NEW LONDON — In a close game against Watertown-Mayer on Friday, the Wildcats scored first, but left with a 24-21 loss.
NLS endured a back-and-forth battle against the Royals.
“It could have gone either way, kind of like whoever had the ball last was going to win,” NLS head coach Chad Gustafson said. “I like that we didn’t give up. We’re certainly disappointed in the outcome, but not the kids’ efforts.”
The Wildcats’ fan base came out in full swing on Friday. The student section filled to capacity with fans both in the stands and surrounding Pederson Field.
The Wildcats’ defense locked down the Royals offense early, nearly obtaining a sack in the first quarter.
NLS scored the first points of the game with senior quarterback Kyle Doty connecting with senior receiver Peyton Coahran for a 10-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Watertown-Mayer swiftly answered back by pounding the ball down the field and scoring a 18-yard passing touchdown. The Royals went on to take the lead with a field goal, heading into the half with a 10-7 lead.
In the second half, the Royals scored a 67-yard passing touchdown to take a 17-7 lead over the Wildcats.
NLS began its attempt at making a comeback with Coahran and Doty connecting for a 1-yard touchdown connection, narrowing the gap to three.
In the fourth quarter, the Wildcats completed the comeback with a 15-yard touchdown connection between Doty and Brycen Christensen, taking a 21-17 lead.
In the closing minutes of play, the Royals re-took the lead with a 1-yard touchdown run and successfully prevented NLS from scoring, earning the 24-21 victory.
Doty completed 17 of 32 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns.
Christensen led the Wildcats with seven receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown. Gabe Rohman had six receptions for 82 yards. Coahran had 44 yards on four catches with two TDs.
NLS battles Holy Family Catholic at 7 p.m. next Friday at Victoria.
NLS and Watertown-Mayer both received votes in the Class AAA poll this week.
W-M 24, NLS 21
W-M (2-0) 0 10 7 7 — 24
NLS (1-1) 0 7 7 0 — 21
First downs: N/A … Penalties: N/A … Rushing (Individual and team): Connor Rothwell 10-30, Brody Lien 7-25, Christensen 4-10 … Passing (Individual and team): Kyle Doty 17-32-0 249 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Mason Delzer 7-107, Gabe Rohman 6-82, Coahran 4-44, Doty 1-28, Lien 1-15 … Interceptions: N/A … Fumble recoveries: N/A … Tackles (solo-assist): Gavin Degner 14-½, Sam Gabrielson 6-0, Rothwell 4-0, Brandyn Anderson 4-0 … QB sacks: N/A