WCHS Wildcats Lose Close One at Hickman County

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#44 Austin Whitson scores a touchdown on a quarterback keeper.

   WCHS Wildcat football began Friday night as they traveled to Hickman County to take on the Bulldogs. The ‘Cats tallied 442 yards of offense and 34 points, but were unable to come away with the win. They fell by the final score of 35 – 34. Julian Birchett had 121 rushing yards on 14 carries and first year player, Tyler Moser, had 2 receptions for 100 yards. The Wildcats had a pair of costly fumbles and an interception, which Hickman County capitalized on.  Hickman County finished with 299 yards.

   The Wildcats opened the contest receiving the football and marching 68 yards in 7 plays, with Julian Birchett scoring on a 3 yard run. The conversion attempt failed, and the ‘Cats led 6 – 0 with 8:27 left on the first quarter clock. Hickman County answered with a 10 play, 50 yard drive, scoring on a 25 yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 6. Their extra point kick was no good. On the ensuing kick, Wildcat Eli McClain got loose for a 54 yard return run to set the Wildcats up at the Bulldog 30. Five plays later, Austin Whitson scored on a 4 yard quarterback sneak. Again the conversion failed, making the score 12 – 6, in favor of the Wildcats.

   The Wildcat defense stepped up on the next series, as Ryder Butler came up with an interception, giving the ‘Cats the ball at their own 49. They moved down to the Bulldog 22 before turning the ball over on downs. Eight plays later, Hickman County scored on a 10 yard run to tie the game at 12 all.

   The ‘Cats marched down the field on the next series. Austin Whitson connected with Tyler Moser on a 44 yard pass completion to set them up at the Bulldog 15. The ‘Cats turned the ball over at the 6 with 22 seconds left in the first half.

   In the second half, Hickman County opened with a first play run of 53 yards for a touchdown to take the lead.  The completed the 2-pt. conversion to make the score 20 – 12, fifteen seconds into the third period. The Wildcats answered quickly, as Austin Whitson connected with Tyler Moser for a second time. This completion was for 56 yards and a touchdown. Julian Birchett carried the ball in on the 2-pt conversion to tie the game at 20. The Wildcat defense forced a punt on the next series. The Wildcats ran 3 plays, fumbling at their own 40. The Bulldogs picked the loose ball up and carried it in for a touchdown.  They hit the PAT to go up 27 – 20. 

   The Wildcats took the ensuing kick, moving down to the Bulldog 41. Six plays later, Austin Whitson found Eli McClain on a 16 yard touchdown pass. Whitson ran in the 2-pt conversion to put the ‘Cats on top 28 – 27 with 4:08 left in the third quarter. The Bulldogs were forced to punt on the next series, but the ‘Cats were stopped on downs on their possession. With 4:55 left in the contest, Brock Brown came up with a Bulldog fumble at the Hickman County 31. Julian Birchett ran it in on the first play from scrimmage for a touchdown to make the score 34 – 27. The conversion attempt failed. Four plays later the Bulldogs scored, and with the 2-pt conversion, went back on top, 35 – 34. The Wildcats had one more chance at the win, but the throw and interception at mid-field sealed the 35 – 34 win for the Bulldogs.

   Julian Birchett led the Wildcats in rushing with 121 yards on 14 carries and a pair of touchdowns. Austin Whitson was 5 of 11 passing for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns and one interception. Whitson carried the ball 16 times for 101 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 2-pt conversion run. Timmy Robbins had 3 carries for 16 yards, and Brock Brown had 4 carries for 60 yards. Logan Brewer had a pair of carries for 3 yards. Tyler Moser had 2 receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown, Eli McClain had 2 catches for 33 yards and one touchdown, and Ryder Butler had a catch for 8 yards.

   The Wildcat defense held the Bulldogs to 139 yards on the ground on 21 carries. They came up with a pair of key turnovers with Ryder Butler coming up with an interception, and Brock Brown recovering a fumble. The defense was led by Ryder Butler with 6 tackles and the interception. Freshman Drew Bevis also had 6 tackles and forced a fumble. Luke Sesler had 4 tackles and forced a fumble, and Dawson Willis and Colton Beason each had 4 tackles. Timmy Robbins and Sayler Skelton each had 3 tackle, and Brock Brown had 2 tackles and a fumble recovery. Eli McClain and Chance Kelley each had 2 tackles, while Brian Austin Carlton, Carl Britt, Carden Venable, Jakob Neinast, Aaron Martin, Jeremiah Robbins, and Austin Whitson each had one tackle.  Whitson also broke up a pass.

   The Wildcats return home to take on the Eagles of Summertown this Friday night. Game time is 7:00 p.m.  “GOOD LUCK WILDCATS!”—Submitted