“Our heads just weren’t in the game. We were dropping passes, fumbling the football, and missing people on pass routes. We had no focus, and that bothered me the most,” the Wildcat head coach said.
His comments came after Trigg County’s 53-13 win at Reidland Friday – their third win in which they’ve topped 50 points offensively.
“Maybe our expectations are too high when you win a game 53-13 and you’re searching for all of the problems,” Higgins said after the Wildcats improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the district.
The Wildcat coach admitted that his team was likely looking ahead to this week’s district showdown with Fort Campbell, the number one team in the state.
“We were definitely looking ahead. As coaches and players we were looking ahead, and it showed up on the field.”
The Wildcat offense sputtered at times but still managed to roll up 420 yards and average 9.1 yards per play. As a result, Trigg scored on three of their first five possessions and five of seven in the first half in building a 32-6 lead.
No Wildcat back got more than five carries but nine different players combined for 253 yards on 25 carries as Trigg continues to post respectable rushing numbers behind a rebuilt offensive line.
The Wildcats came out wanting to pass the football, but quarterback Tommy Woodall misfired on his first four attempts.
Trigg’s opening drive was kept alive by a Reidland penalty, and the Wildcats made them pay when Woodall’s first completion of the night was a 45-yard strike to Stephon Smithers with 11:12 left in the opening quarter.
Smithers caught a career-high four passes for 73 yards before leaving the game in the second half with leg cramps.
After a Reidland punt, Scotty Mayes took a handoff on the very next play and broke a pair of arm tackles on his way to a 67-yard touchdown run with 9:31 left in the first quarter.
Trigg County missed their first four extra points – two passes, a run, and a kick.
But instead of rolling over as Reidland has done against the Wildcats in the past, the Greyhounds answered with a 7-play, 77-yard drive that was capped by a two-yard run by Jeff Turpin with 2:11 left in the first quarter. It was Reidland’s first points scored against the Wildcats since their 2001 win over Trigg County.
A 42-yard pass to Turpin earlier in the drive set the score up for Reidland. However, the transfer from Marion, Ill. did not play in the second half due to an injury.
Trigg County went ahead 18-6 on a 4-yard keeper by Woodall on the final play of the first quarter.
Reidland put together another long drive, starting on their own 42-yard line and marching to the Wildcat 15. Facing fourth-and-ten, Reidland quarterback Matt Cornwell was picked off at the goal line by Jamaal Boyd.
The Wildcats needed just six plays to cover 71 yards and go ahead 24-6 when Rick Woods scored on a 14-yard run with 1:44 left in the half.
On Reidland’s next play, Boyd picked off another Cornwell pass and returned it 55-yard for a touchdown. But a penalty flag negated the score.
Trigg ran of seven plays in 50 seconds, covering 47 yards and taking a 32-6 lead when Boyd hauled in a 16-yard pass from Woodall with 29 seconds left in the half.
A Trigg fumble on their first play of the third quarter set up Reidland’s final score – a 4-yard run by John Boaz with 8:22 left to cut the lead to 32-13.
“Reidland battled us tonight,” Higgins said. “They haven’t been battling the last three years, but you could see a difference tonight.”
The Wildcats poured it on after that, scoring on a 21-yard run by Taylor McGee with 5:16 left in the third quarter.
On the next Reidland drive, Cornwell completed a pass to Andrew Hobbs at midfield. On the tackle, Devin Tejada reached in and took the football away from Hobbs and raced 50 yards for the score to put the Wildcats up 45-13 with 3:13 left in the third quarter.
Trigg ended the scoring when Marcus Mayes took his first varsity handoff and raced 38 yards for the score with 3:39 left in the game.
Mayes led the Wildcat rushers with 101 yards on just four carries, while McGee added 49 yards on five carries.
Woodall was 9-of-20 passing for 155 yards and threw two touchdowns without any interceptions.
Trigg outgained Reidland 420-215 in total yards, but Reidland (1-2, 0-1) had two more first downs (14-12).
The Wildcats return to action Friday at Fort Campbell, who is ranked #1 in both the Associated Press and Bluegrasspreps.com 2A football poll.
EXTRA POINTS – Trigg County leads the all-time series with Reidland 11-2 and have won five straight games in McCracken County…Robert Sholar recorded Trigg County’s lone sack of the game and leads the Wildcats in sacks (2) and fumble recoveries (3) through four games…Trigg County topped 50 points for the third time this year, equaling the feat accomplished in the 2003 and 2001. The 2000 team topped 50 points five times in establishing a school record for scoring (43.0) in a season…The Wildcats failed on five conversions after a touchdown – the most since their 68-38 playoff loss to Fulton County in 1997…Trigg County was penalized nine times for 83 yards, while Reidland was flagged nine times for 68 yards.