Article by Martin MacPherson…
Instead of continuing with the normal Saturday practice, this week to mix it up the Highland Wildcats divided into two teams, Wildcat Blood and Wildcat Gold. Wildcat Blood (red) were coached by Mark Paulin with Ewan Sime assisting. Wildcat Gold (yellow jerseys) were coached by Davie Grant with Chris Shaw assisting.
Each team was made up of a collection of Wildcat starters, backups and development players and were quite even. Unfortunately before play started the Wildcat Blood lost Haris Ryalls A few days before the game due to injury and Steven Oag pre-game to injury as well.
The Wildcat Gold opened up the scoring with Mark Pyper (#21) breaking into the open field with a 40 yard touchdown run. Stig McArthur successfully converted the 2 point attempt with a catch from Cameron Robertson to lead 8-0.
On the next drive, the Wildcat Blood found Euan Trommino open for a 35 yard pass reception from a Euan Crawford pass. The Wildcat Gold held firm thanks to constant pressure from Stephen Mcmeechan and a gang tackle on fourth down from Corin Robinson, Mark Pyper and Stig McArthur.
Responding to the good drive by the Blood, Wildcat Gold scored on the next drive with a Cameron Robertson 35 yard pass for a touchdown to Cameron Payne. Thanks to pressure from Wildcat Blood’s Charlie Cass, the two point conversion was unsuccessful.
Needing to respond after going down two scores, the Wildcat Blood broke a 20 yard run from Seamus Ross following good blocking from David Robertson. Again the Wildcat Blood couldn’t keep the momentum going and came away without points as the Gold defense stiffened and held firm. On the next drive, the Wildcat Blood brought in Kyle Holyoake to play as corner back and the defense seemed more of a match for the Gold. Despite this, the Gold drove up the field and scored on an 8 yard touchdown rush by Stephen Mcmeechan and then converted to take the score 22-0.
The Wildcat Blood thought they had opened their scoring on the next drive with Seamus Ross running in for a touchdown from 30 yards, but it was bought back for offsides. On the very next play, Fergus MacKenzie opened the scoring for the Wildcat Blood, breaking a long run of 35 yards for a touchdown. With the 2 point conversion attempt unsuccessful the score stands at 22-6.
In response, Pyper connected with Cameron Payne for a 30 yard reception. Cameron Robertson converted the drive with a 15 yard touchdown pass to Payne to take the score to 28-6 with five seconds left in the half. Despite two hail mary attempts by the Wildcat Blood that was how the score stayed at the half.
On the first drive of the second half, Stig McArthur intercepted Euan Crawford who was hit by Mcmeechan just as the pass was released. For the first time in the game though, the Wildcat Blood defense stopped the Gold from scoring to keep the score 28-6.
Encouraged by the defensive stop, Seamus Ross gave the Wildcat Blood more hope by running the length of the field for a touchdown. The 2 point conversion was unsuccessful after pressure from Mcmeechan and a tackle from Pyper which left the score 28-12.
Wildcat Gold responded with a pair of good runs from Pyper of 25 yards and a touchdown scoring 18 yards. Mcmeechan converted the touchdown with a 2 point reception from Cameron Robertson. The Wildcat Gold now lead by 36-12.
On the next drive the Wildcat Gold extended their lead with a defensive touchdown when Stephen Mcmeechan recovered a fumble in the Wildcat Blood endzone. After the unsuccessful 2 point conversion attempt the score was 42-12.
Needing to respond to these scores, the Wildcat Blood ran a play where Seamus Ross connected with Euan Crawford for a coast to coast touchdown reception to take the score up to 42-18.
The Wildcat Gold weren’t quite finished yet with time for two more scores to finished the game. Mark Pyper scored on a 16 yard reception with Cameron Payne scoring the extra point to take the score to 49-18. Alasdair Howie then scored with a fumble recovery return for a touchdown. Stephen Mcmeechan converted the two point attempt to end the game 55-18.
EXTRA GAME TIME…
10 more minutes was played with Stig McArthur switching sides from the Gold to the Blood with Jerome Hall going the other way. But this change didn’t stop the pattern of play with Stephen McMeechan forcing a fumble in the endzone and Mark Pyper recovering it for a touchdown. After an unsuccessful 2 point conversion the Gold were 6-0 up.
On the very next drive the Gold continued their good play with Fergus Macrae recovering a fumble to hand the ball back to the Gold offense. Pyper turned the turnover into points with a 10 yard touchdown rush and then caught a pass to add two more points to take the tally up to 14-0.
Seamus Ross responded on the next drive breaking another long run for a touchdown to score from 44 yards out to take the score to 14-6. Mark Pyper continued his impressive day with a 20 yard run on the next drive, but the Blood defense stopped the Gold offense from scoring with a Stig McArthur interception in the endzone.
Fergus MacKenzie started the next drive with a strong 13 yard rush on the next play to give the Blood hope of a comeback. Mark Pyper batted the ball down to stop a sure touchdown for Euan Crawford. Despite this disappointment, Eaun Crawford threw a 14 yard touchdown pass to Euan Trommino to bring the Blood within two points.
Mark Pyper had the last laugh though when he intercepted the two point attempt and ran it all the way back to extend the Gold lead to the final score of 16-12.
Article by Martin MacPherson…