WCHS Wildcats Take Region Win at Bruceton

#75 Nolan Moore blocks as #33 Hunter Staggs carries the ball.

   A blocked punt for a touchdown and a strong second half by the defense aided the Wayne County High School Wildcats in coming up with a big region win last Friday night over Bruceton/Hollow Rock. The Wildcats held the Tigers to only one first down in the second half of action and came from behind to take the win, 18 – 13.  Damian Dickey came up with a fumble recovery in the first quarter and then blocked a Tiger punt in the third, recovering it in the end zone for a touchdown. The ‘Cats will resume action Friday at home as they take on another region foe, Huntingdon.

   The game against Bruceton began with the teams exchanging 3 plays and punt series. They then exchanged fumbles. The Wildcats fumbled for a second time following the Dickey recovery of a Tiger fumble, but stopped the Tigers on downs. They began their first touchdown drive at their own 21 yard line and went 79 yards on 13 plays, as quarterback Cade Crews sneaked it in from the one yard line. The conversion attempt failed, but the Wildcats led 6 – 0 with only a minute left in the first half.

   In the second half, Bruceton came out and made short work of their first possession, going 53 yards in 4 plays, scoring on 46 yard run and taking only a minute and 29 seconds off the clock. Their conversion attempt failed, leaving the score tied at 6 all. The Wildcats punted on their next possession, pinning the Tigers down at their own 14. After three plays and a loss of 3 yards, they were forced to punt from their own 11. Wildcat Damian Dickey broke through to block the punt and recover it in the end zone to put the ‘Cats on top 12 – 6 with 3:44 left in the third quarter. Again the conversion attempt failed. Bruceton wasted no time answering the ‘Cats’ score with one of their own. They went 10 plays, marching down the field, and scoring on a 2 yard run. This time their PAT was good to put them on top 13 -12, with 10:53 left in the game.

   The Wildcats answered the Bruceton touchdown, marching 51 yards in 8 plays, with Hunter Staggs running it in from 8 yards out for the score. Again the conversion attempt failed to make the score 18 – 13 with 7:35 left in the game. Bruceton ran five plays on their next series, but were stopped on a fourth and one play by a big tackle by Wildcat Blayne Love. The ‘Cats got the ball back at the midfield stripe, but turned it back over on downs with 2:47 left in the game. Bruceton was unable to score, giving it back to the ‘Cats on downs with fifty-three seconds left. The ‘Cats came away with the 18 – 13 win.

   Hunter Staggs rushed 11 times for 103 yards and a touchdown. Cade Crews was 10 of 16 passing for 114 yards and rushed 7 times for minus 18 yards and scored a touchdown. Julian Birchett had 4 carries for 6 yards, and Clay Baugus had 2 carries for 20 yards and 7 receptions for 64 yards. Eli McClain carried the ball twice for minus 2 yards. Austin Whitson had 3 catches for 45 yards. Brock Brown carried the ball once for 2 yards. The ‘Cats totaled 222 yards on the night.

   The Wildcat defense held the Tigers to 189 total yards on the night. The defense was again led by Hunter Staggs with 16 tackles. He also broke up a Tiger pass. Blayne Love came up with 13 tackles, and Clay Baugus had 10 tackles and broke up a pass. Damian Dickey had 9 takles, recovered a fumble, and blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. Luke Sesler and Colton Beason each had 4 tackles, while Brian Austin Carlton and Jonmikel Lynn each had 3. Brock Brown, Spencer Turnbow, Cameron Manley, Chase Cummings, Austin Whitson, and Chance Kelley each had 2 tackles. Turnbow also broke up a pair of Tiger pass attempts.

   The Wildcats now stand at 3 – 3 on the year and 2 – 0 in region play due to the COVID forfeit by Middleton.  Come out and support the Wildcats in region action Friday. Game time is 7:00 p.m. “GO WILDCATS!”—Submitted