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Dailey Double

Senior RB leads Wildcats over Caldwell, 27-14

Photo by Mike Morrison Waterford’s Holden Dailey (32) goes up to make a catch in traffic during a high school football game against Caldwell Friday. Waterford won, 27-14.

WATERFORD — The Waterford Wildcats celebrated senior night in grand fashion Friday night with a 27-14 win over the visiting Caldwell Redskins.

Wildcat senior tailback Holden Dailey had a huge night in his final regular season home game as he gained 220 yards on 27 carries while scoring three touchdowns to lead the way for Waterford which improved to 6-2 on the season.

Waterford did all of their damage in a span of about 13 minutes after missing out on a couple of golden opportunities in the early going.

The white and green took the opening kickoff and quickly moved the football into Caldwell territory.

The opening Wildcat drive featured four carries in a row by Dailey to start the game and later three pass completions from senior quarterback Grant McCutcheon to senior tight end Jacob Huffman.

The Wildcats moved the ball all the way down to the one-yard line when McCutcheon and Dailey connected on a beautiful 30-yard pass but saw their drive come to an abrupt end when the snap sailed over McCutcheon’s head and Caldwell’s Dylan Wheeler recovered it to give the ball to Caldwell.

Neither team could muster much of a threat throughout much of the opening half as it was played with a steady rain falling.

The Eric McCutcheon-coached Wildcats finally managed to get some points on the board as they put together a long 14-play, 74-yard drive that was completed with just five ticks left on the clock when McCutcheon hit Dailey on a short pass and he forced his way into the end zone.

Gavin Brooker’s extra-point was good and the Wildcats headed to the locker room with a 7-0 lead.

Caldwell got the ball to start the second half and drove down to the Waterford 31-yard line before watching their drive stall to turn the ball over to the ‘Cats on downs.

Waterford came up empty on their first possession of the second half as well and were forced to punt to give the ball right back to the Chance Rucker-coached ‘Skins.

Caldwell gambled and lost and the Wildcats quickly made them pay for it.

The Redskins elected to go for it on fourth-and-six at their own 48 -yard line but quarterback Cale Bender’s pass to Wheeler came up well short to turn the ball back to the home team on downs.

It took Waterford just one play to make the Redskins pay for their aggressiveness as Dailey took the hand-off and broke free right up the middle for a 51-yard touchdown run to give his team a 14-0 lead.

Caldwell answered just as quickly as junior Braxton Dudley returned the ensuing kick-off 75-yards for a touchdown to cut the lead right back to seven at 14-7.

Waterford got great field position to start their next drive after a 15-yard penalty against Caldwell moved the ball into Redskin territory and three-plays later Dailey rambled five-yards for his third touchdown of the game to give the ‘Cats a 21-7 lead.

Waterford added to that lead early in the fourth quarter when McCutcheon hit tight end Landon Flaherty in the flat and the junior raced into the end zone to increase the lead to 27-7.

Caldwell made things a bit interesting when Bender scored on a two-yard touchdown just before lightning flashed in the sky with a bit more than five minutes to play forcing a 30-plus minute delay.

After the lightning delay ended the Wildcats went about their business of finishing things off against the Redskins whose record slides to 4-4 with the loss.

In addition to the 220 yards rushing, Dailey hauled in four passes for 67 yards while Huffman added five receptions for 37 yards.

McCutcheon’s senior night numbers were excellent as well as he completed 12-of-16 pass attempts for 143 yards and the two touchdowns.

Marshal Sayre picked up 71 yards rushing on 16 totes to lead the way for the Redskins while Bender carried the ball 13 times for 45.

Bender completed 7-of-19 passes for 64 yards with Wheeler, Matt Kowalsky and freshman Alex Herlan catching two balls apiece.

The win was a big one for the Wildcats as it keeps them in position to host an opening round playoff game while Caldwell will need a win over Shenandoah and perhaps a little bit of help from some other teams to do the same.

Waterford will close their season out Friday at Belpre.

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