The Wildcats ran the football 60 times in the contest, racking up 303 yards. 35 of those carries came in the first half as the Wildcats took advantage of three Panther turnovers to build a 17-7 lead.
Wildcat head coach Curtis Higgins said he took what Daviess County gave him, and it worked all night.
"We wanted to throw if they gave us some things, but they took away our screens by double-teaming. They had six in the box on defense, and they can’t do that and stop us running the ball," Higgins said.
Trigg County established their ground game early and used it to keep the football out of the hands of Panther quarterback Timmy Wimsatt, who entered the game averaging 233 yards passing and 77 yards rushing.
Wimsatt finished with 88 yards rushing on 13 carries and completed just 5-of-19 passes for 112 yards. He threw two touchdowns but was also picked off twice.
Most of Wimsatt’s passing total – 83 yards – came on their first play from scrimmage when Wimsatt’s deep bomb down the left sideline was hauled in by Nathan Logsdon for the score and early 7-0 lead.
"Part of our strategy was to have five or six in the box and contain him. We tried to bring some pressure, and when we were too aggressive, he scrambled and picked up big yardage. I thought we did a good job by dropping six into coverage," Higgins said.
After the long scoring play, Trigg County began to double-team Logsdon. The senior did have four more catches in the game, but they went for just 29 yards.
"We doubled him the rest of the night, and that’s why they tried throwing to the other side of the field," Higgins said. "We took our chances with our man coverage."
Despite giving up the long play, Trigg’s grind-it-out style began to pay dividends.
The Wildcats had drives of 11 and six plays on their first two possessions that ended in punts.
John David Fourqurean recovered a Wimsatt fumble at the Panther 17-yard line on Daviess’ next drive.
Three plays later, Steven Wadlington punched it in from four yards out to tie the score at 7-7 with 1:33 left.
Daviess County’s first three drives lasted just one play, as Jake Wallace picked off a Wimsatt pass and returned it 54 yards to the Panther 21-yard line. Three plays later, Tommy Woodall scored on a quarterback sneak to give the Wildcats a 14-7 lead with 14 seconds left in the quarter.
Wimsatt’s second interception of the half came at the 8:15 mark of the second quarter when Wallace deflected the pass in the end zone which was pulled down by Devin Tejada for his third pick of the season.
The Wildcats, starting at their own 20-yard line, then ran 13 consecutive running plays over the next 7:35. The drive stalled at the Panther 7-yard line.
After a Wildcat penalty backed the play up five yards, Jacob Wadlington booted home a 29-yard field goal with 40 seconds left to give Trigg a 17-7 halftime lead.
The Wildcats ran 39 plays in the first half, compared to just 13 for the Panthers, who owned the football for just 3:55 of the half.
Trigg extended the lead to 24-7 on their first drive of the second half. A pair of 27-yard plays keyed the drive.
Woodall’s 27-yard keeper around the right side put the football in Panther territory at the 36-yard line.
After a Wildcat penalty, Woodall connected with Wallace on a 27-yard pass play, with both Wallace and the Daviess defender getting their hands on the football.
The Wildcats were awarded possession at the 22-yard line, and scored five plays later when Woodall ran it in from 9-yards out with 6:33 left.
Daviess County’s lone offensive drive of longer than six plays came following the Wildcat score as they marched 74 yards in nine plays.
The Panthers cut the Wildcat lead to 24-14 when Wimsatt’s pass to Logsdon was deflected and went in the air. Logsdon pulled the pass down and raced 10 yards for the score with 4:49 left in the third quarter.
The Wildcats sealed the win by scoring on their next two possessions.
After a pair of sacks on Woodall backed the Wildcats up to their 26-yard line, Trigg was facing third-and-24.
Woodall again connected with Wallace, whose leaping, off-balance catch was good for 30 yards and kept the drive going.
"That catch was huge, because it kept the drive alive and kept their offense off the field. We didn’t want them trying to score with big plays like they did on the first play of the game," Higgins said.
Taylor McGee, who rushed for a career-high 70 yards on ten carries, capped the drive with a 1-yard score with 8:30 left.
Trigg finished the scoring with a 10-play, 60-yard drive that ate 5:12 off the clock and culminated with an 18-yard scoring pass from Woodall to Jamaal Boyd with 1:37 left.
Woodall attempted just seven passes on the night, completing four for 81 yards.
He also carried the football 20 times for 69 yards, but was sacked a season-high six times.
"We had a discussion about that. We had a commitment problem with some missed practice. Our guys have to get to practice," Higgins said.
Steven Wadlington led the ground assault with 147 yards on a season-high 24 carries.
The Wildcats outgained Daviess County 384-214 and had a season-high 21 first downs compared to nine for the Panthers.
Daviess County, a class 4A school, fell to 4-5 with the loss, their second straight to the Wildcats.
Trigg County improved to 7-1 overall and won their fifth straight game against a 4A school dating back to 2000.
"I think I can probably say the only time the program has been better than it is now was in 1971 and 1972 winning two straight state championships. They must have been pretty doggone good back then," Higgins said. "It takes a lot of luck. It takes some breaks, and it takes a lot of commitment and hard work for the program to be as successful as it is now."
The Wildcats will play at Muhlenberg South Friday at 7:30 p.m.