The Houlka Wildcats could reach the red zone, but they couldn’t make it pay off for them Oct. 18 as they fell 6-35 to the Rebels of Thrasher.
“We have to make better fortunes of our opportunities in the red zone,” said coach Adam Gentry. “We have to learn to finish in those situations.”
The Wildcats showed several sparks and bright moments, with James Buggs returning a Thrasher kickoff in the second quarter for a touchdown to keep Houlka in striking distance at 6-13 and Anthony Boyd recovering a fumble at the close of the half to set up the Wildcats in Rebel territory.
But inconsistency took a toll as Boyd’s recovery was negated by a Thrasher interception three plays later and a third quarter fumble set up another Rebel touchdown.
The Wildcats kept playing and had an opportunity to score late in the fourth as Tyreque Reed ran for a first down and a Thrasher penalty brought another, but the Rebels defense held and a deflected pass ended the game with a Thrasher win.
Gentry said he still sees positive motion in the rebuilding effort for the Wildcats.
“I think every week our attitude gets better,” Gentry said. “Our effort gets better and we seem to be carrying ourselves better on the field.”
The Wildcats have three games left on the schedule, all division matches, and Gentry is focusing on one game at a time.
“We are going to keep working hard to get better every week and that’s what it’s all about,” Gentry said. “Our players, coaches and community have all bought into the process and we are moving forward.”
The Wildcats will head to Biggersville Thursday for a division game and will host Coldwater on the Okolona field Halloween night. They will finish up the season in Smithville Nov. 8.
More from division 1A
In another division 1A rivalry, the Rams of Vardaman fell 54-6 to the Seminoles of Smithville Friday. Vardaman’s score came from a 30-yard pass from Brandon Walker to Quon Cummings.
The Rams will be in Coffeeville to take on the Pirates (5-3, 5-0) Friday.