Wildcats Come Up Short Against Fort Frye

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The Waterford Wildcats lost 20-22 in another close game against rival Fort Frye, giving the Cadets their eleventh straight win in the series on Friday.

Waterford started off hot in the first quarter as quarterback Peyton Stephens fired back-to-back passes to George Pantelidis and Zane Heiss for two 20-plus yard gains. Those two plays set up Braden Bellville for a 15-yard touchdown to put the Wildcats up by 6.

Turnovers slowed down the pace of the Wildcats’ offense in the first half. An intercepted pass intended for Pantelidis and a fumbled snap on the next drive started a shift of momentum in Fort Frye’s favor.

Zane Heiss helped extend the Wildcats’ lead to 14 as he threw to Rhys Thatcher for a 12-yard touchdown in the second quarter. This would be the last time the Wildcats scored until late in the fourth.

The second half was a different narrative for Fort Frye. The Cadets were able to get junior Tyler Fisher going early in the third quarter with a 3-yard run for the team’s first score which led to a Brian Adkins two-point conversion.  Fisher’s 89 yard rushing touchdown gave him his second score of the game and sealed Waterford’s fate.

The Wildcats did better when they passed the ball. Finishing the game with 203 passing yards on 22 attempts. Heiss hauled in a 20-yard touchdown reception from Stephens with 49 seconds left to go in the game, but failed to convert on the extra point.

Although both squads had 41 attempts, Fort Frye had 354 rushing yards— almost three times as much as Waterford. Braden Bellville looked as if he was going to have a big game early but never quite got into a rhythm. The running back had a multitude of power runs but never got the big gains we’re used to seeing.

With their first loss of the season, the Wildcats will start their hunt for the TVC-Hocking crown next week against the Eastern Eagles (0-3, 0-1) at home.