Just when it seemed as if the Wildcats were going to run away with the game, one Ar-We-Va athlete seemed to take the game into his own hands.
Will Ragaller was able to start the Ar-We-Va comeback with a four score second quarter. The efforts of Ragaller helped the Rockets gain a 45-31 victory over Glidden-Ralston Friday night.
Glidden-Ralston was able to gain the early advantage.
Less than three minutes into the game the Wildcats were on the board for the first time when Caden Smith was able to score off a one yard touchdown dive. The Wildcats held a 7-0 lead, and were ready to run some more.
Later in the first quarter, Wildcat runner, Tyler Brant seemed to take the game on his own shoulders.
Brant was able to convert a fourth and two, and take off down field before being tackled inside the 10 yard line of Ar-We-Va. Two plays later Brant was able to plow over a Ar-We-Va runner at the goal line for a touchdown. Although the PAT was blocked the Wildcats had all the momentum and a 13-0 lead.
Then Will Ragaller took over the game.
“Our guys came out in this week three game with a lot of energy and hunger to get our first victory of the year.,” said Austin Stoelk, a co-coach for Ar-We-Va. “Glidden-Ralston came ready to play and struck us early with a 13-0 lead in the first quarter. However, our guys did a great job of staying poised and not letting this affect the rest of the game.”
Ragaller was able to first score off a six yard run that he took to the right, rushing in, untouched early in the second quarter.
In just two and a half minutes Ragaller was able to get the ball back across the end zone.
Ragaller was able to cap off an Ar-We-Va drive with a two yard run. After the PAT missed the game was tied at 13 with 7:34 to go in the first half.
Glidden-Ralston would retain the lead as Bryson Ertz zoomed past all of the defense and score from five yards out. After the two point conversion failed the Wildcats led 19-13.
Ar-We-Va didn’t waste much time to take the lead for the first time in the game.
Just one minute and 20 seconds after the Wildcats had regained the lead, Ar-We-Va answered when Ragaller was able to score off a nine yard touchdown run. The Rockets went for a two point conversion, and Cooper Kock was able to dive across the goal line to let the Rockets take a 21-19 advantage.
Just before halftime the Rockets were able to strike again. This time Ragaller was able to show off his passing skills.
With the pocket around him collapsing Ragaller lobbed a pass to his right to Cooper Kock. Kock reached out caught the ball and took a long stride over the goal line for the three-yard touchdown pass. Although the Rockets failed on the two point conversion, the Rockets were able to take a 27-19 halftime lead.
The Wildcats were the first to score in the second half off a 17-yard pass.
Ragaller and the Rockets would answer one minute later. Ragaller connected with Kock on a 34-yard pass to extend their lead.
Later in the third quarter Ragaller and Kock connected on a 30-yard pass.
Kock would later finish off the Ar-We-Va scoring in the start of the fourth quarter when he crossed the goal line off a two yard run.
Glidden-Ralston was able to score off a 10-yard pass late in the fourth quarter.
“We played with great intensity on the defensive end, only allowing 12 points in the second half,” Stoelk said.”Up front our guys were relentless on both sides of the ball. This was a major key to our success along with great communication from our secondary defensively. Our linebackers flowed well and kept most plays turned in, and everybody did their jobs for the most part. Offensively we were crisp in our running attack and at sealing the point of attack to get some nice yardage gains at critical times.”
The win was the first of the season for the Rockets as they move to 1-2 on the season. Glidden-Ralston falls to 0-3.
For the Wildcats Brant finished the game with 94 yards rushing off 13 carries.
Ethan Olberding had 17 carries for 88 yards. Olberding also caught an interception.
Caden Smith had eight catches for 67 yards.
John Whitver was able to complete 13 of his 26 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown.
Will Ragaller finished the game with 144 yards rushing including three scoring touchdowns. He also completed 10 of his 21 passes for 159 yards and three passing touchdowns.
Kock had six catches for 81 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 42 yards off eight carries and a rushing touchdown.
Braeden Kirsch had three catches for 73 yards. Blayne Smith had one catch for five yards.