Football / November 3, 2019 By Kasey McDowell
It was all green and white last Friday as the Mulvane Wildcats hosted on the Independence Bulldogs in the first round of the 4A State Playoffs. The Cats dominated the Bulldogs in all facets of the game and came away with a 47-14 victory.
Mulvane got on the scoreboard at the 5:52 mark of the first quarter on a 1 yard touchdown run by senior Cole Diffenbaugh that was set up after a beautiful 43 yard pass and catch from sophomore Hunter Seier to Diffenbaugh two plays before. Freshman Chase Dieker's PAT kick was good. After a couple of back and forth punts by both teams, sophomore Mason Ellis picked off Brayden Coller's pass at the 2:08 mark and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown (Dieker PAT good). The Mulvane defense held the Bulldogs to just 2 yards of offense in the first quarter.
Senior Julian Whetzel would tack on 3 points at the 4:43 mark of the second quarter with a 24 yard field goal. Sophomore Hunter Seier cracked the end zone with a 4 yard run at the 0:52 mark of the second quarter (Dieker PAT good). The defense came up big again by forcing a punt. The Bulldogs fumbled the punt snap and senior Tyler Lanzrath jumped on the football at the Mulvane 1 yard line. Diffenbaugh ran the next play in for the Mulvane 1 yard TD with just 16 second left in the second quarter. Mulvane went into halftime with a 31-0 lead and the Mulvane defense holding the Bulldogs to -1 yards in the second quarter and 1 yard total in the first half.
The Cats would strike quickly again in the third quarter as junior Tanner Claar broke loose for a 47 yard TD run at the 10:54 mark (Whetzel PAT good). Wildcats special teams and defense would come up big again as Claar's punt was downed at the 1 yard line, pinning the Bulldogs deep in their own territory. Two plays later, seniors Trey Greer and Jaxen Young tackled Trevor Rinne in the end zone for a safety at the 5:28 mark. Senior CJ Johnson would add another score on the ensuing possession with a 16 yard TD run around the left end at the 4:25 mark of the third quarter (Whetzel PAT good).
At this point in the game, the Mulvane defense has held the Bulldogs to a net total of 0 yards and with a 47 point lead, the running clock rule come into play. Independence would add a couple of late scores in the game but the Wildcats would grab the win 47-14.
Tanner Claar led the Cats on the ground with 85 yards rushing and 1 TD and Diffenbaugh finished with 57 yards and 2 TDs. Sophomore Keaton Herd added 41 yards and CJ Johnson had 17 yards and 1 TD. Seier finished with 9 yards and 1 TD as well. Seier and Ellis shared quarterback duties and Seier finished with 90 yards passing on 5 completions out of 11 attempts. Ellis finished with 10 yards on 1 completion out of 5 attempts. Diffenbaugh finished with 63 yards on 2 receptions and senior Jacob Lozano, junior Canon Smith, Tyler Lanzrath, and Mason Ellis each had one reception for 19, 10, 5, and 3 yards respectively.
Coach Nelson's defense was very impressive this game and held the Bulldogs to 0 yards until late in the 3rd quarter. The Dogs would end the game with 115 yards total (66 rush / 49 pass). Trey Greer led the Wildcats in tackles with 10 followed by Jaxen Young with 7, and Lanzrath and senior Caleb Mader with 4 tackles each. Lanzrath had Mulvane's only sack of the game. Greer, Young, Lanzrath, Mader, Bryson Williams, and Diffenbaugh all had tackles for loss. Ellis had the one interception for the defense which he returned for a touchdown.
Complete game stats can be found here.
Mulvane will travel to Buhler next Friday, November 8th for a rematch with the Crusaders. Game time at 7:00 PM.
Photo Creds: Greg Proctor