De Soto stomps Ottawa in season opener
Want to pick the hero from the De Soto football team's Friday night season-opening game at Ottawa?
You'd better sit down. It could take some serious consideration.
The Wildcats rolled over Ottawa 38-22, scoring three touchdowns in the first six minutes with three different players. In the end, the Cats saw five different players reach the endzone as they ran it up on the Cyclones for the second consecutive season.
"That's what we like about this offense," De Soto coach Brad Scott said. "We don't have to worry about one kid wanting to get his. We have been that type of football team, but now we can spread it out."
As for the star, good luck singling one out. Junior running back Mark England took the opening kickoff 70 yards to the Ottawa 21-yard line, then scored the team's second touchdown with a 64-yard end around run down the sideline.
There was senior quarterback and defensive end Erik Hill, who got an early sack and hit an in-stride Jamel Townsend for a 55-yard touchdown in the first quarter, then tacked on two more another scoring pass in each of the second and third quarters.
There was sophomore tailback Dylan Burford who roared onto the squad with a 22-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. It was his second-ever carry on the varsity field. He later caught a 25-yard touchdown pass as well.
"Erik played really well for his first game at quarterback," said senior Shane Miller, a target for one of Hill's touchdowns. "It felt really good."
De Soto was explosive on offense, and for the first half dominant on defense, but it had a little help from the Cyclones on both fronts.
The Cats couldn't capitalize on England's game-opening kickoff return, fumbling away the momentum on the very next snap. Ottawa fumbled in kind, however, and four plays later Clinton Smethers rammed in from one-yard out for De Soto's first touchdown.
It was one of five first-half turnovers for the Cyclones -- three coming in the span of five plays late in the first and early in the second quarters.
"That has been occurring from day one," Ottawa coach Pat Boeh said of the turnovers. "As a coaching staff, we take a lot of responsibility for how inept we were in the beginning of the game."
Ottawa finally found some momentum in the second half. Running back Tyler Wiederholt provided a stable presence in the backfield, rushing for 61 yards on 12 carries. Quarterback Ben Harris played better, too. Zero of four with two interceptions to start the game, he finished 80 yards on the ground and a touchdown and a two-point conversion through the air.
The Cyclones tried for onside kicks after each of their fourth-quarter scores, and the scrambling paid off to a degree as Wiederholt plowed in for a pair of scores.
It was far too late to catch up to the gaggle of red-hot Wildcats, however.
"We finally started making some plays and getting some good runs," Boeh said. "That's how we've had to play the last year and a half. We have to start catapulting that into more success in the first quarters."
De Soto (1-0) 18 13 7
Ottawa (0-1) 0 0 0 22
First quarter: DS 10:05 -- Clinton Smethers 1-yard TD run (kick failed) 6-0 DS
DS 8:30 -- Mark England 64-yard TD run (kick failed) 12-0 DS
DS 6:49 -- Jamel Townsend 55-yard TD pass from Erik Hill (kick failed) 18-0 DS
Second quarter: DS 11:52 Shane Miller 33-yard TD pass from Hill (kick failed) 24-0 DS
DS 8:57 Dylan Burford 22-yard TD run (Parker Williams kick) 31-0 DS
Third quarter: DS Burford 25-yard TD pass from Hill (Jordan Slater kick) 38-0
Fourth quarter: O 6:45 Tyler Wiederholt 4-yard TD run (run failed) 38-6
O 2:22 Wiederholt 4-yard TD run (Jarrod Ingold run) 38-14
O :35 Ryan Fellinger 6-yard TD pass from Ben Harris (Jake Diel pass from Harris)