WCHS Wildcats Keep Play-off Hopes Alive

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#18 Dawson Willis and #15 Brian Austin Carlton team up for the tackle.

   A solid offensive attack, especially in the first half of action, gave the Wayne County High School Wildcats the “mercy rule” win, 48 – 14, Friday night over Perry County, and kept their hopes of a play-off berth alive.  The Wildcats will be traveling to Collinwood Friday to take on the Trojans with the winner getting to advance to the play-offs. The ‘Cats are now 5 – 4 on the year with the big Homecoming win over the Vikings.

   The Wildcats opened the contest against the Vikings with a 56 yard, 6 play drive for a touchdown. Julian Birchett scored his first touchdown of the night on a 12 yard run. Quarterback Cade Crews found Cameron Manley in the end zone for the 2-pt. conversion to make the score 8 – 0, with less than 3 minutes gone on the clock. The ‘Cats’ defense held Perry County to minus 4 yards on the following series and got the ball back at the Viking 38. This time, the Wildcats covered the 38 yards in 8 plays with Hunter Staggs scoring from 4 yards out.  Crews again threw for the PAT, finding Julian Birchett on the conversion play to make the score 16 – 0.

   The Wildcat defense held strong again on the next Viking series, holding them to one yard and forcing a punt.  The ‘Cats got the ball back at their own 39. On the first play of the drive, Julian Birchett got loose on a 61 yard run for a touchdown. Cade Crews threw his second 2-pt. conversion pass, completing it to Austin Whitson, to up the score to 24 – 0, with three minutes left in the first quarter. Again, the Wildcat defense did their job, forcing a punt as the first quarter ended. The ‘Cats gave the ball back on the first play of the drive on an interception, but the defense held again, giving up 2 yards and forcing the punt. They got the ball back at their own 37, driving down the field, and using up six minutes. The 63 yard, 11 play drive was capped off with a two yard touchdown run by Cade Crews. Hunter Staggs ran for the 2-pt. conversion to make the score 32 – 0. The Wildcats got the ball back on downs at the Viking 25 with 1:41 left in the first half, and three plays later, Crews found Austin Whitson on a 19 yard pass play for a touchdown. Brock Brown then ran the conversion in to make the score 40 – 0 at the half.

   With the mercy rule running clock going, the Wildcats scored their last touchdown of the night as Austin Whitson scored on a 22 yard run. Freshman Logan Brewer scored the 2 pt. conversion for the final score of the night. The subs came in for the Wildcats and gave up a couple of touchdowns in the second half that saw the teams run only 21 plays. The ‘Cats won 48 – 14.

   Cade Crews finished the game completing 6 of 9 passes for 85 yards. He threw a touchdown pass, an interception, and a pair of two point conversion passes. He rushed 2 times for 5 yards. Julian Birchett rushed 3 times for 75 yards, with two touchdown runs and a two-point conversion run. Austin Whitson carried the ball 3 times for 53 yards and a touchdown, and had 4 receptions for 69 yards with a touchdown and a 2-pt. conversion catch. Hunter Staggs rushed 6 times for 33 yards with a touchdown and a 2-pt. conversion run. Timmy Robbins carried it 3 times for 26 yards, and Carden Venable had 2 rushes for 2 yards. Ryder Butler had one carry. Brock Brown had one reception for 10 yards and a 2-pt conversion run, and Gaynes Keaton had one reception for 6 yards.

   The Wildcat defense limited the Vikings to 102 total yards, 60 on the ground on 29 rushing attempts. Hunter Staggs led the attack with 11 tackles. Chase Cummings and Damian Dickey each had 4 tackles.  Blayne Love had 3 tackles and a quarterback sack, while Dawson Willis had 3 tackles. Luke Sesler, Timmy Robbins, David Walker, Jonmikel Lynn, Brian Austin Carlton, Aaron Martin, Jakob Nienast, David Grant Dixon, and Hector Merino all had 2 tackles apiece. Lynn and Carlton each broke up a Viking pass. Austin Whitson, Brock Brown, Carden Venable, Julian Birchett, Seth Kiddy, Jesse Dixon, and Logan Brewer each had a tackle as the Wildcat subs saw action.

   The Wildcats travel to Collinwood Friday night to face the Trojans in a big region match-up. Play-off seeding is on the line. Come out and cheer the ‘Cats on. Game time is 7:00 p.m. “GOOD LUCK WILDCATS!”—Submitted