DeSoto rolls past Paola

By Sean Kosednar PrepsKC Staff Writer
Posted: September 23, 2017 - 2:02 AM


Anyone who checks the Paola vs DeSoto boxscore from Friday, September 22 won’t have any clue how close the game actually was. Paola forced multiple turnovers, recovered an onside kick and ran over 10 plays inside the the 10. As they say, close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades.

Things got off to a good start for the Wildcats, senior running back Darren Winans took the option pitch 51 yards on the first play of their second drive.

“Typically our offense is slow getting going,” DeSoto head coach Brian King said, “so for them to come out how the came out was huge. The adjustments Paola made slowed us down in the first half, so its good we came out like that early.”

Things looked to be well in hand when DeSoto scored to end the first quarter and then ran a fumble back to open the second quarter and go up 19-0. 

A fumble inside their own 10, however, would set the the Panthers up for a short two yard touchdown. This wouldn’t be the last time Paola found themselves deep in DeSoto territory. 

A long DeSoto drive looked to be stopped, but a roughing the kicker penalty extended the drive for the Wildcats. To add insult to injury the 47 yard field goal wasn’t even close to going in. DeSoto would capitalize and score another touchdown on the ground extending their lead to 26-7.

Paola didn’t quit.

“We knew coming into this game we would learn a lot about ourselves,” Paola head coach Mike Dumpert said. “What I found out about our team is that we got some character.”

The Panthers moved quickly down the field. After multiple personal foul penalties on DeSoto the Panthers were on the one yard line with under a minute left. They were stopped on four straight plays and the half ran out. 

The second half started the same way the first ended. 

Paola was once again inside the 5. 

Once again the were stopped on fourth down.

“[DeSoto’s] kids are so big that when they pinch they occupy two linemen and it is really difficult to get to the second level,” Dumpert said. “I would love to play linebacker for DeSoto you don't get blocked all day.”

Paola would pull back a touchdown on a 15 yard pass to Corbin Gant at the end of the third quarter cutting the lead to 26-14.

Then it was the Trevor Watts show.

Immediately after the touchdown Paola recovered a surprise onside kick. They were forced to punt and pinned the Wildcats deep. With Paola’s momentum growing it was time for a big play. Watts ran right by his man, Bryce Mohl hit him in stride and 89 yards later Watts was gone. 

“Trevor Watts is an electric player,” King said. “Give him space and he will make some plays. If you don't give him space you better wrap up.”

Paola should have listened to the last part. Early in the fourth quarter Watts struck again.

“I got the pitch,” Watts begins as he diagrams his 36 yard touchdown, “I saw the defensive back coming down and I thought my guy would get the block, but he didn’t. I decided to go outside. They tried to force me out, but I didn't want to go down, so I tip toed down the sideline. Saw them flying over the top so I got back and it was wide-open from there.”

 After all that Watts put DeSoto up 40-14. 

Friday, September 29 DeSoto travels to Nevada High School, and Paola welcomes Eudora