Wildcats fall to Mitchell County in preseason scrimmage
ELLAVILLE – For the Schley County Wildcat football team (SC), it was the final time in which they could perform in a game situation without the final result counting for anything. They took on the Eagles of Mitchell County (MC) in a tune up scrimmage on Friday, August 16, at Schley County High School. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they struggled on both sides of the ball and were hurt by penalties. All of that led to a 20-6 loss to the Eagles.
It was a heavily penalized game between both teams, but especially against the Eagles, who incurred two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
In the first quarter, both teams used their junior varsity players. While neither team could score, the Wildcat JV players were able to make plays on both sides of the ball.
Wide receiver Luke Renfroe made a nice 14-yard catch early in the game from quarterback Sidney Blackwell.
After the scoreless first quarter, it was tine for the varsity players to take the field.
The Eagles struck first in the second quarter when fullback Markel Shannon scored from just a few yards out.
The SC offense responded when quarterback Garrett Peavy threw a 47-yard pass to Landon Dailey. The Wildcats were in business as they had the ball first and goal from the MC 10-yard line. However, SC running back Zamon Ross fumbled the ball and the Eagles recovered it.
MC responded on their next possession as they moved the ball down into SC territory. Quarterback James Thomas then threw a pass to Desmeyan Daniels, who was tackled by Dailey just shy of the goal line. Thomas then scored on a quarterback keeper to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead at the half.
While the Wildcats struggled at times on defense, they were able to make plays. Defensive end Zykevious Walker and middle linebacker Jacob Long both recorded sacks during the first half.
Early in the third quarter, the Eagles once again moved the ball on the SC defense. Thomas ran a quarterback keeper for first-down yardage down to the SC 23-yard line. After Walker made a tackle for the SC defense to force second down and nine, Thomas threw a pass into the end zone that was incomplete. However, holding was called against the Eagles. The Wildcat defense was able to force MC into a fourth down situation, giving the ball back to SC.
However, the Wildcats turned the ball over when Peavy’s pass was intercepted by Lance Robinson, who ran the ball down inside the 10-yard line. However, Robinson fumbled the ball just before he went down, and it was recovered by Peavy, negating the Wildcats’ costly turnover.
SC was forced into a fourth-and-two situation, but running back Trent Bivisn ran the ball across midfield for a first down. Peavy then through a screen pass to Bivins, who ran the ball down inside the MC 20-yard line. A roughing the passer flag was thrown against the Eagles, moving the ball down to the MC 13. However, on second and 10 from the 13, Peavy’s pass was intercepted in the end zone.
Fortunately for the Wildcats, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was called against the Eagles, giving the ball back to SC at the MC three-yard line. Two plays later, Peavy scored on a quarterback keeper. The extra point was no good, but the Wildcats were on the board, trailing 14-6.
However, the Eagles struck right back. On first and 10 from the MC 40, Thomas threw a 60-yard pass to Earl Waters for a touchdown. The extra point was no good, but the Eagles were back up by double digits at 20-6.
However, the Wildcats didn’t quit. On third and four from their own 49, Bivins ran the ball for first-down yardage inside the MC 40. However, the Wildcats were forced into a fourth down situation from the MC 32-yard line. On fourth and five, Peavy’s pass was complete to Dailey, but shy of the necessary yardage.
While they didn’t score on their next possession, the Eagles were able to run the clock down to a little over a minute before the Wildcats got the ball back. SC was not able to do anything on their last possession and MC won the scrimmage 20-6.
The Wildcats will have a tough task ahead of them to open the 2019 season. They will face their arch rivals Marion County in Buena Vista on Friday, August 23. Last year, the Eagles ended the Wildcats’ dream of winning a state championship when they defeated SC 34-27 in the second round of the GHSA Class A-Public State Playoffs.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
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