The Whitewater Wildcats football team knocked off undefeated Union Grove by a final of 36-19 on Friday night.
“Every time we play these guys, they play us tough,” said Wildcats coach Amos McCreary. “They are well coached and we know every time we are going to be in for a tough football game.” Running back Christian Wafford once again turned out an impressive performance for the Wildcats with 156 yards rushing on 26 carries and a touchdown. Colton Clemons added another touchdown on the ground for a Whitewater team that racked up 200 yards rushing as a unit.
“The kid can run the football,” said Mcreary of Wafford and the running game. “We feel like we can lineup with our offensive line and run the football. We gotta do that in the big games.”
Moreover, the Wildcats defense, who has averaged 11 points allowed so far this season, also gave an inspired effort to the tune of four forced turnovers (one interception, two fumbles, and a blocked punt) in this contest.
After the Wildcats spotted Union Grove seven points early following a 20 yard fumble return to the end zone by Blair Sandmeier, Whitewater responded by putting up 29 unanswered points to take a commanding lead at the 10:08 mark of the second quarter. Fortunately for Union Grove, their offense was able to put together back-to-back drives (61 yards and 67 yards) that resulted in touchdowns to make the score 29-19 going into halftime.
“Anytime you get down you just have to see how they are going to react,” McCreary said. “We got down early and I was proud that we were able to come back and make big plays.”
In the second half, Whitewater’s defense turned it up a notch as it forced two fumbles and sacked Union Grove quarterback Jonathan Slade twice, while the offense put the exclamation on the game with a nine yard touchdown run by Clemons that capped off a 73 yard drive with 7:59 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Despite the loss, Union Grove’s Caleb Ham had a big game receiving, which included several spectacular catches, and finished with six receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown.
In addition to scores by Wafford and Clemons, Whitewater also got touchdowns from Austin Cobb (60 yard TD reception), Ryan May (90 yard interception return), and Jay Ashley (22 yard quarterback keeper) in the win.
With the win, Whitewater moves to 3-1 on the season while the loss drops Union Grove to 3-1 as well.
Up next, the Wildcats will try to make it four wins in a row when they travel to Southern Crescent Stadium to take on Forest Park on Thursday with a kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.