Archive for Thursday, September 7, 2006

Safety net

De Soto’s defense powers Cats past Sumner

September 7, 2006

De Soto and Sumner combined to generate reels worth of highlights and score 103 points in the first week of the season. And there were highlights when the two 1-0 teams hooked up Thursday night at KC Harmon's field in Kansas City, Kan. Few could have expected them to be defensive highlights though.

The Wildcats improved to 2-0 thanks to two safeties, two touchdowns and a whole lot of hard hitting, beating KC Sumner Academy 18-0.

"A win is a win is a win," De Soto coach Brad Scott said. "I really take the hat off to the defense for this one."

Less than a week after every pass De Soto completed seemed to go for a touchdown and every run seemed to find a gap, the Cats struggled to move the ball all night.

Wildcat quarterback Jake Morse, 12-of-15 with four touchdowns last week against Ottawa, finished Thursday's game 12-of-24 for 85 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown.

Subtracting yards lost to sacks, De Soto rushed for zero yards in the first half and had just one first down.

The defense and special teams picked the team up, however.

De Soto got on the board by blocking a punt in the end zone, then dropping the punter, who caught the ball, in the end zone for a safety.

The second two-pointer came even easier. Tyler Farmer, who had a fantastic night punting the ball, boomed one over Sumner returner Rickey Randle's head. Randle retreated and fielded the ball at the seven-yard line, then ran backward into the end zone looking for a hole.

He never found it. A swarm of Wildcats blasted the returner in the end zone and the Cats took a 4-0 lead with four minutes and 10 seconds remaining in the first half.

The offense finally found some room to maneuver in the second half, but it was the defense and special teams that continually set the Cats up and ensured the shutout.

Consecutive penalties crushed De Soto's opening drive of the second half and a decent punt return coupled with a couple of strong running plays gave Sumner its best chance to score.

The Sabers had first and 10 at the 24, but Jordan Smith stuffed running back Desmond Tallie in the backfield on first down and Smith and Erik Hill combined for a four-yard sack on second down. Sumner quarterback Terry Thomas threw incomplete on third, and the Cats took over after the punt was a touchback.

The Cats only managed to drive 15 yards, but Farmer boomed a punt to the Sumner two-yard line. Sumner fumbled on the next play from scrimmage and Dustin Ester smashed in for a touchdown.

De Soto's second touchdown came on another special team's play. Sumner snapped the ball over the punter's head and six plays later Morse connected with Erik Hill for a five-yard touchdown pass.

Dustin Ester was De Soto's leading rusher and had a great second half. After finishing the first 24 minutes three yards in the hole, he ran for 77 yards in the second half and was key in setting up the second touchdown.

The defense also picked Thomas three times. Jerod Bader grabbed two of the interceptions and Erik Hill another.

De Soto is next in action Sept. 15 against Anderson County.

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