Neosho Youth Football teams welcomed Seneca and Kickapoo for eight games Saturday at historic Bob Anderson Stadium.
Neosho Gold teams were originally slated for a bye week, but the Wildcats managed to get Kickapoo on the schedule before the season even started.
In Week 4, Neosho Gold teams host Lamar and Neosho Black squads travel a short distance in Newton County to play East Newton.
All teams in the Southwest Conference pass the halfway point of the regular season.
Seneca 40, Neosho Black 16
Neosho Black had a few highlights against Newton County rival Seneca, but they were not enough in what turned out to be a track meet at Bob Anderson a few months before the beginning of track.
Cordell Washington again turned in a standout performance — he threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to Kaiden Asberry, rushed for 101 yards and one TD (plus a conversion) on 12 carries, and made five tackles on the defensive side.
Lathan Cote completed a five-yard pass to Brody Mitchell, Keisean Rhone added seven yards rushing on three carries, Mitchell tallied three yards and one conversion on one carry, and Conner Reiboldt had two yards on a single carry.
Everson Tomlinson led the defense with an outstanding effort — eight tackles, one quarterback sack, and one forced fumble. Mitchell and Barrett Henson each joined Washington in making five tackles. Curtis Jackson and Jarrod Ganoung each made three stops, the group of Tanner Miller, Matthew Workman, Asberry, Conner Colston, Rhone, and Connell Ullom each had two, and the quartet of Reiboldt, Pierce Newcomb, Shane England, and Isaac Boes made one each.
Neosho Gold 14, Kickapoo 0
The unbeaten young Wildcats continued their defensive dominance with their second shutout in three games and they played their first game this season at Bob Anderson. The only TD scored against Neosho Gold sixth grade came on special teams.
Brett Meyer and Brody Crane each led the way with seven tackles, Dayton Kivett five, Chase Kivett and Virgil Rosiere three each, Preston Rash-Hood and Ethan Crandall two each, and Kort Lawson and Jaden Rice one each.
Where the young Wildcats earned their money defensively was in takeaways —three interceptions and one fumble recovery. Crane returned his interception for a touchdown and Donnie Burton and Dayton Kivett each added interceptions. Brandon Bartholomew came up with the fumble recovery.
Wade Bowers scored the other Neosho TD and he led the way with 43 yards on six carries. Dayton Kivett added 19 yards on four carries, Lawson 18 yards on four carries, Carter Howard 14 yards on four carries, John Chew nine yards on two carries, Parker Wilson seven yards on two carries, and Oliver Martin seven yards on three carries.
Martin and Rosiere connected on a three-yard pass.
Neosho Black 8, Seneca 6
The young Wildcats trailed their Newton County rival 6-0 before Mason Spiva scored on a 10-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion run with five seconds remaining in regulation, giving Neosho Black a thrilling victory.
The offensive line of Andre McCamish, Connor Hay, Connor Pace, Cole Rinehart, Jason Smith, and Ryan Counts provided enough room for Neosho Black to come out ahead on the scoreboard.
Wyatt Woodward finished with 35 rushing, 14 receiving, and 15 return yards. Blayne Patterson rushed for 27 yards, Spiva 20, and Nate McAfee 16.
Neosho Black’s defense proved just as tough as Seneca: Spiva led with seven tackles, Woodward and McAfee each made six, Counts five, Huck Spires four, the quintet of Drew Weelborg, Cale Vandorn, Kelton Shaffer, Jackson Weber, and Aiden McCrory three each, Grant Walthall two, and Spencer Long, Jeremiah Hayes, and Zachary Blevins one each.
Neosho Gold 24, Kickapoo 6
With offense and defense working in tandem, Neosho Gold proved solid gold against Kickapoo.
Phoenix Rhatigan rushed for 62 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. Colby McGehee produced 65 yards and a pair of conversions on 10 carries. Lincoln Howard added 46 yards and one TD on five carries. Mick Wilder rushed for 12 yards on two carries, Kaiden Welsh five yards on two carries, and Jaxon Ertyl four yards and one conversion on a single carry. Reaghan Mace caught an eight-yard pass.
McGehee led the defense with nine tackles, Cayden Ward recorded eight tackles and 1 1/2 quarterback sacks, and Wilder added three stops. Ertyl took up the other 1/2 on one of the sacks.
The young Wildcats had 10 more players contribute tackles: Rhatigan, Jacoby Gonzalez, Mace, and Carter Jobe each made two and Layne Barbee, Landon Morrison, Kaiden Harris, Howard, Welsh, and Tucker Feagans one each.
Neosho Gold 20, Kickapoo 12
Neosho Gold came through with an eight-point victory thanks to a defense that played very well aside from a pair of broken plays that produced more than 60 yards on each play and blockers that created holes and space for ball carriers.
Dane Arthur rushed for 121 yards and two scores on 20 carries, caught two passes for 55 yards, and completed two passes for 55 yards.
Cohen Depoe gained 67 yards and scored a two-point conversion on 12 carries and connected with Arthur twice for 55 yards.
Kort Lawson added one yard on a single carry, but he proved vital with his blocking. Kaide Sikes finished with four yards and one TD on four carries and completed two passes for 22 yards.
The young Wildcats did not have any exchange issues, an improvement from the previous week against Nevada, according to Coach Lawson.
Kickapoo 24, Neosho Gold 6
Logan Hurn put together a solid game in a losing effort for Neosho Gold — 115 yards and Neosho Gold’s lone touchdown on 13 carries and three quarterback sacks on the defensive side.
T.J. Ellis rushed for 17 yards on five carries and he completed a 10-yard pass to Isaac Abernathy. Layvin Heathman added 21 yards on eight carries, Braiden Ruffo nine yards on three carries, Reese French three yards on a single carry, and Connor Oxford one yard on one carry. Abernathy rushed for five yards on five carries.
French and Lochlan Paul each made two tackles and Tobin Sinclair-hall, Ruffo, and Abernathy each added one tackle.