Outlaws getting stronger on gridiron
Last updated 10/6/2021 at Noon
The Outlaws football squad continued to improve this past week, putting up 18 points at home against Junction City. Though the Outlaws fell 27-18, coaches were pleased with their defensive play and their execution on both sides of the ball.
Sisters hit the field ready and were excited to play in front of their home crowd. Teams battled through the first quarter but neither was able to score.
In the second period, Griffin Gardner rushed for a touchdown, but the Tigers were able to score and get the extra point to edge the Outlaws by one, 7-6, to close out the first half.
Wyatt Maffey scored a six-yard touchdown on a pass from Gardner in the third quarter, but unfortunately the Tigers also put up six points to hold on to their slim one-point lead to close out the period.
Maffey scored one last time in the final quarter on a three-yard rushing TD. Junction City added 14 points in the quarter to beat the Outlaws by nine.
Coach Clayton Hall told The Nugget that the Outlaws offensive line did a good job blocking against a big and athletic defense inside the box.
Quarterback Griffin Gardner threw the ball well, despite heavy pressure from the big Tigers front. Gardner went 7-for-16 for 198 yards passing and had four carries for 15 yards.
Maffey ran the ball well and had two touchdowns on the night, one rushing and one receiving. He had two receptions for 90 yards, and 20 carries for 65 yards rushing.
Josh Buettner made some big catches in crucial parts of the contest, which kept the Outlaws offense on the field. Josh finished the night with two receptions for 50 yards.
Riley Sellers and Jamen Schwartz also got in on the action with big pass plays on third and fourth downs. Sellers had one reception for 34 yards, and Schwartz had one reception for 10 yards.
Adam Maddox-Castle had one reception for five yards, and five carries for 12 yards rushing.
Defensive Coordinator Hayden Hudson had praise for the Outlaws defense.
“Our defense played well, and did a good job group-tackling and containing the Junction City run game,” said Hudson. “The team’s pass defense was outstanding, forcing the quarterback to scramble on most occasions.”
Wyatt Maffey led the Outlaws in tackles, and Gardner and Torin Greaney followed. Maddox-Castle forced a fumble early in the game, and deflected a pass near the end zone to end the first half.
“I was very pleased with how our boys competed and played against Junction City,” said Hall. “Even though the score was in favor of the other team, our boys are starting to play football in a more physical manner. We are beginning to execute on both offense and defense and we are getting the right players in the right spots on the field.
“We intend to build upon the success of this game this next week and go into Pleasant Hill ready to play. Our boys are hungry for a victory and we are improving each week.”
Hall commented on his group of seniors, who were honored at the home contest. Seniors included Sean Alvarez, Josh Buettner, Austin Ekern, Griffin Gardner, Eli Johnson, Wyatt Maffey, Jamen Schwartz, and Riley Sellers.
“We are going to miss these great young men,” said Hall.
“They have been very dedicated to our program throughout the summer and for many of them, all four years of high school.
They are the ones who are creating the culture in our football program and helping us turn the corner to get to the next level.
They have also endured playing football during a pandemic the past two seasons, which says a lot about their character and dedication to our program.
I am proud of their resilience and their willingness to battle through difficult situations on and off the field.
These lessons developed through football and athletics will serve them well throughout their lives when they one day become husbands/fathers, in their careers, and through their life pursuits.
It has been an honor to coach these seniors and I look forward to helping them finish their senior season strong.”
The Outlaws will hit the road on Friday, October 8, for a game against Pleasant Hill.