Cadillac runs past Alpena 53-23
ALPENA — The Alpena High football team suffered another tough defeat on Friday night. The Wildcats took on the Cadillac and suffered a 53-23 defeat after being unable to stop the Vikings all night long.
Stopping Cadillac quarterback Charlie Howell proved to be an incredibly tough challenge between his ability to scramble, evade tacklers, and throw the ball downfield.
“In the first half, we started behind the sticks the entire time. It was penalties of five, 10, 15 yards that really kept holding us back,” Alpena coach Eric Mitchell said. “Defensively, we played great the first few series, but our tackling was really bad tonight, and we can’t have that happen. We have to wrap up, there’s no excuses.”
Despite the final score, Alpena got off to an extremely hot start.
A blocked punt, led to a first-play touchdown and gave the Wildcats momentum early. The touchdown pass was completed from Jake Zann to Jonathon Rensberry to give Alpena the early 7-0 lead.
Great defense was played from both sides until Cadillac started to find its footing offensively.
Howell completed a massive 46-yard pass after a roughing the passer call against the Wildcats.
Just a few plays later, with 1:53 left, a 12-yard touchdown was completed to Gavin Goetz to tie the game at 7-7.
After that touchdown, Cadillac began to run away with the game.
On Alpena’s next drive, the Vikings shot the gap perfectly, tackling Kaleb Donajkowski in the end zone for a safety. That gave Cadillac a 9-7 lead at the ball.
Howell then scored a touchdown entirely on his own on a designed quarterback power right up the middle.
This touchdown and the PAT gave the Vikings a 16-7 lead.
Cadillac didn’t stop there.
Another touchdown was converted after a 25-yard completion to Kyle McGowan, followed by a punch-in rushing touchdown from Connor Vermeulen.
Down 23-7, Alpena needed to answer with some amount of points before halftime.
A 20-yard screen pass completion to Donajkowski led the Wildcats right into field goal range for Gabe Glawe.
Glawe stepped up and drilled the 31-yard kick to make it a two-score game right before the half.
Cadillac picked up right where it left off in the second half, scoring a touchdown with eight minutes remaining in the half and extending its lead to 30-10.
Alpena’s next drive was successful, with a 33-yard catch coming from John Kurowski and a 15-yard grab from Easton Srebnik. This put the Wildcats on the one-yard line, where Zann eventually scored on a quarterback sneak.
Howell and the Vikings kept on rolling after tacking on another quarterback-rushing touchdown.
Immediately after, Cadillac forced Alpena into another safety and capitalized with another passing touchdown.
At this point, the score was 46-17, and Cadillac was not done scoring. A perfect deep pass was completed to McGowan once again, but he scored a 64-yard touchdown this time.
Alpena was just able to sneak in one final touchdown before time expired. Zann scored on his second quarterback sneak touchdown of the game.
“We have a lot to work on before our next game. Everyone on the team must come ready to work because there is no reason we should lose that game as badly as we did,” Mitchell said.
Zann was 15-of-23 passing for 187 passing yards.
Alpena’s run game struggled as Donajkowski finished with 14 rushes for 20 yards. Eli Chism also had two rushes for 11 yards.
Through the air, Easton Srebnik accumulated four catches for 62 yards, while John Kurowski had three catches for 56 yards.
Alpena takes on Petoskey next Friday.