By Greg Perkins
The Joseph City Wildcats won their second game in a row last Friday night, a 38-32 home field victory over the NFL YET Academy Eagles.
The Wildcats trailed by four points at the half, but regained the lead in the third and outscored the visitors by two points in the second half to secure the win.
The Cats put up 280 rushing yards and Cameron Baldwin finished with four completions for 89 yards in the air. Jesse Hulsey had one of those catches for 41 yards and a score. Rhett Beard caught one for 25 yards, Latrelle Kinlicheenie had one for 20 and Jay Edwards had a three-yard catch.
Kinlicheenie led the ground attack with 25 carries for 130 yards and a touchdown. Baldwin also eclipsed the century mark, picking up 118 yards and three touchdowns on 21 attempts. Eligh Ashcroft rushed nine times, gaining 32 yards.
Baldwin not only got the job done on offense, he also led the defensive unit with 12 total tackles. Kinlicheenie and Rance Haddox each were credited with six tackles.
The weekend before, the Wildcats balanced their season mark at 1-1 with a road win at Anthem Prep. They built a 32-12 halftime lead and turned that into a 46-38 win.
The Cats fell behind by 12 points in the first period, but Baldwin’s 14-yard rushing touchdown trimmed that lead to 12-8 as Kinlicheenie finished it off with a two- point conversion run. Late in the first quarter Kinlicheenie scored on a five-yard rush and Baldwin tacked on the conversion run, giving the Cats a 16-12 lead.
Baldwin scored again on a one-yard plunge midway through the second, increasing Joseph City’s lead to 22-12. With two minutes left in the half the Cats pushed that margin to 28-12 on a Baldwin to Hulsey 12-yard connection.
Late in the half Joseph City’s defense got in on the act with a 20-yard interception return by Beard, pushing the lead to 34-12 at the half.
Anthem Prep scored early in the third and tacked on another score late in the quarter to pull within one score at 34-26. Inside the final minute of the third Baldwin hooked up with Beard on a 36-yard catch and run, making the lead 40-26. Baldwin moved the lead to 46-26 with a two-yard rushing touchdown midway through the fourth. Anthem Prep added a pair of fourth quarter scores to bring the final count to 46-38.
Baldwin finished the night with an eight of 13 pass completion rate good for 138 yards with two touchdowns and a pick. Beard had four catches for 112 yards and a score. Ashcroft caught three for 32 yards. Edwards had one 13-yard catch, and Hulsey had one grab for 12 yards and a touchdown.
The Wildcats rushed for 222 yards led by Kinlicheenie with 88 yards on 15 attempts. Baldwin carried 17 times for 78 yards. Ashcroft rushed 15 times for 51 yards. Trey Tuckfield carried three times, gaining five yards.
Kinlicheenie also led the defense with seven tackles. Haddox and Baldwin each had five, and Carlos Sanchez finished with four tackles.
The Wildcats will play at Greyhills Academy in Tuba City at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15. The Knights are 1-2 on the season. Joseph City will enter this game at 2-1.