MOUNDRIDGE — Just like last season, the Moundridge High School football team is peaking at the right time.
Last season, the Wildcats started 0-4 before winning three of their next five to sneak into the playoffs. This season, Moundridge again started 0-4, but now the Wildcats have won two straight district games to put themselves in prime position for back-to-back playoff appearances.
Friday night, the Wildcats cruised to a 44-8 win over Inman, avenging a heartbreaking loss to the Teutons last year. Moundridge is now 2-4 overall and 2-0 in District 5 while Inman drops to 0-6.
Early on it looked as though fans were in for a shootout. It took 50 seconds for the Wildcats to find the end zone in the form of a 55-yard touchdown run from Jerod Kaufman. The extra point sailed left as the Wildcats took an early 6-0 lead.
Inman moved the ball well in the first half, but failed to score points in the red zone on three separate trips. On Inman’s first drive, the Teutons marched all the way to the Moundridge 14-yard line before coming up short on fourth down.
Moundridge was unable to capitalize on the stop and punted back to Inman. The Teutons wasted no time on their second possession when quarterback Payton Froese fired the ball over the middle to receiver Connor Brown in stride for an electric 85-yard touchdown pass. After a successful two point conversion from Froese to Jack Doerksen, Inman led 8-6 with 2:40 left in the first quarter.
From there, it was all downhill for Inman and uphill for Moundridge. The Wildcats scored the final 38 points of the game, including three touchdowns in the second quarter alone. Moundridge scored on a five-yard run from Damion Calderon, and 12-yard run from Daniel Kaufman, and a four-yard run from Cody Hazleton to take a 30-8 lead into halftime.
Daniel Kaufman ran for another touchdown — a 25-yard score — while Jerod Kaufman busted one 87-yards right up the middle for the Wildcats’ final touchdown.
Moundridge dominated the line of scrimmage all night long, rushing for 450 yards and holding Inman to only 80 yards rushing. Jerod Kaufman had the bulk of the rushing yards with 288 yards on 20 attempts to go along with two touchdowns. Daniel Kaufman also had two rushing touchdowns on only five attempts. Quarterback Mason Dyck had a combined 194 yards through the air and on the ground.
Inman was led by an admirable performance from Froese, who threw for 208 yards on 12 of 21 attempts and a touchdown. Doerksen hauled in six catches for 67 yards while Brown led Inman with 102 receiving yards on only two catches.
As a team, Moundridge out-gained Inman 565-288 in total yards.
A win next week at Sedgwick for Moundridge would all but wrap up the No. 1 spot in District 5. Inman hosts winless Whitewater-Remington next week as both teams will be looking for their first win of the season.
Contact Gallagher Martin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel