Wildcats survive again

Published | Sep 9, 2023

The last two games on Draughn’s non-conference schedule have indeed equipped the Wildcats to be in survival mode when it’s needed.

The Wildcats built up a 28-13 lead over visiting Chase in a battle of defending conference champions when the game was paused just before halftime due to a lightning delay.

The Trojans battled back to score two touchdowns to trail 28-25 with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Draughn buckled down for strong defensive stands to set up a last-minute score by Nigel Dula, off an eight-yard pass from Eli Tillery, to seal the 35-25 victory and a 3-1 start to the season for a second year in a row.

“We’re excited to come out of our non-conference schedule in the position that we are,” said Draughn head coach Chris Powell. “We are thankful for the turnout (of our fans) and to honor those that mean a lot to us.”

After trailing early to Chase 7-0, the Wildcats’ opening drive went for 13 plays ending with a Dula one-yard dive and a PAT kick by Rudy Mendoza to knot up the score 7-7.

Draughn followed with an Eli Tillery 23-yard touchdown pass to Connor Pinkerton and a 31-yard run in addition to Shaydon Pino scoring on a 42-yard interception return.

The next offensive drives for the Wildcats, when play resumed, resulted in a punt, interception, and multiple turnovers on downs.

Draughn’s defensive unit was aided at key moments by Hampton Blackwell (sack, forced fumble) and Sterling Radabaugh (interception) to kill any momentum Chase was trying to build up.

The final scoring drive for the Wildcats came after a Trojans turnover on downs backed deep into their own territory and ran four plays with Tillery’s toss to Dula out of the backfield down the home sideline.

Tillery finished with 156 passing yards with Pinkerton gaining 44 of those yards.

Tight end Jacob Mull led Draughn with 65 receiving yards while Dula continues to spark the Wildcats’ rushing game with 133 yards.

Pino, Blackwell, Radabaugh, Justice Cunningham (TFL), Marshall Brinkley, Jack Charlet, Jesus Becerra, and Paul Miller all made defensive stops for the Wildcats.

Draughn begins their defense of the Western Highlands 1A/2A Conference championship at home next Friday vs. Owen.

“We are going into this new part of the season 0-0 and we got to come to work over the next four days.”

Like this story? Please leave a tip on CashApp

Related Posts

Leave a comment.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *