The Wayne County High School Wildcats ran only 18 plays in the first half of action Friday night against the Huntland Hornets, compared to Huntland’s 23 offensive plays, but the ‘Cats led at halftime 6 – 0. In the second half, neither team mounted long drives, but the ‘Cats were able to score early in the fourth period to go up 14 – 0. A defensive score on a safety made the final score 16 – 0, as the Wildcats got their first region win of the year.
The opening possession of the game saw the Hornets take the ball at their own 20. They ran 9 plays before being forced to punt. The Wildcats got the ball at their own 10, and marched down the field, 90 yards in 6 plays, with Austin Whitson running it in from 27 yards away. The PAT failed to make the score 6 – 0, with 3:17 left in the first quarter. Huntland put together another 10 play drive on their next series, but turned the ball over on downs at the Wildcat 32 yard line. The Wildcats ran 12 plays, moving down to the Hornet 9, before turning the ball back to the Hornets, with only a minute twenty-two left before the half. Halftime score: 6 – 0.
In the second half, WCHS got the ball at their own 39 and moved it down the field. On the fourth play of the possession, the Wildcat pass was intercepted, giving the Hornets the ball at their own 14. They ran four plays before the Wildcats forced a fumble that was covered by linebacker Jesse Dixon. The ‘Cats managed only 4 plays before being forced to punt. Huntland also was forced to punt, then the ‘Cats put together a 56 yard, four play drive with Austin Whitson scoring from 7 yards out. Timmy Robbins ran in the 2 pt conversion to make the score 14 – 0, with 10 minutes left in the game. Late in the fourth, the Wildcats would score again as the ball got loose from the Huntland quarterback and went to the endzone. Ty Cofer tackled the Hornet quarterback for a safety to up the score to the final – 16 -0.
Quarterback Austin Whitson led the Wildcats on the night, rushing for 171 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns. He was 2 of 5 passing for 16 yards and an interception. Julian Birchett had 6 carries for 44 yards, while Brock Brown had 5 carries for 36 yards. Timmy Robbins had 4 rushes for 28 yards, and Ryder Butler had one carry for 6 yards. Cardin Venable carried the ball twice for minus 2 yards. Tyler Moser had one reception for 4 yards, while Eli McClain had one catch for 12 yards. The Wildcat had 289 yards rushing on 39 attempts.
The Wildcat defense gave up only 187 yards on the night and held the Hornets scoreless. They came up with the safety by Ty Cofer and also recovered two Hornet fumbles. The defense was led by Ryder Butler with 10 tackles and a pass breakup. Jesse Dixon and Dawson Willis had 8 and 7 tackles respectively, with Dixon coming up with a fumble recovery. Chance Kelley forced a fumble and had 6 tackles, and Colton Beason and Luke Sesler each had 5. Julian Birchett, Drew Bevis, and Aaron Martin each had 4 tackles and Martin had a fumble recovery. Brian Austin Carlton and Eli McClain each had 3 tackles, while Ty Cofer and Austin Whitson each had 2. Timmy Robbins and Brock Brown each had a tackle, and Tyler Moser broke up two passes.
The Wildcats are now 2 – 5 on the year and will take on another region foe, Cornersville, this Friday night at home. Game time is 7:00 p.m. Come out and support the ‘Cats as they work to gain a playoff berth. “GO ‘CATS!”—Submitted