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Wildcats win fight against Red Dragons @PLRedDragons

Written by: on Sunday, October 17th, 2021

 

Homer Center’s sophomore linebacker Landon Hill takes down Purchase Line’s senior Mello Sanchez (above). RAY KAUFFMAN PHOTO.

The much-anticipated matchup of Friday, October 15 between the Homer Center Wildcats and the Purchase Line Red Dragons ended with the Red Dragons falling short with a final score 33-16.

Homer Center was the first to strike, when a six-play drive for the Dragons ended in an interception by junior Michael Krejocic at the Wildcats’ 45. Krejocic returned the pick for a 55-yard touchdown. Senior running back Collin Troup ran the right sideline for the conversion and the score became a quick 8-0. The Dragons dug their hole deeper on the kickoff when the ball got free, allowing for the Wildcats’ kick team to recover it at the Red Dragons’ 29-yard line. On the next play, junior quarterback Cole Mcanulty ran right to connect with Krejocic at the 18-yard line. Krejocic dodged three tacklers before being taken down two yards short of the endzone. A few plays later, Troup finished the drive off with a 2-yard touchdown to increase the score to 14-0.

Finally, the Dragons would get a shot with the ball. Runs from senior fullback Jayce Brooks and sophomore quarterback John Elick put Purchase Line a few yards short of a first down. On the next play, the ball was snapped and handed to senior running back Brady Syster and just as Syster was being taken down, he handed the ball to senior Mello Sanchez, who was running the opposite way. The reverse play that would’ve gotten the Dragons across midfield was called back due to a penalty after the play. With that, the quarter ended with a score of 14-0, and Homer Center in the lead.

To open the second quarter, Elick threw a quick pass to Sanchez, who ran it to the 40-yard line for the first down. This duo followed up a few plays later. After catching Elick’s pass, Sanchez managed to maneuver around six of the Wildcats’ defenders to the 5-yard line. Syster capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown, and then caught the conversion pass in the endzone from Elick. The Dragons were on the board, trailing the Wildcats by six points, 14-8.

For the rest of the quarter, Homer Center and Purchase Line traded the ball back and forth. Purchase Line had the Wildcats backed into their own endzone, but this problem was solved by a few runs from their backs. Eventually, Homer Center was forced to punt. Purchase Line saw much of the same, when their drive ended in a turnover on downs at the Homer Center 30. The Dragons intercepted the ball a few plays later, but were unable to use this momentum because the quarter ran out. The halftime score was 14-8.

Purchase Line’s first drive of the half ended in a punt and Homer Center’s ended in a turnover on downs. The Dragons tried to capitalize on that turnover, but were forced to punt, once again. A pass from Mcanulty to senior Anthony Rowland advanced the Wildcats ten yards to the 46. Mcanulty hit Krejocic on the next play, which set him up for a 54-yard touchdown run to make the score 20-8. Syster answered this with a 65-yard touchdown run on the first play of the Red Dragons’ next drive. Sanchez caught a pass from Elick for the conversion, which created a score of 20-16.

Another Mcanulty to Krejocic connection was the big play that the Wildcats needed to get across midfield and deep into Red Dragon territory at the 15-yard line. A penalty on the Dragons assisted the Wildcats in getting even closer to the endzone, which set up Troup’s 3-yard touchdown and Homer Center’s increased lead of 26-16. This closed out the scoring for the third quarter with the Wildcats still up by ten on the Dragons.

Homer Center didn’t waste any time in the fourth quarter. A long pass from Mcanulty to Rowland moved the Wildcats to the 17-yard line. A few plays later, sophomore running back Landon Hill finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown. With Krejocic’s kick, the score became 33-16. The Dragons never got close enough to the endzone to score another touchdown. The final score of the game was 33-16.

Purchase Line’s senior Vincenzo Scott said, “In the second half, we started to come back, but we were already down a few touchdowns that we shouldn’t have let go in the first half. If we don’t let those easy scores happen, then it’s a completely different game. Next week we need to focus on starting out strong and keeping the scores even or with us up, going into the second half.”

Purchase Line Head Coach Matthew Falisec said, “For us to be successful moving forward, the team needs to play a 48-minute football game. We need to take advantage of big plays when we have the opportunity. We have a tough opponent ahead with Cambria Heights, so the team needs to have a good week of preparation to get ready for this game.”

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