While it may not have been during Waconia’s week, the Wildcat football team picked up a homecoming victory last week by upsetting Holy Family 17-10 on Oct. 4 in Victoria.
As the Fire celebrated homecoming last week, the ‘Cats were focused on making up for their homecoming loss to Mound-Westonka the week before.
“Last week’s loss kind of opened their eyes, that they’ve got to treat every opponent the same, no matter what,” WHS head coach Sam Baker said.
The Fire were on the board in the first quarter with a 30-yard field goal by junior Allison Aubrey before the Wildcats would score 17 unanswered points.
In the second quarter, junior Avery Talton caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Shannon Storley. Leading 7-3 at halftime, the ‘Cats scored again in the third quarter on a 23-yard run by junior Nathan Glynn. Sophomore Tripp Haggenmiller’s extra point attempt was good, opening the lead to 11 points.
Mid-fourth quarter brought a lengthy rain delay for the teams, but the ‘Cats were able to capitalize once the game restarted, as Glynn had a long rush down the field to set up for a WHS field goal.
Senior Charlie Spurbeck nailed his field career field goal, a 30-yarder, near the end of the fourth quarter to make it 17-7 before a late touchdown pass from Fire quarterback Hank Hopkins to Charlie Lacy narrowed the ‘Cats lead to seven points.
The Fire would recover an onside kick at the end, but the Wildcats held out for the 17-10 victory, marking their first win of the 2013 season.
In the victory, the Wildcats saw many of the things they had been talking about since summer practices come to fruition.
“I think our kids finally understood that they have to come into every game with great intensity and translate practice into games,” Baker said. “We’re feeling good because we’ve raised the level of expectation of how we play in games.”
Glynn dominated the rushing attack for WHS, carry the ball 27 times for 180 yards. For his efforts, he was recognized as the Minnesota Football Hub’s Performer of the Week. The only other Wildcat with positive rushing yardage was senior Hunter Baumann, who had one carry for five yards. Rushing leaders for the Fire included Lacy (66 yards), senior Nick Hanscom (44), and Hopkins (43).
On defense, the Wildcats were led by junior Zach Christians (4 tackles), senior Charles Frempong-Longdon (3), and junior Owen Hemze (2). Junior Joe Benson grabbed an interception.
Hanscom led Holy Family on defense with 16 tackles, followed by junior Noah Hollen (7 tackles, fumble recovery), senior Luke Melander (5 tackles, sack), and senior Erik Schaffran (interception).
This Friday, the Wildcats’ will be on the road again at Glencoe-Silver Lake for the Panthers’ homecoming. Glencoe-Silver Lake is 4-2 this season after losing a close 21-20 game to Spring Lake Park on Oct. 4. Baker said the Panthers have a few playmakers and a sound defense, but with Waconia’s momentum from the Holy Family win, the ‘Cats can compete with anyone.
“[G-SL is] a very good team, solid program, well-coached,” Baker said. “As long as we have the right mind set, our preparation should take care of the rest.”
Holy Family will be at New London-Spicer to face the 5-1 Wildcats, who bested Annandale 42-38 last week.
Contact Melissa Marohl at email@example.com