JV slips past Lions, 41-34

John Engebretson
September 21, 2012

The Novi Wildcats JV football team improved its record to 5-0 this week in its closest contest of the season by beating the South Lyon Lions 41-34.  The Wildcats forced a fumble on the Lions’ first possession and wasted no time getting on the score board.  Jalen Ward took a handoff and raced into the end zone for a quick 7-0 lead with less than a minute expired in the first quarter.

The Lions would respond with a quick touchdown of their own to tie the game at 7-7.  The Wildcats would string together a series of runs and receptions by Zac Siriani, Ward and Adam Tobias before Ward ran it in for the touchdown from 4 yards out.   The drive also included a 30 yard reception by Zack Moore that set up Ward’s touchdown run.

On its next possession, the Lions would once again fumble the ball setting up the Wildcat offense at the 20 yard line.  From there it only took 3 plays for the Wildcats to score again and extend the lead to 21-7.  Quarterback Billy Ullle connected with Tobias and Siriani on short passes before Ward once again scored on a touchdown run from the 2 yard line.

The Wildcats would strike one more time in the opening quarter on receptions by Moore, Tobias and a hook and ladder from Tobias to Ward before Ward once again scored on a 3 yard run.  Andy Wilchynski and Connor Howell forced a fumble on the next South Lyon possession and Jared Engebretson recovered the ball at the 10 yard line.  From there, it would take only two plays for the Wildcats to extend the lead to 34-14 on a 2 yard reception from Ulle to Siriani.  

The injury depleted offensive line of Howell, Wilchynski, Engebretson, Matt Patton and John Yang played a dominant first half opening up huge holes in the Lions’ defensive line and giving Ulle the protection needed to throw the ball.   The Lions would add a late touchdown before the half to cut the Novi lead to 34-21.

The second half was more of a defensive contest as both offenses struggled at times to move the ball.  The Wildcats got big plays on defense from Jack Pinkerton, Caleb Wright, Brendan Smythe, Wilchynski and Mike Thomas, holding the Lions to one offensive touchdown, and trimming the Wildcats lead to 34-28.  On the ensuing Novi possession, the Lions intercepted Ulle and returned the ball for a touchdown to tie the game at 34-34 midway through the fourth quarter.

After trading possessions, the Wildcats put the finishing touches on a 41-34 victory when Ulle hit Nikesh Patel on a 56 yard touchdown to seal the victory.