After four grueling losses to open the season, the Hannan Wildcats turned things around in a big way with its first win of the season, claiming a 36-6 triumph over Burch Friday night in Delbarton.
Not only does Friday’s win snap a five-game losing streak for the Wildcats (1-4) dating back to a 12-6 win over Montcalm in the next-to-last game of 2007, but the win also gives Hannan its first road victory in nearly 15 years dating back to the 1993 season.
The win also avenges a 50-12 loss at the hands of the Bulldogs (0-5) the last time the two teams met back in 2005 — also the last time Burch won a ballgame.
Hannan was able to steal the big win thanks to an outstanding outing on both sides of the ball as the Wildcats put up the most points it has seen since hanging 38 on Montcalm six years ago.
The Wildcats racked up 439 yards of offense for a whopping 8.4 yards per play — by far the most yardage the team has seen in years — as both Robert Worth and Joe Kelly eclipsed the 100-yard mark. Worth rushed for 118 yards and Kelly had 112 yards in the victory.
Patrick Flora tacked on 82 yards, Jacob Taylor had 60 yards and Andy Sowards rounded out the incredible night with five yards on the ground.
While the offense put up some big numbers, Hannan’s defensive unit also stepped up big Friday night — a tall task for a team with less than 20 players on the sideline.
Hannan opened the big night with a 45-yard touchdown run by Jacob Taylor to give the Wildcats an 8-0 lead. The Blue and Gold then made it 16-0 when the Wildcats turned an intercepted pass into a score as Taylor found Flora for a 12-yard pitch and catch and Worth tacked on the two-point conversion for the early lead.
Taylor then came up big again for the visitors when he returned the ensuing Burch punt into a 60-yard touchdown to put the Wildcats on top 24-0 where the score would stand at the half.
In the second half the Wildcats continued to roll as Hannan tacked on two more scores, the final coming on a 10-yard Worth TD run to cap the scoring at 36-6.
Burch scored its lone touchdown with 9:38 remaining in the fourth quarter when Trevor Wollum completed a big 40-yard pass and Vinson finished it off with a five-yard touchdown run.
With the victory Hannan pushes its points per game average up to 14.8 as the Wildcats already have 74 points on the season — 24 more than they recorded during the entire 2007 campaign.
Friday’s victory will give Hannan plenty of confidence heading into the second half of the 2008 season with a matchup against Point Pleasant’s junior varsity squad up on the schedule on Saturday, October 4.
Hannan’s originally scheduled game against Matewan next Friday has been canceled and replaced with the game against Point.