Laporte’s football season came to an end Oct. 22 as No. 1 seed Win-E-Mac scored eight touchdowns in the first half on their way to an easy 65-6 win.
But the Wildcats have a lot to be happy about. After getting their first win in 14 years to end the regular season, Laporte only says goodbye to seniors Chris McDougall and Vinnie Taviana, as a mix of freshman through juniors are expected to be back next season.
In the playoff game played in cold and windy weather, Laporte started a half-dozen freshmen as two key starters were out with injuries. Junior receiver and defensive back Devon Lafriniere and freshman running back and linebacker Caleb Howg were unable to play.
Their absence hurt Laporte on both sides of the ball. The Patriots, who beat Park Christian 40-0 Saturday in their second playoff game, executed on nearly every play as they scored three touchdowns in first quarter and five more in the second to take control 57-0.
Coach AJ Dombeck said the second half was much different. “The guys came out with new energy. Our offense on our first drive and the defense played with more intensity.”
Laporte took the opening drive of the second half and marched 70 yards, scoring on Gibson Smith’s 12-yard run. The junior finished the game with 126 yards on 19 carries, and had three returns for 42 yards.
Wyatt Johannsen, who went out with an injury in the fourth quarter, rushed for 24 yards on nine carries. Noah Reimer had one carry for 16 yards and Isaiah Johnson two for six yards. Johnson also completed 3-16 passes for 29 yards with one interception, which was Laporte’s only turnover as they recovered both of their own fumbles.
Reimer caught one pass for 14 yards, McDougall one for 11 and Smith the third one for four yards.
On the defensive side, Smith intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble and also an on-side kick that was perfectly executed by him and McDougall on the ensuing kickoff after Smith scored a touchdown.
Justin Clyde led with eight tackles, Smith finished with six, while Kian Hagen, McDougall and Reimer each had four.