After missing week one with an injury, Hoisington junior Wyatt Pedigo has simply run by his opponents. The state wrestling champ entered Friday’s game against Ellsworth with 596 yards and 10 touchdowns in three games. He added to those totals in a big was as Hoisington pulled away for a 48-14 Homecoming win.
Pedigo opened the night with a 57-yard touchdown run on the first Hoisington play from scrimmage. He converted on some big third and fourth-down runs in the second half and finished another big night with 255 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries.
“Wyatt did a great job,” said Hoisington coach Zach Baird. “We just have to do a better job of getting him into space. That’s probably on us offensively and up front. Once you get him in space, he’s tough to bring down. He can either run you over or make you miss. I thought he played extremely well. The big plays were a big part of it for us tonight offensively.”
After that play the teams played even until Hoisington capped a drive with a 1-yard touchdown run from senior Braxton Donovan. That made the lead 14-0. After a Bearcat punt, Donovan ran 90 yards down the Ellsworth sideline to put the Cards up 20-0.
“We had a long option play back by our own end zone,” Baird said. (Quarterback Derek Boxberger) did a great job, made good reads. We got out on the edge. Any time you’re scoring on long plays, obviously the receivers out on the edge are doing a great job blocking.”
Ellsworth turned to a pass attack to get on the board. After an interception, junior quarterback Morgan Kelley completed eight-straight passes. Senior Grant Gwinner eventually pulled in a 7-yard touchdown catch for a 20-7 score.
The Bearcats were driving late in the half, working the ball all the way inside the Cardinal 5-yard line. With no time outs left and just a dozen ticks left on the clock, Kelley was forced into a passing situation. Hoisington senior Xavier Robinson was there for the interception.
“They definitely had momentum on their side,” said Baird. “For Xavier to step up and make a play like that, that’s definitely a senior leadership-type play. That was huge for us.”
The Cardinals took over from there. Pedigo broke free for a 24-yard touchdown run on the first drive of the second half. Kelley answered with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Gwinner.
Pedigo capped the next Hoisington drive from a yard out, then took the first play from scrimmage on the next Cardinal drive 33 yards to cap his big evening. Donovan added a short touchdown run late in the game. He finished with 118 yards and two scores on 11 touches.
Kelley threw for 224 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions on 17-of-29 passing. He opened the second half with five straight completions but missed on nine of his next 11 throws. Senior Bransen Schulte was the big target all night. He caught 12 balls for 169 yards.
The Cardinals move to 4-1 overall, 2-0 in district play. Ellsworth falls to 1-4 overall, but coach Josh Homolka saw his team turn the corner. “It’s one of the best 48-14 losses I’ve ever been a part of,” he said. “Today they finally set the foundation for the future of this program.”