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Cactus Bowl Watch Party - December 26, 2017
The 2017 K-State football season is in the books, as the Cats came away with what turned out to be a fairly dominant win over UCLA! Ten faithful alumni and friends turned out at the Richmond Republic Draught House to cheer on the Purple & White. The first half of the game was unsettling as freshman phenom Skylar Thompson was largely kept in check, and the Cats didn’t get on the board until Alex Delton came in during the first quarter and scrambled for a 68-yard QB run to score the game’s first touchdown. UCLA to jumped to a 17-7 lead at the half, but to K-State fans it felt like we were down by 20. The second half was an entirely different story, and it appeared that the patented Snyder halftime adjustment magic was back! The collective advice for the K-State coaches was “run the ball when you’re playing the second worst run-D in the country.” Once they figured that out it was all downhill. The K-State defense quickly stopped the Bruin opening drive, and the Cats worked methodically to get down the field and score. On the next UCLA drive, Denzel Goolsby ripped the ball right out of the Bruin running back’s hands, and Delton engineered a red zone drive that resulted in another 7 on a quick pass to Heath! K-State won the Cactus Bowl 35-17. That’s two bowl wins in two years, and an 8-5 finish to the season!

A big THANK YOU goes out to Richmond Republic for hosting us all season and keeping our table reserved. Thanks for everyone’s support, and GoCATS!

 

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Iowa State Watch Party - November 24, 2017
Bay Area 49ers football lore for last second heroics was known as The Catch by Dwight Clark from Joe Montana. The Iowa State game can be remembered as The Scramble as Isaiah Zuber hauled in a pass from Skylar Thompson with no time on the clock for an improbable come from behind K-State victory over Iowa State, 20-19. Until the fourth quarter K-States offense was offensive as they had gained less than 100-yards combined rushing and passing. The final quarter was another matter as the ‘Wildcat’ offense was employed with more productive rushing and passing cumulating with an old school jump pass by Alex Barnes to Winston Dimel in the end zone for a touchdown. Iowa State got the ball back, gave it up, and then the final drive of the game started with 1:55 remaining for the barn burner ending and K-State’s 10th straight victory over Iowa State in Farmageddon.

We had another good turnout of K-Staters at Richmond Republic to witness a heroic victory with a group of Wisconsin fans joining in to support the Cats as the hope of a comback came to fruition.

 

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Oklahoma State Watch Party - November 18, 2017
Oh what could have been a very special year. On Saturday K-State played how many thought they would earlier in the year as they totally dominated possibly the best all around offensive team in college football, Oklahoma State for three quarters. A late flurry of scoring in the fourth quarter by OSU made the game closer than score looks. Inconsistencies due to quarterback injuries all season coupled with some strange offensive play calling resulted in the Cats being a 6-5 team coming into today’s game. An 10-1 record was in the grasp for this team. On Saturday the Cats came out excited and determined to play K-State football and it showed with a final winning 45-40 score. Third string quarterback freshman Skylar Thompson played like a seasoned quarterback with 203 yards passing and 93 yards rushing. Byron Pringle finally played like he did at the end of last season with touchdown plays of 47, 46 and 60 yards.

We had another strong showing of K-State support at Richmond Republic Draught House in San Francisco. Thank you for your loyal support of K-State.

West Virginia Watch Party - November 11, 2017
Some weeks writing these snippets of game wraps are fun, some not so fun and after this past Saturday’s debacle of play calling at the end of the first half just plain horrible to write, so I will stop it there. Bottom line: West Virginia 28 - K-State 23.The Cats have been so close to win so many games this season it is extremely frustrating to see this season frittered away when we started with so much optimism.

Mike Rieger took a break from hosting Watch Parties in San Francisco and traveled to Manhattan and took this picture inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium on a cold and wet day.

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Texas Tech Watch Party - November 4, 2017
Wow! Well, four diehard CaliforniaCats fought against the lure of Saturday morning sleep and opened the doors of Richmond Republic Draught House for K-State’s 9:00 AM battle with Texas Tech. The game was close, as expected, and the Wildcats again gave up a TON of passing yards, as are the rest of the defenses in the Big XII. The fourth quarter saw the Red Raiders go up by eight and with about four minutes left, attempt a field goal to make the game essentially out of reach for the Cats. However, the field goal was missed and under the skillful passing of redshirt freshman Skylar Thompson and astute route-running of Dalton Schoen, K-State quickly marched down the field and got a touchdown on a Thompson QB sneak!! The Cats were forced to go for two to tie, and again Schoen came through! In overtime, the Wildcats scored a touchdown with ease, and the defense looked much like last year’s team, not allowing Tech to score in the red zone! K-State’s bowl hopes are fully alive and there’s plenty of optimism for turning the season around! It was another exciting time at The Republic that other Bay Area alumni won’t want to miss again!

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Kansas Watch Parties - October 28, 2017
Another fantastic turnout at Richmond Republic Draught House in San Francisco for what turned out to be a pathetic showing for K-State football. The Cats played two backup QBs that did a decent job, but dropped passes were again a problem, and the defense has no concept of defending a pass. However, a win is a win and they’ll need to learn quick for next week’s battle with a pass-first Texas Tech team in Lubbock.

Watch Parties at Ricky’s have ceased
It is with sadness that I announce that CaliforniaCats Watch Parties at Ricky’s Sports Theatre and Grille in The East Bay in San Leandro have run their course due to lack of interest after a run of twenty-seven years, ending with this past weekend’s game at Kansas. A significant decline in attendance the past couple of years was the cause for this decision. We only had three attend the KU Watch Party, only three - amazing. When we first began our Watch Parties if you wanted to see K-State play you had to go to a sports bar as they had the resources to grab a television feed. As cable television has become prolific nearly all the games are available for people to watch from home. That’s good news and bad news.

The hey day of our Watch Parties occurred in the late ‘90’s when Michael Bishop was quarterback. We typically averaged 15-30 people per game in those years with the Nebraska game being the biggest draw as we drew over 100 fans several years in a row.

Though the Watch Parties at Ricky’s have concluded we are continuing to have Watch Parties at Richmond Republic Draught House in San Francisco under the leadership of Mike Rieger as they have generally been well attended.

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Oklahoma Watch Parties - October 21, 2017
TCU came intWhat a difference a week made in the effort expended by both the coach’s calls and players in Saturday’s game with Oklahoma. Coach Snyder apparently had a talk with the offensive side of the team this week and they did look much more motivated. On the second play of the game Alex Barnes scooted up the middle for a breakaway 75-yard touchdown, which set the tone for the first half as the Cats led 21-10. Unfortunately, an invigorated Oklahoma offense took the field and combined with a sluggish K-State offense, and soft defensive play (two defensive secondary starters were injured and did not play) resulted in OU eking out a lead to win the game with seven seconds on the clock. K-State lost again to Oklahoma in Manhattan 42-35.

Our San Francisco Watch Party was well attended in San Francisco with ten K-Staters enjoying the game. Can’t say the same for Ricky’s.

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TCU Watch Parties - October 14, 2017
TCU came into Manhattan looking to keep their 5-0 season record unbeaten. It was no contest as K-State accomodated their goal defeating the Cats 26-6. The loss of quarterback Jessie Ertz has been catastrophic for the Cats. As good as Alex Delton looked last week, this week his passing was very poor completing only 11 of 29 passes. Not all can be piled onto the shoulders of Delton as TCU’s defense was very good pushing around K-State’s offensive line at will. Surprisingly, in the third quarter with a couple of positive plays the Cats could have made a game of it. Questionable coaching calls again plagued the team this week. Needless to say the fans who stayed at our watch parties for the seven-hour rain delayed marathon were disappointed.

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Texas Watch Parties - October 7, 2017
What Saturday evenings game in Austin was a huge missed opportunity for K-State as the Cats went down to defeat in double overtime 40-34 to Texas. This week the passing game came back to life with Jesse Ertz passing to Dalton Schoen (82 and 12yd touchdowns) amongst others only to have the running game stumble, literally, as Ertz asked to be pulled out of the game in the third quarter as he couldn’t make the plays he wanted to due to multiple injuries. A beam of light, however, was Ertz replacement Alex Delton (2 and 12yd touchdown runs) who played very well in his first extended time on the field with multiple rushing yards and a couple of nice passes. Some questionable penalties, soft defense along with unfathomable play calling late in the game doomed the Cats. K-State has been in this position before and finished the season strong and will need to do it again if it wants to go to another bowl game. What looked like ‘strong win probability' games are not anymore, other than for our cousins down stream in Lawrence. The rest of the season should be very interesting.

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Baylor Watch Parties - September 30, 2017
What looked like would be a walk in the park victory for K-State at halftime didn’t work out that way as the Cats let The Bears back in the game making what should have been an easy 33-20 victory for the Cats a nail biter. Ertz’s passes this week were on target, but like in the Vandy game, there were four or five drops that if caught likely would have put the game out of reach. Interestingly the Cats receivers completed the hard passes while dropping the ‘easy’ ones. Baylor’s two major miscues most likely gave the Cats the win.The defense, however, did play very strong especially in the first half.

We had almost twenty K-Staters at our Watch Parties in San Francisco and San Leandro. Another solid show of support for the boys in purple.

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Vanderbilt Watch Party - September 16, 2017
Mike Rieger ’06, reported that fifteen faithful fans crowded into Richmond Republic in San Francisco Saturday for what promised to be an evenly-matched contest for K-State's toughest non-conference game yet. The record K-State crowd at the Draught House witnessed an anemic K-State offense sputter to a 14-7 defeat to Vanderbilt, in a game that saw the Wildcats enter the end zone three times, but only come away with 7 points due to an instant replay reversal and needless penalty. The Commodore defense was stingy as expected, as K-State's Jessie Ertz went 10-28 for 76 yards and two interceptions. Although the result was not what was hoped for, the alumni group was loud during the game and made their presence felt at the bar. Multiple Kansan’s visiting the bar stopped by to say hello and wish us luck.

The Alumni Association sponsored a pre-game party attended by approximately 800 K-State fans on the Vanderbilt campus. I was able to attend the game along with approximately 18,000 other K-Staters in the 40,000 seat stadium. Fans from both seemed to get along quite well. Nashville was a great city to visit and watch the Wildcats, if only the Cats would have been more ferocious.

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Charlotte Watch Parties - September 9, 2017
UN-Charlotte visited Manhattan and provided another early easy opponent for K-State as the Cats totally overwhelmed the 49ers, running away with a 55-7 victory. Though Charlotte was not expected to give the Cats much opposition, K-State's defense played a stronger game than last week. Jesse Ertz was again on target having another excellent game passing to a talented group of receivers when he wasn't running the ball. The running backs game also played well. The easy victory took all of the tension out of the game for Wildcat fans at Ricky's in San Leandro and Richmond Republic in San Francisco.

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Central Arkansas Watch Party - September 2, 2017
A hot day in the Bay Area impacted our watch party attendance at Richmond Republic, but we did have four stalworth fans watch tthe Central Arkansas Bears, a strong FCS team, take on the Wildcats Saturday. The Bears high hopes to defeat the Cats were squashed early in the game as DJ Reed took the opening kickoff 96 yards before being tackled at the four yard line. Two plays later the Cats picked up the touchdown and they never looked back. Early passes by Jesse Ertz went awry, but then he was unstoppable throwing for four touchdowns and 333 yards. A great start for the season with a 55-19 victory.

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