It has been a very tough week in Canadian, TX. On Wednesday evening, Senior Captain Ty Morrow’s father was tragically killed in an automobile accident. Morrow decided to play the game, as reported on the radio, because that is what his Dad would have wanted.
This evening, The Wildcats traveled to play their traditional Panhandle rival, Perryton. The Rangers entered the evening holding a 37-20-3 advantage in this series that goes all the way back to 1920. Perryton also has a 3-1 advantage in enrollment over the Class 1 Wildcats. Down by 12 at the half, Canadian scored 20 consecutive points to open the third quarter before the Rangers responded with the game’s last 9 points, culminated by a 25 yard field goal, pulling out a thrilling 34-33 win.
It will be an emotional week ahead for the Wildcats. A funeral of a father of a teammate, who many commented was one of Canadian football’s biggest boosters, will have to be endured. The tough loss tonight on the football field will be secondary. It is often said the one of the main values of high school athletics is that it teaches young people to deal with adversity. Coach Koetting and his staff will now have to deal with a level of adversity that none two weeks ago would have ever envisioned, but when a steady hand of adult leadership is needed, the mourning Canadian community can take solace in that their young people are in good hands. I expect the entire community of Canadian, as small towns will do when tragedy strikes, to circle the wagons around their boys. It would be a mistake, as many of the state pundits are already doing, to write this team off. Next week the Wildcats will play their third consecutive road game as they travel to Sanford Fritch.
Linton, ND notched a big homecoming win over Milnor, the team that ruined their undefeated season last year with a playoff upset, 14-7. A third quarter TD gave the Lions the lead and a stout defense, as they did last week, rebuffed a late 4th quarter drive deep into Linton territory, to seal a big regional win. Linton has now knocked off the two teams picked behind them in the Regional Pre-Season coach’s poll. Next week the Lions will hit the road and travel to Fargo to take on Oak Grove Lutheran.
McCook, NE made the four hours bus ride to Alliance to take on undefeated and up and coming Bulldog team. The Bison trailed 20-17 with 8 minutes left in the game, but rallied to pull away for a 31-20 win. Coach Gross’ team, coming off an emotional double overtime win last week over Aurora, showed a great deal of poise, not taking lightly a team they have dominated for many years. Off to a 3-0 start, the Bison on the road again next week as they travel to Gering.