Sporting WCA

Cats Drop Season Opener at St. Mary’s

The Coach Keith Herring era got off to a rough start Friday night with a 31-22 loss at St. Mary’s.

Even though the final score was not in their favor, the first quarter was all Cats. After fumbling on their first possession the Cats were about to return the favor by forcing and then recovering a fumble of their own on the first defensive possession of the season. With momentum on their side the Cats, lead by L.B Battle and Atlin Hall were able to methodically move the ball down to the St. Mary’s 7 yard line without throwing the ball. Hall eventually took the ball into the endzone for the first Touchdown of the season, a direct snap to Zach Brasier for a two point conversion put the Cats up 8-0 with 9 minutes left in the 1st Quarter. The Cats broke into the endzone again later in the quarter when Chad Briden found fan favorite “Lee” Alldredge on a short shuffle pass that Alldredge took 19 yards for another TD. Brasier found the endzone on another two point conversion to make it 16-0 at the end of the first quarter.

It was all downhill from there for the Cats as the major turning point came with just seconds left in the 2nd Quarter, a miscommunication between Briden and receiver Grant Lavalle resulted in an interception that was taken down to the 1 yard line before St. Mary’s punched in their first score of the game to make the score 16-7 at halftime. St. Mary’s weaponized the big play in the third quarter, the Dragons speed caused problems for the young Cats defense all night and going into the fourth quarter St. Mary’s was leading 28-16. The Cats were able to make it close in the fourth quarter with another score, this time a 2 yard touchdown run by Senior L.B Battle, but a failed two point attempt left them down by 9, enabling St. Mary’s to run off the clock, securing their 31-22 victory.

There were several bright spots on WCA’s sidelines in Friday’s loss. First of which is that Atlin Hall set himself out as a force to be reckoned with. Hall took the bulk of the carries and was very effective, especially in the first half. Hall also was flying around the field defensively and racked up tackles as well as being involved in more than 1 forced fumbles.

“Atlin was very effective, he wore down the defense especially in the first half and was also our anchor on defense” said Briden,

The style of new Head Coach Keith Herring was evident as well in the game. The offensive style was very methodical and very run-heavy. With two talented running backs this system has a chance to be very effective this season, especially with almost a guarantee that WCA will win the time of possession battle.

“Coach Herring and Coach Greco’s offense is a little different than what we have ran in the past, but it worked very effectively in the first game. I can’t wait for the rest of the year to get better at it.” said Briden, who clearly seemed excited about the direction the program is heading as I was talking to him.

Herring also seems to be a fan of the two point conversion, having attempted the extra point on all 3 chances Friday night.

The Cats have a very tough game next Friday night at St. Dominic (1-0). This will be a interesting game to watch as the Cats came up just short against the Crusaders last season, and also lost QB Chad Briden for most of the season. Briden looks to get his revenge next week so come out and cheer on the Cats!