Three Rivers’ trip to Coloma Friday resulted in a feeding frenzy for the Wildcats in a 42-17 Wolverine Conference West Division victory. Head coach J.J. Wagner’s squad made full use of the tune-up before getting into the meat of its schedule.
After having built a 35-3 halftime lead, Three Rivers (3-1) flipped on the cruise control the rest of the way. And that’s one of the few things Wagner wasn’t pleased with after the program’s divisional opener.
“Our team played a good first half and I thought kind of came out flat in the second half,” he said. “I don’t want to say it’s natural, but it’s unacceptable. We can’t do that against good teams. From a coaching standpoint, you don’t want that.”
From a confidence standpoint, the Wildcats must be feeling pretty good nearly halfway through the regular season. The offense put up 388 yards and the defense surrendered 266 hollow yards to the Comets (1-3).
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Senior quarterback Alex Cottingham zinged touchdown passes of 55 and 59 yards to Kyle Walczak in the first quarter, sandwiching a 36-yard TD run by Ray King. Cottingham finished a sterling 11-of-13 passing for 199 yards and three scores without an interception. Walczak ended the night with five catches for 169 yards and three scores.
Edwardsburg, Dowagiac and Three Rivers are now all 1-0 in the West Division, and the Wildcats host Edwardsburg next Friday. Trips to Berrien Springs and Dowagiac loom next.
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“The effort was there and our kids played hard,” Wagner said. “We had some penalties that we’re going to have to eliminate for next week against Edwardsburg, but the effort was there. We just need to execute better and eliminate some of those mistakes we keep making. We know, and the kids do, too, that we have a lot of work to do.”