Schley Wildcats topple Marion, set sights on postseason
By MICHAEL MURRAY
ELLAVILLE – The Schley County Wildcats gridiron team gave their fans something to celebrate on the evening of Nov. 3 at Wildcat Stadium in Ellaville as the team hit the field to take on the Marion County Eagles.
The meeting marked the second time that the teams have duked it out this season, as the Wildcats’ regular season was book-ended with tilts against their longtime rivals.
Though the Eagles defeated the Wildcats in the season opener, the Schley crew had eight games in which to hone their skills before the rematch.
That evening, the Wildcats dealt the Eagles a 35-27 loss, marking the first time that the Wildcats have bested the neighboring team since the 2008 season.
With the win, the Wildcats’ overall record jumps to 7-3 on the season while their Region 4-A record holds steady at 3-2.
Wrapping up the regular season with this respectable record has earned the Wildcats a chance to advance into the post season for the first time in nine seasons. The Wildcats will be squaring off against the 6-4 Turner County Rebels on Nov. 10 in Ellaville for the first round of the playoffs.
The Wildcats took an early lead halfway through the first frame of the Nov. 3 contest, tossing eight points on the board. Soon, the Eagles made up for lost ground to narrow the gap to 8-7.
The Wildcats responded immediately, adding another touchdown late in the first to expand their advantage to 15-7 and, unwilling to go down quietly, the Marion squad tacked on another seven points in the final moments of the first quarter.
The second stanza saw the Wildcats add 13 more points to their tally while Schley’s stalwart defense prevented the visitors from improving on their score to take their largest lead of the evening, 28-14.
When the teams returned to the field following the halftime break, the Eagles staged their comeback, adding seven points to their total to pull within seven. Over the final 12 minutes of play, the Wildcats added another touchdown and an extra point to put the game out of reach. Marion followed with a six-pointer, but would not see the opportunity to narrow the gap any further.
At the final buzzer, a stadium full of Schley fans celebrated the historic victory over one of the team’s oldest rivals.
Schley’s James Baker set the bar for the Wildcats in the victory, amassing 172 yards on 12 carries. Baker was followed closely by Calvin Sims, who contributed 171 yards on 33 carries in the tilt. Tra Sampson added another 66 yards on the ground.
Sims crossed the plane three times to put 18 points on the board for the Wildcats and Baker contributed a pair of touchdowns. Schley place kicker, William Blackwell, added a trio of PAT kicks for the team’s final three points.
As for the regular-season totals, several members of the Wildcats have made some serious contributions to the team over the last 10 games.
At this point in the season, Sims is just short of hitting the 1,000-yard rushing milestone with 921 total yards amassed. Baker is close behind with 763 yards covered and Sampson has contributed 455 yards to the Wildcat cause. Ja’Myron Clayton, Zykievious Walker, Alec Harris, and Jakim Williamson-Hart have also contributed triple digit yardage to the Wildcat season.
Starting Wildcat quarterback, Garrett Peavy, has thrown for 402 yards and four touchdowns this season.
Baker has put 50 points on the board for the Wildcats this season, followed by Blackwell, who has nailed 84 percent of his PAT attempts and a pair of field goals for 34 points added.
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