Wildcats varsity wins 18-16

Published 12:10 am Friday, August 22, 2014

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Florala’s Avery McNeil evades a defender Friday night. | Josh Dutton/Star-News


The Florala Wildcats split preseason games with J.U. Blacksher Bulldogs Thursday night with the Wildcats varsity team winning 18-16, but the Wildcats junior varsity team losing 8-0.

The varsity Wildcats were able to get the scoring started early after the defense forced their first of two fumbles on the night, this one on the Bulldogs opening drive.

Senior Austin West capped off the Wildcats 11-play drive with a powerful 12-yard touchdown run and 6-0 lead.

After both teams exchanged punts on their respective drives the Bulldogs quarterback Andrew Reddick found his receiver who, in turn, found the end zone for a 51-yard touchdown and following a successful two-point conversion the Bulldogs took a 8-6 lead into the second quarter.

The Wildcats next drive was 14-play, 70-yard drive that with senior Chandler Holmes getting the touchdown from a yard out. Holmes set up the touchdown with an impressive 18-yard run on the previous play. The Wildcats failed on the two-point conversion attempt but retook the lead 12-8.

Defense for the Wildcats forced their second fumble on the night on the Bulldogs ensuing drive. This time it was Elijah Pollock and Ellis McDaniel sacking Reddick and jarring the ball loose and Jonathan Barnes fell on the ball for the Wildcats on the Bulldogs 14-yard line.

With a short field the Wildcats only needed two plays to find the end zone again. Junior Avery McNeil scored from nine yards out on a quarterback keeper, but the Wildcats failed again on the two-point conversion.

The final scoring drive of the game the Bulldogs Tyler Dean three-yard touchdown and successful two-point conversion for the final score 18-16.

Chandler Holmes led the Wildcats in rushing with 33 yards on six carries and a touchdown. Holmes was led the team with five solo tackles and one assist. Seventh grader Vincent Flowers had three solo tackles and two assist in the varsity game.

First year head coach of the Wildcats Brad Rhodes said he was very impressed with the intensity his guys played with and how well they played. “I was very proud of the way our guys competed. We made a few mistakes but we found out things we need to work on and that’s what these games are for,” said Rhodes.

The Wildcats will host the Ariton Purple Cats next Friday night for their regular season opener.