One of the Wildcat varsity player goals for the August 26 game against Garland Lakeview Centennial was to exceed Plano JV’s 43-0 winning margin earned the previous day. Mission accomplished.
In the debut game for the 2011 varsity season the Wildcats were relentless on both sides of the ball, proving early in the first quarter the team can field a stifling defense and versatile offense. With 6 penalties for 60 yards, you can’t say they were flawless (someone will be running extra on Monday) but you can feel good about this 2011 team and the play-calling from the coaches.
Leading 34-0 going into the third quarter, astute fans could see that the coaching staff was expanding playtime deep into the depth chart, including the first varsity play for freshman quarterback Christian Hutzler, wearing #28 on varsity. But reaching deep and broadly into the roster didn’t stop the offense nor dilute the defense.Plano’s starting offense under junior #21 Richard Lagow as quarterback made big plays on the ground and in the air, with Lagow himself scoring a TD on a short QB keeper. Senior #19 Kevin Merrill showed his versatility, keeping busy receiving, rushing, kicking and punting. As did senior #32 Cole Eckeberger who, on defense, turned an interception into a TD and also took turns kicking and punting.
The Wildcats defense put the Patriots offense back on its heels early in the first quarter, then scored later in the game with Eckeberger’s interception forTD and a punt return for a TD by senior #25 L.J. Ausama.
You can’t say Centennial didn’t try.
The end of the second quarter was capped by an effective drive by the Patriots deep into the red zone, but they couldn’t get the ball across the goal line despite a pass interference call against Plano as the buzzer sounded, giving Centennial an un-timed but unsuccessful second try to complete a pass into the end zone.
Centennial also made headway with a fake punt play that salvaged a drive. And their replacement quarterback began to connect successfully with some regularity in the second half. But it was too little, much too late.
Offensive highlights from the stands (unofficial)- QB’s on passing, #21 Richard Lagow was 8 of 15 for 106 yards, 0 Int; #28 Christian Hutzler was 1 for 1for 7 yards, 0 Int . . . Receiving: #25 L.J. Ausama 3 for 61 and a TD, #19 Kevin Merrill 1 for 24 and a TD, freshman #16 Mitchell Hansen 2 for 16 and a TD, senior #24 Hunter Gore 1 for 4, senior #5 Jake DiNucci 1 for 7, and senior #22 Rakeem Crawford 1 for 1 . . . Rushing: senior #22 Rakeem Crawford 13 for 125 yards and a TD, #19 Kevin Merrill 9 for 93 and a TD, #21 Richard Lagow 3 for 1 and a TD.
Defensive highlights from the stands (unofficial)- –SHUTOUT– . . . Interceptions: #32 Cole Eckeberger 1 for 45 yards and a TD, senior #4 Tyler Grant 1 for 39, and #5 Jake DiNucci 1 with no extra yards . . . #25 L.J. Ausama 46 yard punt return for a TD, #4 Tyler Grant with a 30 yard punt return . . . Tackles for loss by junior #36 Brandon Laures, #32 Cole Eckeberger, senior #15 Sam Parks, senior #43 Dylan Rich, junior #Matt Hintz, #5 Jake DiNucci, and senior #11 Blake Hutzler . . . Sacks – it appeared senior #12 Xavier Harbert got one and shared one with senior #88 Dwayne Hicks.
Final Score- Plano Wildcats – 56, Garland Lakeview Centennial Patriots – 0.
How our neighbors fared - Plano East lost to Arlington in OT, 49-42; Plano West lost to Arlington Martin 45-7.