The Wayne County High School Wildcats got off to a fast start Friday night as they forced a Perry County punt on the first series. Wildcat Christian Teeftaller returned the punt 40 yards to the Viking 25, setting the ‘Cats up for the first of five opening half touchdowns. JoJo Swinea carried the ball in from 2 yards out with 7:07 left in the first quarter to score his first of four touchdowns on the night. The two point run by Swinea was converted to make the score 8 – 0. Playing with a running clock in the second half, the Vikings put their only score on the board late in the third period. The Wildcats came away with the 44 – 8 win.
Following the first Swinea touchdown, the defense again forced a punt by the Vikings. The Wildcats took the ball down from their own 38 to the Viking 19, but fumbled it to the Vikings. Perry County was able to move the ball out to their own 32, but fumbled. Damian Dickey came up with the ball for the ‘Cats at the 32. Three plays later, Swinea found the end zone on a one yard run. This touchdown was set up by a 26 yard Christian Teeftaller run from scrimmage. Freshman Austin Whitson ran the ball in for the two point conversion to make the score 16 – 0, early in the second period.
Chance Kelley came up with a fumble recovery on Perry County’s first play of the next series, giving the ‘Cats the ball back at the Viking 30. Aaron Stooksberry scored four plays later on a 25 yard run. Quarterback Cade Crews found Hunter Staggs in the end zone for the two-point conversion to up the score to 24 – 0. Perry County was unable to move the ball and forced to punt on their next possession. They chose to try a fake punt which was stopped short of the first down to give the Wildcats great field position again at the Viking 30. Six plays later JoJo Swinea carried the ball in from the 8. Clay Baugus ran the ball in for the 2-pt. conversion to make it 32- 0 with 2:16 left in the first half.
Perry County attempted to pass on their first play of the next possession. Clay Baugus picked off the pass, giving the ‘Cats the ball at their own 40 yard line. It only took two plays for the Wildcats to strike again. JoJo Swinea got loose on a 49 yard run for a touchdown. This time the conversion attempt failed, making the score 38 – 0. The Vikings fumbled on their third play with Chance Kelley coming up with the ball as the half ended.
The Wildcats opened the second half with a 60 yard run on the first play from scrimmage. Sophomore Julian Birchett ran it in from the Wildcat 41. Again, the conversion failed, but the ‘Cats were on top 44 – 0, with a running clock in effect. Perry County got their first and only score of the game on the next series. They scored on a 28 yard run and added the two point conversion to make the score 44 – 8 with 2:35 left in the third quarter. The ‘Cats fumbled the ensuing kick, giving the Vikings the ball back, but they fumbled it back to the ‘Cats. This time Timmy Robbins came up with the fumble recovery. The ‘Cats fumbled again on the third play, but the Vikings returned the favor with Wildcat Wesley Nutt coming up with the recovery. The game ended with the final score of 44 – 8 in favor of the ‘Cats.
JoJo Swinea led the Wildcats with 4 rushing touchdowns. He carried the ball 8 times for 101 yards. He also had a two point conversion run. Christian Teeftaller had 61 yards on 6 carries and also had the 40 yard punt return. Aaron Stooksberry had 3 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown. Julian Birchett had the 59 yard run for a touchdown, and Clay Baugus had one run for 11 yards and a two point conversion run. Eli McClain had 3 carries for 17 yards, and Austin Whitson had one carry and a two-point conversion. Dillon Kimbrell had one carry for 7 yards. Timmy Robbins rushed once for 3 yards. Cade Crews was 1 of 2 passing for 5 yards and hit one pass to Hunter Staggs for the 2-pt. conversion. Staggs had one rush and was also on the receiving end of the Crews completion. The ‘Cats totaled 318 yards of offense with 313 coming on the ground on 26 rushing attempts.
The Wildcat defense came up with five fumbles and an interception on the night. They held the Vikings to 125 yards rushing on 29 carries. Hunter Staggs led in tackles with 5. Clay Baugus and JoJo Swinea each had 4 tackles. Baugus also came up with an interception. Blayne Love and Julian Birchett each had 3 tackles. Eli McClain, Timmy Robbins, Colton Beason, Andrew Blackburn, Luke Sesler, and Spencer Turnbow had two tackles apiece. Beason caused a fumble, while Robbins picked up a fumble. Jonmikel Lynn, Damian Dickey, Carson Van Fleet, Gaynes Keaton, Nolan Moore, Tucker Andrews, Tatum Potter, and Cameron Manley each had a tackle. Dickey forced a fumble and came up with a recovery. Chance Kelley recovered 2 fumbles, and Wesley Nutt had one.
The Wildcats now stand at 2 – 7 on the year. They return home Friday night to host the Trojans of Collinwood in a big region contest. With a win, the ‘Cats can continue their season and compete in the TSSAA Play-offs for the 19th straight time. Come out and support the Wildcats and cheer them on to a win. Game time is 7:00 p.m. “GOOD LUCK WILDCATS!”—-Submitted