Wildcats continue their romp with win over Niles

Haley Hagen • couriersports@vineyardpress.biz
Mattawan’s Trajan Osmun (53) sets up the block for Ryan Berchiatti (5) as he takes the handoff from quarterback Kyle VanLiere (2) and heads downfield during Friday’s face-off with Niles.  The Wildcats beat the Vikings, 17-3.   Haley Hagen photo

   The Mattawan Wildcat football team earned a 17-3 win over the Niles Vikings last week.
   Early in the opening quarter Niles lined up to punt the ball away. A high snap on fourth down set up Mattawan at the Viking 13-yard line. The Wildcats took advantage of the field position and claimed their first points of the game with a field goal that put the Wildcats up 3-0.
   On their next possession, Niles attempted to match the field goal, but fall failed. Mattawan, not quite satisfied to end the first quarter with the lead, took a risk. On fourth down, kicker Trevor Schantz faked the punt and instead scrambled for the first down. The Wildcats started the second quarter with the ball on their own 43rd yard line, then  quickly added to their lead when wide receiver Luke Johnson caught the ball and worked his way downfield.
   A Niles defender knocked the ball loose from the senior’s arms, but teammate Noah Janssen was in the right place at the right time, and recovered the ball on the one yard line. On second down, Daniel Pirbhai, ran the ball in for the touchdown. A blocked extra point attempt left Mattawan with a 9-0 lead heading into halftime.
   The third quarter started with several changes of possession after turn over on downs from both teams. The Niles offense managed a short burst of momentum after two long runs in a row by the quarterback; but the Mattawan defense put together a huge third down stop and held the Vikings to a field goal.
   The score remained 9-3 going into the final quarter. Mattawan fought its way into the endzone two more times during the fourth quarter. On fourth down quarterback Kyle VanLiere kept the ball and ran into the endzone from 14 yards out. The final points of the evening came when the Wildcats decided to go for two. Senior Max Huntley wove his way into the endzone and Mattawan had its third win of the season.


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