Special to the Daily
The Whitewater Wildcats just kept applying the pressure and applying the pressure on the Ola Mustangs at the Mustang Ranch, and the visitors came away with a very convincing 49-19 victory.
Both teams are now 1-1, Ola having defeated Henry County a week ago, and Whitewater falling to top-ranked Sandy Creek last week.
Big plays by the Wildcat offense and special teams and mistakes by the Mustangs kept the game from becoming very close, despite the battling spirit of Ola.
Whitewater's Trey Wafford gathered in the opening kickoff and scooted 62 yards to the Ola 21 to set the tone for the game.
The Wildcats scored four plays later on a 6-yard run by Josh Clemons. It was the first of three rushing TDs for Clemons on the night. Ola went three-and-out due in large part from a sack of Mustang quarterback Neal Gandee by co-captain Matt Serpico and a third-down stop for a two-yard loss by McClain Head.
The next big play by Whitewater was a 39-yard TD pass from John Mark Rhodes to Taylor Stanford.
A pair of Ola penalties on the extra-point try encouraged the Wildcats to go for two and Clemons easily punched it in.
Ola was its own worst enemy many times, and the first example was late in the first when the Mustangs rode a determined ground game to the Wildcat 10, and failed to convert a fourth-and-one. Whitewater opened the second period with a 52-yard run by Clemons, and scored later on a 16-yard run by Wafford. Ola got a big play from Trey McBride who made a great catch on a Gandee pass for 32 yards, setting up a 45-yard field goal from Jacob Law. The teams traded interceptions in Mustang territory and the Wildcats put up the last points of the half on a 19-yard Clemons TD run. 28-3 at intermission.
Ola came out on fire from the locker room after the halftime, marching quickly down to the Whitewater 1, but the Mustangs fumbled. Another golden opportunity missed. Ola did get a safety when Wildcat QB Rhodes was chased into the end zone where he threw the ball away for a penalty and an automatic safety. The grounding penalty bug then bit Ola, and Whitewater started an amazing scoring run. The teams scored five touchdowns in the span of 3:04 of the third quarter. Whitewater scored to get the margin to thirty points, but Ola refused to succumb. The Mustangs scored two quick TDs, but the Wildcats answered each time, keeping the pressure applied. The fourth quarter had the automatic running clock, and neither team scored again.
Whitewater had 470 offensive yards and 20 first downs, and Wafford alone had two kickoff returns totalling 145 yards. Ryan Arnold rushed 14 times for 64 yards for ola, and Trey McBride carried 12 times for 98 yards and a 41-yard TD in that frenetic third quarter. Backup QB CJ Carr broke free and then stumbled his way for a 73-yard TD run in the third. Joe Costo led the Mustang defense with seven tackles. Nine penalties and two turnovers plus the constant pressure applied by Whitewater kept Ola from making a game of it.