DAYS CREEK — The Days Creek Wolves came out hungry in the second half of Friday’s 8-man nonleague football game against Riddle and won 46-18 despite being down at halftime.
“I told them there are two ways this can go; we can play like we know we can and get out on top, or we can keep playing like we are and lose,” Days Creek coach David Hunt said. “The kids came ready to play in the second half.”
The Irish (0-3) were up 18-16 at the end of the second quarter, but were unable to score again in the second half of the game.
“We’re missing four or five starters, and some of the guys we had in came out just a couple weeks ago,” Riddle coach Rocky Rodgers said. “We’ve got some work to do after today.”
Days Creek (1-2) was the receiving team at the start of the second half and got the ball at their own 44 yard line.
Sophomore running back Evan Gaskell then ran the ball in for a touchdown on the first play to go up 22-18 over the Irish.
Gaskell finished the game with 188 yards on eight carries.
Riddle turned the ball over on downs and with 8:22 left in the third quarter Days Creek freshman Zane DeGroot ran for a 30-yard touchdown.
Jacob Holsclaw then ran the ball in for the conversion. Holsclaw finished the game with 13 tackles.
“I think (the game) was mediocre,” the senior linebacker said. “We discussed defensive strategies at halftime and how we’re going to execute them. Offensively we got our motor going so we could get back in the game.”
Days Creek scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter; a 10-yard run by sophomore Gerritt Wentland and a 27-yard run by DeGroot.
Cauy Jackson ran in the conversion after the first touchdown while DeGroot threw to Neston Berlingeri for the 2-point conversion on the final score of the game.
But in the first half the Wolves did not dominate the game.
“Three touchdowns were called back in the first half, penalties and mistakes...,” Hunt said before trailing off. “In the second half we got a whole lot better.”
Holsclaw agreed with his coach: “There are definitely some things we can improve on and it’s mainly blocking and just not being fully ready on offense.”
Riddle scored the first touchdown of the game with 7:44 left in the first quarter when Cameron McMichael ran 6 yards for a TD.
The Wolves responded with back-to-back touchdowns by Gaskell and running conversions by Wentland and Holsclaw.
Nate Hopkins then scored on a 53-yard run for Riddle at the end of the first quarter to make it a 16-12 game.
Hopkins finished the game with 125 rushing yards on 22 carries and 83 receiving yard. Quarterback McMichael threw for 114 yards total in the game.
In the second quarter the Irish kept Days Creek from scoring. Hopkins was able to score on a 19-yard pass from McMichael with no time left on the clock.
Days Creek is scheduled to host Prospect in a Special District 2 game next week. Riddle, which plays an independent schedule, is scheduled to host Elgin.
Riddle 12 6 0 0 — 18
Days Creek 16 0 14 16 — 46
R — McMichael 6 run (pass fail)
DC — Gaskell 55 run (Wentland run)
DC — Gaskell 26 run (Holsclaw run)
R — Hopkins 53 run (pass fail)
R — Hopkins 19 pass from McMichael (pass fail)
DC — Gaskell 56 run (run fail)
DC — DeGroot 30 run (Holsclaw run)
DC — Wentland 10 run (Jackson run)
DC — De Groot 27 run (Berlingeri pass from De Groot)
Sports reporter Sanne Godfrey can be reached at 541-957-4203 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey