Moore’s big night helps Wildcats in win over Atchison
Louisburg running back Blue Caplinger tries to avoid an Atchison defender Friday during the Wildcats’ homecoming game at Wildcat Stadium. The Wildcats won the game, 42-7, behind five touchdowns from senior Austin Moore.
Going into Friday’s game, Atchison had hoped to keep Louisburg running back Austin Moore in front of them as much as possible.
Instead, all the Redmen saw was the back of Moore’s jersey.
Moore was unstoppable for the Wildcats as he finished the night with five touchdowns to go along with 222 yards rushing on 24 carries in their 42-7 homecoming win over Atchison at Wildcat Stadium. Not even a little stomach bug could slow him down
“Right after it was all over, (assistant) coach (Jeff) Lohse come up to me and said ‘We are lucky he is on our team,’” Louisburg coach Robert Ebenstein said. “Austin is good. There was one play where he was out there throwing up in his stance, and I asked him if he was fine and then he looked at me like I was stupid. He is as tough as they come and he had a great game.”
The Wildcats continued their perfect season as they ran their record to 6-0, and are joined by Paola as the only Class 4A teams to remain undefeated on the east side of the state. Both teams are vying for the No. 1 seed in the state playoffs.
Louisburg, which totaled 393 yards of total offense, had its way as the Wildcats scored on all but two of their drives.
Moore opened the game with a 20-yard touchdown run to put the Wildcats in front and never looked back.
Senior Blue Caplinger also found the endzone and scored on a 34-yard run to start the second quarter. Caplinger, who was crowned homecoming king before the game, finished with 80 yards on just eight carries and also had a couple long runs that were brought back due to penalties.
The offensive line of Kiefer Tucker, Brayden White, Noah Larson, Cole Williams, Jonathan DePriest and tight end Michael Waldron opened up plenty of holes for Moore and Caplinger to run through and the Wildcats found a lot of success.
“We just kind of took what they gave us,” Ebenstein said. “If you watch film, Atchison completely changed up what they were doing and we were just adapting to them. The guys on the line did a really good job talking it all through and communicated well, and that was big for us.
“Atchison was playing our motion so heavily that we were just cutting it back underneath and Blue was running hard. The best thing about Blue is, that no matter whether he gets the ball or not, he is either going to run his butt off or block his butt off. He is going to do something well.”
Louisburg took a 20-0 lead at halftime, but Atchison cut into the Wildcat lead to start the second half as the Redmen scored on a 55-yard touchdown pass from Braydon Dame to Malakhi Vick.
The Wildcats responded on their very next drive as Moore scored on a 24-yard touchdown run, and then converted the 2-point conversion to put the Wildcats up 28-7. It was more than a enough for a Louisburg win.
“I challenged them a little bit at halftime to come out and play with passion and they did,” Ebenstein said. “If you look at our kids, I think they truly enjoy each other and I am just proud of the way they played together.”
Defensively, the Wildcats more than did their job as they held Atchison to just 140 yards of total offense, 55 of which came on the Redmen’s lone score.
Moore led the Wildcats in tackles with eight from the linebacker spot and Tucker, a defensive lineman, finished with seven. Brayden Gage and Tanner Belcher each recorded second half interceptions to help seal the win.
“I thought the defense did a great job,” Ebenstein said. “It was a good win overall, especially on homecoming and everything that goes along with it. It was a good win too because it was a team that we have never really played before. I think our kids responded well and focused on what they needed to. Atchison kept us from scoring on I think like two drives, including one where we just made too many mistakes. We did a lot of good things out there.”
Louisburg will try to make seven wins in a row Friday when it hosts winless Ottawa for Senior Night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
LOU 7 13 15 7 – 42
ATCH 0 0 7 0 – 7
L: Austin Moore 20 run (Drake Varns kick)
L: Blue Caplinger 34 run (Varns kick)
L: Moore 3 run (kick failed)
A: Malakhi Vick 55 pass from Braydon Dame (Kevin Scott kick)
L: Moore 24 run (Moore run)
L: Moore 34 run (Varns kick)
L: Moore 15 run (Varns kick)
RUSHING – Austin Moore 24-222; Blue Caplinger 8-80; Brayden Gage 5-34
PASSING – Madden Rutherford 5-11-69
RECEIVING – Blue Caplinger 3-42; Michael Waldron 2-27
TACKLES – Austin Moore 8, Kiefer Tucker 7, Jorge LeBron 6, Noah Larson 6, Blue Caplinger 5, Tanner Belcher 5, Brayden White 4, Charlie Koontz 4, Andy Hupp 3, Brian Houck 3, Brayden Gage 2, Michael Waldron 1, Ben Wiedenmann, Dylan Knipp 1, James Foote 1, Hunter Day 1.