At halftime of their game at Clayton Ridge Oct. 1, the Maquoketa Valley Wildcats trailed by a slim touchdown, 13-6. The second half got away from them and they ended up losing 41-6, putting their season mark at 1-4.

Lance McShane was the man of the night, not only in the endzone for the Cats, as he rushed 26 times for 172 yards and that game-leading TD. The Wildcats also picked off Eagle quarterback Caleb Heller three times, by Caden Ries, TJ Cook and Carter Klaren.

But the Eagles scored once in the third quarter and three times in the fourth to put the game away.

Wildcat coach Trevor Arnold added, “We played our best half of football since week one (in the first half). We were able to move the ball offensively right down the field early in the game and came up just short of finishing our first drive with a TD. We did get a stop and the ball back and ended with a TD to take the lead 6-0 early in the second quarter. Up until the last three minutes of the first half, we played like the better team.

“Then, for whatever reason, trailing at halftime, we came out and didn’t play the same way. Clayton Ridge made a front adjustment which made things easier for us schematically but we were unable to take advantage due to turnovers and mental mistakes. Trailing 20-6 in the third quarter, we lost two 2-way starters to injuries and, already short-handed due to other injuries and illness, we were forced to have guys play positions they were not accustomed to playing and to play a few kids just not yet ready for varsity football. That happens though when it is late in the year. We need some guys to step up and, in some cases, they just physically aren’t ready to. That is the reality.

“We can take away how we played the first half and build on it this week with Starmont coming to town. It will be Senior Night and the last game on the home field for our nine seniors. The goal remains the same: play better football, commit fewer mental mistakes, put into the game what we work on in practice. Discipline is the key for us against a senior-led Starmont team.”

Mv’s statistical leaders were: passing — TJ Cook 7-of-19 for 60 yards, four INTs; receiving — Landen Deutmeyer 4-for-33, Klaren 1-for-11, Preston Roling and Caden Ronnebaum 1-for-8; rushing — McShane 26-for-172, Roling 5-for-12, Deutmeyer 1-for-9; kick returns — Deutmeyer 2-for-50, McShane 1-for-20; punt returns –Deutmeyer 1-for-1; kicking — Brock Trenkamp 2-for-72; punts — Trenkamp 4-for-114, Dashiel Lahr 1-for-30; tackle numbers were not available.