with 120 yards, followed by senior Riley Trnka (22), Clark (11), and Mattson (11).
On defense, junior Nick Hukriede led Waconia with a fumble recovery and 11 tackles. Also topping the tackle list were junior Charles Frempong-Longdon (10), and senior Mitch Green (8).
The Fire tallied 358 offensive yards over the Wildcats 247 yards. At quarterback, LaRose was 2-3 for 28 yards and one touchdown. Ogren had both receptions. Rushing leaders for Holy Family included Johnson (142 yards, one touchdown); Riddle (66); Byrnes (53 yards, one touchdown); LaRose (36); and Baker (33). On defense, senior Stephen Kohler blocked a Waconia punt, while Green had a fumble recovery and LaRose defended a pass. Johnson had one interception and returned it 10 yards.
The Wildcats are now 1-5 this season and will host No. 7 (4A) Glencoe-Silver Lake this Friday, Oct. 12. The Panthers are 5-1 after defeating Becker 21-9 last week.