The Wildcats came up short at home Friday as they fell to the Whitefish Bulldogs 17-14.
The Bulldogs converted a number of key fourth-down plays in the second half on their way to building a 17-7 lead, but the Wildcats fought back and had a chance to win the game late in the fourth quarter. Columbia Falls trailed 17-14 with 20 seconds to play with the ball on the Wildcats’ 20-yard line when a Mason Peters pass intended for Brayeden Stone was picked off by Whitefish’s Jaxson Schulach to end any chace of a comeback.
Whitefish had gotten on the scoreboard first in the second quarter on a two-yard run by quarterback Flynn Ridgeway with 10:43 to play and the Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead into halftime. Columbia Falls tied the game on their second play of the second half with a 55-yard touchdown pass from Peters to Cade Morgan and a PAT kick by Niels Getts.
Whitefish returned the ensuing kickoff to the Wildcat 34 yard line to set up another scoring opportunity. A last-second play on a ball in the end zone by Stone saved a touchdown and Finn Coleman sacked Ridgeway to push the Bulldogs back later in the possession, but Ridgeway found Devin Beale from 13 yards out to put the Bulldogs up 14-7 with 5:20 to play in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs later pushed their lead to 17-7 with a 24-yard field goal by Brian Sweeney with 1:41 remaining in the third.
The Wildcats answered with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Peters to Isaac Balla with 9:55 to play, but Columbia Falls could not complete the comeback.
With the loss, the Wildcats falls to 1-2 this season. They will take on the Loggers in Libby next week.