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Wildcats cruise past Ottawa for fifth straight win

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone
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Louisburg junior Justin Collins breaks free for a long run thanks to the help of teammate Garrett Harding (58) on Friday in Ottawa. Both Collins and Charlie Koontz rushed for more than 100 yards in the Wildcats’ 49-7 win.

OTTAWA – It may have been a prelude to one of the biggest games on the Louisburg football schedule, but the Wildcats didn’t gloss over Ottawa.

Louisburg scored 49 unanswered points on the road Friday and left Ottawa with a 49-7 victory. It was the most points the Wildcats had scored all season and it was their biggest margin of victory as they picked up their fifth consecutive win.

“I thought our mental focus was good,” Louisburg coach Robert Ebenstein said. “We had to move some kids around again position-wise the day before the game due to some injuries. I just wanted them to go and out and execute, so I am really proud of them.”

The Wildcats put up all those points without starting running backs Ben Wiedenmann and Kolby Kattau, who were out with injuries and Wiedenmann is the team’s leading rusher on the season.

Despite all that, other Wildcats rose to the occasion and the top of that list was running back Charlie Koontz. The Louisburg senior recorded 174 yards rushing on just six carries and had three touchdowns on the night.

Koontz was joined by junior Justin Collins, who carried the ball six times for 120 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Madden Rutherford also had a big game with three touchdowns, including two of those on the ground.

“It was a lot of fun, and we played well, especially having a couple two-way starters out in Ben and Kolby,” Ebenstein said. “We sat them this game, but our kids came in here and stepped up. Brandon (Doles) had a great game and Charlie got back in there in the backfield and looked pretty comfortable. I don’t think he scored every time he touched the ball, but it was close. It was good to get some guys in that work their butts off on scout team and just watch everyone come together. It was fun.”

Louisburg quarterback Madden Rutherford goes over the goal line for one his three touchdowns on the night.

Louisburg scored 42 of its 49 points in the first half as the Wildcats used the ground game to find the endzone on six of the seven scores.

Rutherford led the Wildcats down the field on the team’s opening possession and scored on a 7-yard touchdown run. The Wildcats got the ball right back, and this time, scored through the air as Rutherford found Brandon Doles for a 43-yard touchdown pass down the sideline.

The Wildcats (5-2) got Koontz going on their next possession as he broke free for a 62-yard touchdown to put them up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Koontz did much of the same to start the second quarter as he broke through the Ottawa defense and scored on a 61-yard run. The onslaught continued for Louisburg as it recovered the short kickoff and Koontz later found the endzone for a third time on a 15-yard run.

Senior Michael Waldron made a big play for the defense as he intercepted an Ottawa pass on the Cyclones’ next possession, which set up the Wildcats with a first-and goal. Rutherford then scored on a 5-yard run to put Louisburg up 42-0 at halftime.

Collins sealed the win for the Wildcats in the third quarter as he sprinted past the Ottawa defense for a 61-yard score.

Louisburg sophomore Brandon Doles looks for some running room Friday against Ottawa.

In all, the Wildcats tallied 434 yards of total offense, with 383 of those coming on the ground. The offensive line of seniors Garrett Harding, Brayden White, Ian McGuire, Andrew Krause, freshman Jackson Rooney and Waldron helped pave the way for a lot of those yards.

Defensively, junior linebacker Andy Hupp led the way with 10 tackles and White was a force on the defensive line with nine stops. Rooney finished with seven tackles, while Harding, Doles and Collins had six each.

Louisburg will take its five-game winning streak into Friday’s home game with undefeated Paola. The Wildcats will celebrate Senior Night and hope to take two straight over the Panthers after winning last season’s battle, 25-7.

“It will be fun,” Ebenstein said. “I know Paola is going to be ready to roll and I know they are going to want to get even a little bit for what happened last year. This is what we play football for, and this why we work in the winter and summer is to play these big games against big rival schools. We are looking forward to the opportunity.”

LOU               21           21           7             0 – 49

OTT               0             0             7             0 – 7

SCORING SUMMARY

First quarter

L: Madden Rutherford 7 run (Drake Varns kick)

L: Brandon Doles 43 pass from Rutherford (Varns kick)

L: Charlie Koontz 62 run (Varns kick)

Second quarter

L: Koontz 61 run (Varns kick)

L: Koontz 15 run (Varns kick)

L: Rutherford 5 run (Varns kick)

Third quarter

L: Justin Collins 61 run (Varns kick)

O: Daidrien Aho 6 run (kick good)

STATISTICS

RUSHING – Charlie Koontz 6-174; Justin Collins 6-120; Madden Rutherford 8-54; Brandon Doles 2-9; Andy Hupp 3-5

PASSING – Madden Rutherford 2-7-51

RECEIVING – Brandon Doles 1-43; Weston Guetterman 1-8

TACKLES – Andy Hupp 10, Brayden White 9, Jackson Rooney 7, Brandon Doles 6, Justin Collins 6, Garrett Harding 6, Michael Waldron 5, Charlie Koontz 3, Sam Kratochvil 3, Terrance Foster 3, Aiden Barker 2, Ian McGuire 2, Konnor Vohs 1, Andrew Krause 1.

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