Vikings suffer first setbackPublished 12:42am Saturday, September 10, 2011
MATTAWAN — The host Wildcats used defense and special teams to hand Niles its first loss of the season Friday night.
Mattawan scored a pair of defensive touchdowns en route to a 35-21 win over the Vikings.
The Wildcats (2-1) got a fumble recovery in the end zone for its second score of the opening quarter after Max McPherson scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 4-yard run to make it 14-0.
Mattawan increased its advantage to 21-0 when McPherson scored on a 6-yard run.
Niles (2-1) finally got on the scoreboard right before halftime when Brandon Partee scored on a 1-yard run and Ryan Casey added the extra point.
Mattawan sealed the victory in the third quarter with two more scores, which increased its advantage to 35-7.
Ryan Penninger picked off a pass and returned it 50 yards.
Ryan Penninger scored the final touchdown for the Wildcats.
Niles scored twice in the final 12 minutes, but could not overcome the large deficit.
Dallas Munger caught a 14-yard touchdown toss from Cole Clemens and then Prescott Smith broke loose on a 50-yard scamper for the game’s final points.
Niles ended the night with five turnovers.
“We did not play our best football game tonight,” Niles coach Dan Brawley said. “They (Mattawan) came out and were more physical than we were. They played well offensively and defensively. The won the battle up front on both sides of the ball, they won the turnover battle and they won the football game.
“We continually put our defense in bad situations tonight. We gave them (Mattawan) a short field way too many times. To their credit, they were able to capitalize on our mistakes.”
Niles returns home after playing two consecutive road games to face Kalamazoo Central, a 32-22 winner over Portage Central Friday night.
“We need to lick our wounds as a football team and come out and have a great week of practice,” Brawley said. “We need to put this game behind us and look forward to playing Kalamazoo Central, at home Friday night.”
Niles 0 7 0 14 – 21
Mattawan 14 7 14 0 – 35
M – Max McPherson 4 run (Butler kick)
M – Dylan Hasting fumble recovery in end zone (Butler kick)
M – McPherson 6 run (Butler kick)
N – Brandon Partee 1 run (Ryan Casey kick)
M – Ryan Penninger 50 interception return (Butler kick)
M – Trevor Sweeney (Butler kick)
N – Dallas Munger 14 pass from Cole Clemens (Casey kick)
N – Prescott Smith 50 run (Casey kick)