Wildcats lose a close game

North Platte Varsity Football team battles with Millard West


Anna Burton

Although Millard West lost, they still have been putting in work for tonight’s game. They have watched film and corrected some errors from last week in preparation for today. “This is the final game of the season, and I know the players want to send the seniors out on a win,” coach Seth White said. “They will need to match their execution with the great effort they will bring to the game this week.”

Garrett Wilcoxen, Staff Reporter

The Wildcats faced off against the North Platte Bulldogs on Friday, Oct. 15. This was an intense game for Millard West, coming off the loss to Bellevue West the previous week.

The game started off very slow, with North Platte taking a seven minute drive. This was filled with many short runs and not a single pass. By the end of the fifth minute, North Platte’s junior full back Brock Roblee was able to push through the Wildcat defense and score a one yard touchdown. On the Wildcats first drive of the game, they threw an incomplete pass and then ran the ball twice for a total of four yards. This forced Millard West to punt the ball to the Bulldogs with three minutes and 11 seconds left in the quarter. The quarter ended with no one else scoring and the Wildcats punting the ball again.

“The structure of practice is typically very similar from week to week,” coach Seth White said.  “North Platte does some unique things offensively and defensively so those specifics were emphasized in preparation.”

The second quarter started off slow again with the Bulldogs using the run game to their advantage. They were able to keep the chains moving for four minutes, before they had to punt the ball away. The Wildcats came into their drive with a different strategy. They changed up their plays and were able to push North Platte back. After several short passes to senior wide receiver Trace Thaden, senior running back Nathan Pederson ran a 19 yard rushing touchdown. After this, the Wildcats were able to stop the Bulldogs from moving up the field and score a field goal before halftime. Senior kicker Enrique Meraz made the kick to put the Wildcats up 10-7.

“I think we were able to come out fast because we adjusted to what they did,” sophomore quarterback Brody Petersen said. “We had more intensity and that’s why we were successful in the 2nd quarter.”

Going into the third quarter, Millard West stole an idea from the Bulldogs and started with a four minute drive. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they were put in a bad field position when they racked up back-to-back penalties. Millard West was able to make their first and 49 into a fourth and 12, but they were not ready to take the risk and punted it away. 

On the Bulldogs next drive, they were slowly moving the ball up the field with little to no push back from the Millard West defense. After a few short plays, however, North Platte fumbled the ball and senior strong safety Collin Schollmeyer recovered the ball and ran it back for a Wildcat touchdown. In the last three minutes of the quarter, North Platte was able to put seven more on the board with a 13 yard run.

Millard West started with the ball in the fourth quarter. They took up six minutes with several short runs, trying to run down the clock. At the end of their drive, Petersen completed a six yard pass to Thaden for a touchdown. Following this, after a 37 yard return by the Bulldogs, senior quarterback Caleb Tonkinson passed the ball to senior wide receiver Cole Wright for a 32 yard touchdown. This put Millard West up by four with five minutes left. The Wildcats were not able to move the chains at all and gave the ball back to the Bulldogs with three minutes left. With 32 seconds left in the game, Roblee scored his second touchdown of the game. On the kick back to the Wildcats, there was a fumble, ending the game with North Platte up three.

I think our team can really just get a little glimpse of what we will look like next year after playing Lincoln Northeast,” Petersen said. 

The Wildcats played a high intensity game and stayed fast throughout. Although they came up short this week, they play Lincoln Northeast tonight.