Wildcats get district win
The Wildcats opened District 5-AA competition with an impressive 37-19 win over McMinn Central Thursday night. Polk prevailed in a contest that was marred by a combined nine fumbles and two interceptions, Polk putting four balls on the ground and losing two while the Chargers lost one of five mishandled exchanges. The Wildcats also intercepted two Central pass attempts.
The ‘cats used a bruising ground game, averaging more than seven yards per carry with Zach Miller leading all rushers with 240 yards on 28 carries and scoring four touchdowns. Chris Wimberley added 66 yards on just 3 carries and Duncan Coffey scored the other Polk TD. Miller also ran for two 2-point conversions and Justin Brown had a 2-point conversion and kicked the final PAT to round out the scoring for Polk. The offensive line provided some gaping holes and down field blocking for their running backs and the defense shut down the Charger’s offense at critical times.
Polk kicked to Central to start the game and held them to a three and out. Central picked up 7 yards on their initial offensive attempt but Miller and Matthew Hammons combined to shut down their offense on the ensuing two plays for minus yardage and forced them to punt from their six-yard line. Duncan Coffey completed a screen pass to Josh Sillas for 13 yards to open Polk’s offensive game. On the fourth play Justin Green picked up ten yards to move the ball to the four but Polk was off-sides on the next play moving the ball back to the nine yard line. Miller took the ball into the end zone behind good blocking for the initial score. Coffey passed to Marcus Green for the two point conversion.
Polk started their next drive at their own 19 and used 15 plays to set up another Miller TD from the one. He then followed great blocking into the end zone for a 2-point conversion and Polk lead 16-0 with 9:22 left in the first half.
Polk then traded TDs with Central to take a 24-6 lead into the locker room at half time. Central scored at the 6:43 mark and Miller rambled for a 60-yard TD for Polk’s score. Polk then added another two pointer on a Miller smash.
Devin Weber intercepted a Charger pass and returned it 23 yards to set the stage at the Central 35 yard line. On their second possession of the second half Polk moved the ball mainly with a controlled power plan featuring power running up the middle behind “Bully Blocking” and setting the stage for a Duncan Coffey handoff from Sillas and skirting right end for an eleven yard TD. The PAT attempt failed and Polk led 30-6.
Central scored at 2:13 in the third quarter with twenty yards in Polk penalties and a 29-yard pass completion being the big factors. Central then scored first in the final stanza with 8:12 left, kicked the PAT and cut Polk’s lead to 30-19. Gatlin Lanning intercepted a pass on Central’s next possession but Central held and forced a Polk punt. Weber again came up big when he recovered a Charger fumble at their 12-yard line on the return. Miller carried the ball three straight plays and scored the final TD on a one-yard plunge. Justin Brown split the uprights for the PAT and the score sat at 37-19,
“We played hard but we made too many mistakes and it certainly wasn’t pretty” said Coach Derrick Davis. “We have a tough schedule ahead of us and we’re going to have to quit putting the ball on the ground so much. Sequoyah and Sweetwater are both undefeated and they’re district teams. We have to get with it.”
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