A group of North Union defensemen wrap up Galion running back Nakoma Breedlove during the Wildcats’ Homecoming game Friday. The Cats won their first home of the season in a big way with a 68-26 thrashing.
The Cats were out of the bag, as North Union claimed its first home win of the season during its Homecoming game on Friday night.
They were able to claim the victory in a big way when they ran over the visiting Galion Tigers, notching 414 rushing yards during the 68-26 victory.
The win could not come at a better time for Wildcats’ head coach Nick Hajjar.
“I’m so happy for the kids and I’m so proud of them,” he said. “It was challenging week for us. There was a lot of emotions with Homecoming and for our kids to come out and stay focused, to come out and perform like they did, I’m just really proud of them.”
Hajjar’s pride was for good reason. The Wildcats made their mark on the field early when they marched down the field on 11 plays for 49 yards.
The drive was capped when Drake Price found a seam from seven yards out to put the first points on the board.
A penalty flag on the PAT backed up the Cats.
Hajjar opted to go for two points, but the conversion failed to put the game at 6-0.
North Union didn’t have to wait long to get the ball back as the Tigers were only able to run two offensive plays before coughing up the pigskin.
Price also made his presence known on defense when he scooped up the ball and took it to the Tigers’ 25-yard line.
The Cats only needed one play to put six more points on the board. Carson Smith used his athleticism to weave his way to the end zone from 25 yards out. Drake hit the PAT to put the Cats up 13-0.
“We just try to re-establish goals and our goal this week was to go 1-0 and to try and get our first win at home,” said Hajjar. “They were able to accomplish that,” said Hajjar.
The Tigers kept the game close with their next offensive possession when quarterback Harrison Ivy dropped back and launched the ball in Takoda Crisman’s direction. Crisman made contact with the ball and bobbled it ten yards downfield before catching it for a 52-yard TD. Dominic Pittman put the ball through the uprights to make it a 13-7 ball game.
That was Galion’s lone score of the first half.
The Cats, on the other hand, went on a tear.
Garrett Miller started the scoring bonanza with a six-yard run. Smith got back in on the action with a 10-yard run for a TD.
Anthony Padovano linked up with Harley Day to get in on the mix with a 12-yard pass good for another touchdown.
Miller scored his second TD from 13 yards out. Smith visited the end zone for the third time with an 11-yard scoring rush.
Price got a 22-yard rush in right before halftime to give the Cats a staggering 55-7 lead.
Hajjar credited his offense’s ability to be diverse to the men up front.
“You never know what the flow of the game is going to dictate and we were able to kind of just able to move it all around to different guys doing different things,” he said. “Obviously anytime you can do that, it starts up front. Sometimes those guys get unnoticed, but they got a good push.”
Hajjar decided to bring in some of his younger players during the second half.
They did not disappoint as they shut down the Tigers on four plays to turn the ball over. The Cats, now led by Preston Crabtree under center, handed the ball off to Trevor Moran and Jacob Florio as they marched down field.
Trevyn Feasel got the nod to take it to the house from 20 yards out to keep the score climbing at 61-7.
Galion scored before the end of the third quarter to put the game at 61-13.
NU’s strong first half, though, was just too much to over come as the Cats sailed to a 68-26 victory on Moran’s touchdown.
The win puts North Union back on even footing at 4-4 for the season. The Cats will host local rival Buckeye Valley next week and Hajjar is already prepping for the battle to come.
“I don’t know what they did tonight, but we could have a six-win team coming to our place that still has playoff goals,” he said. “Even if they didn’t win tonight, they are going to be a really good game.”
“Buckeye Valley is a traditional rivalry and it’s Senior Night, so we will see what happens.”
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