GARRETT — The Wildcats’ season hit the end of the road, or railroad for that matter, Friday night at Garrett.
After heading into the locker room with a 14-all tie at halftime, Garrett stand-out Todd Frickey scored four touchdowns in the second half to propel the Railroaders into the sectional finals, 42-14.
“We’ve always been a second half team,” Garrett Head Coach Ron Frickey, Todd’s father and former long-time Columbia City head football coach said.
Whitko knew coming into the game that it needed to stop Garrett’s rushing stand-out in order to move on to next week’s sectional title game.
The ’Cats defense held Frickey to only nine yards on six carries in the first half.
But Frickey wasn’t non-existent. Whitko Coach Wayne Swender said the the Railroader’s defensive effort cost the Wildcats several scoring opportunities in the first half.
“He was very solid defensively in the first half,” Swender said. “He just broke loose offensively in the second.”
That he did.
Frickey finished the game with 135 yards.
“We knew he was going to be fast,” Swender said.
Frickey wasn’t the only quick Railroader, with Brandon Porter also adding two TDs in the first half.
Both Porter and Frickey averaged over ten yards per carry.
Porter’s debut began from the opening kickoff.
The Railroaders scored off the opening kickoff with a return by Porter, who amassed 277 total yards between rushing, receiving and special teams.
Whitko answered with an 80-yard touchdown pass to Connor Stouder. Stouder went two-for-four in receiving.
Coming off two interceptions last week, Lucky Winters caught a Garrett pass in the end zone in an unsuccessful attempt at a comeback just before halftime.
Porter answered with a 63-yard TD sprint down the left side of the field.
Whitko’s 3-yard touchdown run by Austin Mort would be the last time the Wildcats found the end zone.
Garrett’s speed took advantage of the ’Cats defense in the second half to score four touchdowns.
“Their speed really hurt us in the second half,” Swender said. “They have a very fast backfield.”
Frickey said the coaches made a few adjustments in the offensive line at halftime.
“We put our kids in a position to be successful,” Frickey said.
The Railroaders came prepared for Whitko’s running game, holding the ’Cats to less than 100 yards rushing.
“Our run defense was very good tonight,” Frickey said.
Garrett held Whitko quarterback Alex Stoddard to 1.5 yards per rush, less than half of his season average.
“We knew we had to stop Stoddard to win,” Frickey said. “When they needed a yard, he got it for them. He’s a very good athlete.
Stoddard had the most rushes with 13.
Stoddard’s primary receiver, Derek Snep, fell out of the game early with a possible concussion in his final football game as a Wildcat.
Fellow senior and defensive stand-out Austin Striggle was also injured late in the game with a possible broken ankle.
Despite missing the end of the game, Striggle added six tackles and two tackles for losses.
Whitko ends its season 6-5.