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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Wildcats bolt past Blazers in Homecoming win

Junior+John+Jernell+and+sophomore+running+back+Dylan+Byrd+celebrate+scoring+a+touchdown+against+the+Blair+Blazers.+Byrd+has+been+a+key+player+for+the+Wildcats+offense+this+season.
Photo by Ely Snow
Junior John Jernell and sophomore running back Dylan Byrd celebrate scoring a touchdown against the Blair Blazers. Byrd has been a key player for the Wildcats offense this season.

The Wildcats took on the Blair Blazers in their Homecoming matchup Friday, Oct. 6 as football cruised to their sixth win of the season. The historical season for the Cats continued as they improved to 6-0 for the first time in the program’s existence.

The Cats have found a rhythm in these games as they have started out strongly, with the team setting the tone on offense every week with early points on the board. With outstanding rushes from sophomore quarterback Jake Forburger, the Wildcats marched down to the one yard line. Fellow sophomore, star running back Dylan Byrd battered through the line for the touchdown, putting the Cats in front 7-0. Forburger made his first start of the season as previous starter, senior Charlie Blessing, was out due to injury.

The Wildcats defense on the other hand didn’t jump out to the start they had hoped to, as Blair junior wide receiver EJ Boyd took a jet sweep 69 yards to the house. With the failed two-point conversion by the Blazers the Cats still had the advantage at 7-6. The Blazers score didn’t put a break to the offense as the Cats responded with a 60 yard rush from Forburger, setting up a touchdown snag from senior Thomas Pitsenberger. The Blazers then again responded with a touchdown while also scoring on the two-point conversion, which left the game tied, 14-14.

To keep the Wildcats offense rolling, the team needed another jolt of energy. Senior wide receiver Daniel Kenvo took a kickoff return 85 yards down to the Blazers 10 yard line. Forburger’s quarterback sneak attempt at the one yard line resulted in a touchdown to put them up 21-14.

“I saw a gap open up from my teammates, [as] I ran as fast as I could. My legs gave out on me towards the end but [the return] gave us good field position for the touchdown,” Kenvo said.

Scoring again deep in the 2nd quarter was the Forburger to Pitsenberger tandem after garnering some key defensive stops. Pouncing into the half was a confident Wildcats squad while they held a 27-14 lead with junior kicker Seth Stein missing the extra point following the score.

The Cats’ defense, led by defining moments from two junior defensive lineman, proceeded to hold the Blazers scoreless for the rest of the game. Jay Williams had a crucial punt block to set up a touchdown, and Sean Mpanga recovered two fumbles allowing for good field positioning.

“I think the defense playing at the level that we have has taken stress off the offense. It allows for everyone to focus on their job and not worry about the defense [with] the defense working hard all season to keep putting up the performances that we have,” junior defensive lineman Jonny Fisher said.

Forburger continued to shine in his start with another touchdown pass, this time to senior Nick Zampardi. Forburger came into this game with confidence and played like it, combining for four total touchdowns on the night.

“It was a great learning experience for me to go out and play well in one of the biggest games of the year, and in an atmosphere like that. It felt really good to do that around teammates and coaches who trusted me, believed in me and had my back throughout the whole game,” Forburger said.

With three remaining games on the schedule (Wheaton, Sherwood, Churchill) the Wildcats hope to continue their success and finish the season undefeated. They travel to Wheaton (1-5) Friday, Oct. 13 in a matchup that should not be overlooked if the Cats want to keep this undefeated season alive.

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Mateus Bouquet, Print Sports Editor
Junior Mateus Bouquet is extremely excited to get started in his first year with the Pitch as a Sports Editor. Along with writing for the pitch, Mateus is a huge football fan and his weekly mood is based on how the Commanders played.
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