Six turnovers, five in the first half of action last Friday night, were too much to overcome as the Decatur/Riverside Panthers shut out the Wayne County High School Wildcats, 26 – 0. The Wildcats fumbled the ball over to the Panthers on four consecutive possessions and ended the first half giving up an interception. Their final fumble came late in the game as the second half saw the Wildcats unable to find the end zone. The Wildcats have this week off before hosting Mt. Pleasant on the 25th.
On the first series of the game, the ‘Cats gave up 5 yards in 3 plays, forcing a punt. The Wildcats took the ball at their own 43, moving down to the Panther 28 in 6 plays, before giving the ball up on downs. Decatur went 62 yards in 5 plays, scoring on a 55 yard run with 5:33 left in the first quarter. The PAT was good, making it 7 – 0. The teams exchanged punts on the next two series. The Wildcats got the ball back at the 11:10 mark of the second quarter. On the first play of the possession, the ‘Cats fumbled the ball back to the Panthers, setting up Decatur for their second touchdown. They went up 14 – 0. On the ensuing kick, the ball was mishandled with Decatur coming away with it. The Wildcats stopped the Panthers on this series, getting the ball back on downs at their own 28. Three plays later, Decatur recovered another fumble at the Wildcat 42 and scored on the first play on a 42 yard run. The PAT failed, making the score 20 – 0 with 6:07 left before the half. Two more turnovers before halftime kept the score at 20 – 0.
In the second half, the Wildcats gave up 40 and 20 yard field goals to make the final score 26 – 0. The Wildcat offense moved the ball at times, coming up with 129 yards on the ground in 19 carries. Clay Baugus had 5 carries for 56 yards. He also caught one pass for 13 yards. Austin Whitson rushed 2 times for 7 yards and caught 5 passes for 23 yards. Hunter Staggs carried the ball one time for 12 yards and had 2 catches for 29 yards. Cade Crews was 8 of 17 passing for 65 yards with one interception. He carried the ball 2 times for minus 5 yards. Julian Birchett had 7 carries for 48 yards on the ground. Timmy Robbins and Eli McClain each had one carry for 4 and 7 yards respectively. The Wildcats were penalized 9 times for 70 yards.
The Wildcat defense gave up 344 yards, 171 in the air and 173 on the ground. Hunter Staggs again led the Wildcat defense. He tallied 14 tackles. Clay Baugus and Blayne Love each contributed 8 and 7 tackles respectively. Brian Austin Carlton had 5 tackles, and Chase Cummings and Dawson Willis each had 4. Brock Brown had 3 tackles. Timmy Robbins, Austin Whitson, Jonmikel Lynn, Julian Birchett, and Eli McClain each had 2, and Lynn broke up a pass. Luke Sesler, Cade Crews, Spencer Turnbow, Damian Dickey, Colton Beason, Carden Venable, Ethan Tilley, and Hector Merino all had one tackle apiece. The ‘Cats had no takeaways in the game.
Come out on the 25th and cheer on the Wildcats as they take on Mt. Pleasant. Game time is 7:00 p.m. at Guy H. Buchanan Stadium. “GO WILDCATS!”—-Submitted