Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

September 14, 2013

Wait is over -- Wildkats garner first victory

Mental toughness pays off for Kats against Vikings.

(Continued)

Kokomo’s touchdown came on Baker’s 41-yard run on a draw play with 2:31 remaining in the half.

Early in the third period, Kokomo got a break when Leichty’s punt struck his own blocker and was recovered by sophomore Marcelle Kenner at the HN 21.

Four rushes by Baker made it third-and-goal at the one, and Rawlins scored on a sneak. Baker’s two-point conversion run made it 14-0 at the 8:30 mark.

But the Vikings didn’t quit. HN struck paydirt on a 77-yard bomb from Leichty to Kole Hale to close the gap to 14-7 with just 44 seconds left in the third.

The Kats had a chance to put the game away midway through the fourth when Markell Freeman recovered a Viking fumble at the HN 19. But the Vikings held on a fourth-and-goal at the two and took over for one last chance with 2:54 left.

Suddenly, Leichty got hot, completing passes of 15, 20, 5, and 30 yards for a first down at the Wildkat 26. But an incompletion and a sack by Kenner followed, and on third and 17 at the 33, Kokomo cornerback Cuba Evans iced the game with an interception at the 25.

After the game, Rawlins spoke about his first start and the running of Baker.

“You know, I had a lot of pressure at the beginning,” he said, “but as the game went on I got more comfortable. I felt good about it.

“[Bo] ran the ball hard. I love the way he runs. I know he was tired, but he fought through it and ran hard.”

Senior Fletcher Miller led the Wildkat defense with four solo tackles, seven assists, and several tipped passes.

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