Wildcats beat Kansas foe, set sights on district title showdown at Tonkawa
Ulysses High School in Kansas got a dose of what Oklahoma teams have been dealing with for years.
Cashion rolled up 494 yards of offense in a 34- 13 win over the Tigers at Ranger Field on the campus of Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva.
The game came about when Cashion was left with a void in its schedule after Oklahoma Bible Academy dropped down to eight-man just before the season began.
Ulysses stepped in and the neutral site was secured.
In return, the Tigers got a big serving of Cashion’s run game and an even larger one of the passing attack.
Ben Harman threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns as the Wildcats built a 20-7 halftime lead that swelled to 34-7 after three quarters.
“I thought we played better than the previous two games,” Cashion coach Lynn Shackelford said.
The Wildcats were coming off a bye week but prior to that got 11 and 12-point wins over Oklahoma Christian Academy and Hinton, respectively.
“We were definitely more ready to play,” Shackelford added.
Harman had two primary targets: Landon LaGasse and Mason Manning.
Both caught a long first-quarter touchdown as the Wildcats went up 13-0.
LaGasse’s was the first of the game and covered 63 yards.
Manning followed with a 66-yard grab and score. The Tigers never found an answer in stopping them.
LaGasse eventually caught 11 passes for 137 yards.
Manning’s eight catches netted 158 yards.
He added a 12-yard touchdown in the third quarter as Cashion extended what was already a two-score lead.
That despite Harman throwing a red zone interception and the Wildcats having another touchdown pass called back due to a penalty.
“It really could have been a lot better for us,” Shackelford said.
As Harman softened up the Tigers with the passing game (he was 16 of 22), he and Nick Nabavi punished them on the ground.
Harman added 71 yards on just four carries.
Nabavi, meanwhile, had his number called 21 times.
He responded with 11 yards and scored on a 1-yard run in the first half and a 4-yard run in the second.
Ulysses countered with a single-wing offense.
It produced 246 yards on 54 attempts.
“I thought we were more physical on defense than we had been,” Shackelford said.
“And the guys did a good job of adjusting to what they were running. We don’t see that much.”
Bryce Burke garnered a season-high 15 tackles.
Aiden Williams added nine while Jackson Vandruff and Seth Gilbert had eight tackles apiece.
Cashion is now 7-1 overall and sits at 3-0 in District A-3 games.
The Wildcats play at Tonkawa on Friday in a game that will decide the district champion.
Ulysses, said Shackelford, was a good tune-up for Cashion’s final two foes (Crescent in Week 10), both of which offer strong ground games.
“I think our final two opponents are going to draw a line in the sand and try to see who’s tougher,” he said. “That’s what Ulysses did and it was good to see our guys respond.
“We just have to keep that up.”