The Wayne County High School Wildcats’ football season ended last Friday night in Lynchburg, as the ‘Cats were soundly defeated by the Moore County Raiders, 49 – 14. The Raiders, coming in with a 9 – 1 record, put up 49 first half points and piled up 289 yards. Forty-three points came in the second quarter with the Raider defense scoring twice, once on a fumble recovery and then on a blocked punt and return for the touchdown. The Wildcats scored two fourth quarter touchdowns as the game was shortened by the “mercy rule” running clock the whole second half. With the loss, the ‘Cats finish the season 5 – 6.
The Wildcat defense started out tough, holding Moore County to minus one yard on the first series and forcing a punt. The ‘Cats were also unable to move the ball, but were forced to punt. This time Moore County got the ball and scored on a run on their first play from the Wildcat 46. They failed on the PAT, making the score 6 – 0 with 8:36 left in the first quarter. The Wildcats got the ball back in good field position on the ensuing kick, starting at their own 40. They moved the ball down to the Raider 15, going 45 yards on 9 plays before turning it over on downs. The ‘Cats’ defense forced a punt on the next series, but the Wildcats couldn’t move the ball and punted it back to end the first quarter.
On the second play of the next Moore County possession, they went 46 yards for their second touchdown. This time the point was good, making the score 13 – 0. The Wildcats got the ball back at their own 36 on the kick-off, but turned the ball over on an interception. On the next play, Moore County went 23 yards for the touchdown. They went for 2 and converted, to make the score 21 – 0 with 10:54 left in the first half. Moore County got the ball back on downs at their own 40, but fumbled it back to the Wildcats on the second play. Wildcat Chance Kelley came up with the recovery. The ‘Cats gave it right back on a fumble, which was returned 20 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was good. The Wildcats suffered another turnover with the Raiders picking off a pass. This time the Wildcat defense came up with an interception as Austin Whitson came up with the ball at the Wildcat 12. The ‘Cats couldn’t move the ball and were forced to punt. The Raiders blocked the punt and returned it to the end zone with 42 seconds left before the half. With the PAT, the score was 42 – 0. The ‘Cats muffed the ensuing kick, fumbling it back, and Moore County scored from 14 yards out as the first half ended. With the kick the halftime score was 49 – 0.
In the second half, the ‘Cats went eight plays on their first series, but gave the ball to the Raiders on downs. The Raiders punted it back to the ‘Cats. They got the ball back at their own 47 and went 53 yards in 8 plays for their first score with Hunter Staggs scoring from 7 yards out. Cade Crews found Staggs in the end zone on a 2-pt conversion pass to make the score 8 – 49. Moore County was forced to punt on their next series, with the ‘Cats getting the ball back at the Raider 48. This time, the ‘Cats went 48 yards in 5 plays for a score. Austin Whitson scored on a 25 yard run. The conversion attempt failed to make the final score 49 – 14.
Austin Whitson rushed 6 times for 30 yards with a touchdown and caught 4 passes for 34 yards. He had 5 kick returns for 91 yards. Hunter Staggs had 59 yards rushing on 15 carries, with a touchdown, and caught 2 passes for 13 yards. Timmy Robbins rushed 5 times for 18 yards and had one reception for 1 yard. Clay Baugus had 4 carries for 24 yards and one pass reception for 16 yards. Eli McClain carried the ball twice for 11 yards, while Brock Brown had one carry for 14 yards. Cade Crews had one carry for minus 2 yards and was 11 of 25 passing for 75 yards with 2 interceptions. Gaynes Keaton had 2 receptions for 9 yards, and Spencer Turnbow had one catch for 2 yards. The ‘Cats suffered 2 fumbles, 2 interceptions, and a blocked punt in the first half.
The Wildcat defense was again led by Hunter Staggs with 10 tackles. Cameron Manley had 6 tackles plus a sack, and Blayne Love, Brock Brown, and Jonmikel Lynn had 5 tackles each. Dawson Willis, Chase Cummings, Timmy Robbins, and Luke Sesler each had 2 tackles. Damian Dickey, Clay Baugus, Colton Beason, Aaron Martin, Austin Whitson, Brian Austin Carlton, Braxton Littleton, Logan brewer, and Ryder Butler each had a tackle. Whitson had an interception, and Chance Kelley came up with a fumble.
The Moore County game was the final one for fifteen Wildcat seniors. They will be missed. Work hard Wildcats, and prepare for a winning 2021 season. “GO WILDCATS!”—-Submitted