Pateros players tackle Dillon McCullough (43) after a long gain. (Joel Harding photo)
By Joel Harding
Empire Press Correspondent
The Pateros football team drove down the field successfully several times more than Waterville as they defeated the Shockers 36-20 at Kellen Biggar Field on Sept. 25. Although the Shockers crossed the Pateros goal to take the early lead by a score of 8-0, the Billygoats came right back with two scores to take a lead they didn’t relinquish. While Waterville played Pateros evenly for most of the game, a few long touchdowns by the Billygoats resulted in another mark in the loss column for the Shockers.
Dillon McCullough was the workhorse on the first Waterville drive. He burst through the Pateros line for three long runs. Shocker quarterback Nolan Ruud also hit freshman Cole Koenig for a 15-yard pass to start the drive and connected with Lakin Thomsen for the touchdown. McCullough popped through the Pateros line for the two-point conversion. Thomsen robbed the Billygoats of a two-point conversion when he sacked Pateros’ Jeremy Piechalski behind the line of scrimmage after the next Billygoat touchdown.
Waterville struggled with turnovers the entire evening and the second Pateros score followed a Waterville fumble. In the second quarter, after another long touchdown run by Pateros, Waterville gained possession on its 40-yard line. Two runs by McCullough gave the Shockers a first down inside the Billygoat 30-yard line. Ruud hit Tyler Tollackson for a 20-yard gain. McCullough ran several times for short gains. On fourth down and eight, Ruud passed to Thomsen over the middle for a touchdown. The conversion failed and the score was 18-14 in favor of Pateros. On the touchdown play, a Billygoat was injured. After a lengthy delay, the Pateros player was taken from the field by ambulance.
The last Waterville touchdown came on several passes and a 12-yard run by Koenig. The series began with a 30-yard pass from Ruud to Thomsen. Then another pass to Thomsen for a dozen yards. From 20 yards out, Ruud hit Johnny Mullan with a 15-yard strike, then Mullan sidestepped a Billygoat to go into the end zone untouched.
On the next series of downs, the Shockers got good defensive performances from two freshmen. Angel Lucero stopped a Pateros runner cold at the line of scrimmage. On the next play, Colin Poppie burst through the Billygoat line and dropped Piechalski for an eight-yard loss.
Waterville will have a bye on Oct. 2 and will face the Liberty Bell Mountain Lions in the homecoming game Oct. 9.