Survival contest

Sean Kosednar/PrepsKC

By Sean Kosednar PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: October 14, 2016 - 10:36 PM

Next man up was the name of the game for the Wildcats as De Soto beat Spring Hill 14-13 Friday. DeSoto used four quarterbacks to overcome a six point halftime deficit.

Bryce Mohl went down midway through the first quarter. Sophomore Brandon Taylor and senior Max Barger split most of the time at quarterback the rest of the game.

“When Bryce went down it was obviously a big blow for us,” De Soto head coach Brian King said. “Max Barger has a cast on his hand, so a sophomore had to come and learn under fire. He kept grinding and figured it out there at the end.”

Midway through the fourth quarter Taylor kept the ball on the option and ran around the left end. The sophomore scampered all the way down to the 4 yard line. Two plays later he ran the same play to the right side and scored the game winning touchdown from the 11.

“We have to do a better job getting Brandon [Taylor] more reps,” King said. “We put him in a very tough situation, but came through.”

The Wildcats got off to a fast start when junior Trevor Watts took the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. Watts went straight up the middle juking two guys before outrunning everyone else.

It looked like Spring Hill was going to respond quickly, but they were held on fourth and one on the 15. It would not be the last De Soto’s defense came up big.

“We are lucky we have a lights out defense,” King said. “The defense had confidence in themselves that they could continue to keep [Spring Hill] out. I cannot tell you how proud I am of that defense and how they have been playing.”

After a missed Wildcat field goal, Spring Hill was able to put together a solid drive. Jacob Letellier connected with Nathan Ewing three times. The third, coming on a 40 yard pass down the right sideline. Letellier arced a perfect pass that hit Ewing in stride and allowed the junior wideout to run into the end zone tying the game.

After the teams traded turnovers on back to back plays, De Soto’s Darren Winans rushes for 41 yards down the 19 of Spring Hill to end the first quarter. The first play after switching ends, the Broncos recovered a fumble.

With just under two minutes left in the half Spring Hill went ahead. This time Letellier found Mason Bell on a seam route for 41 yards. A missed extra point proved to be the difference in the game.

The third quarter saw multiple fumbles from De Soto and the Broncos almost always had a short field. Regardless, Wildcat defense stood tough and shut out Spring Hill in the second half.

“Hats off to De Soto that defense is incredible,” Spring Hill head coach Jason Feeback said. “It seemed like they were sending seven guys all the time and we couldn't account for it with our spread.”

Next week Spring Hill takes on Eudora, and De Soto welcomes defending state champions Bishop Miege.