Fort Campbell notched a 14-7 win over the Wildcats Sept. 16 at Fryar Stadium and gained the inside track for the district title and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Despite the loss, Wildcat head coach Curtis Higgins was very pleased of the play of the sixth-ranked Wildcats, who fell to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in district play.
“We did what we wanted to do, but just didn’t punch it in a couple of times,” he said. “I thought our effort was great, and we never backed down from them.”
After Fort Campbell went ahead 14-0 a minute into the fourth quarter, the Wildcats responded.
The Wildcats marched 80 yards in just five plays, with the big gain a 47-yard pass from Tommy Woodall to Jamaal Boyd that gave the Wildcats possession at the Falcon 20-yard line. Two plays later, Woodall scored on a 3-yard run to cut the lead to 14-7 with 9:33 left.
After forcing a Falcon punt, the Wildcats again drove the football into Falcon territory.
Scotty Mayes picked up 21 yards on a second down run, and the Wildcats were aided by a pass interference penalty on third down that advanced the ball to the Falcon 34-yard line.
After a 15-yard run by Devin Tejada gave the Wildcats first down at the 19, Trigg couldn’t punch the ball into the end zone.
Taylor McGee picked up seven yards on two carries, but a third down pass was incomplete, and Woodall was sacked by Orlando Misaalefua on a fourth down roll out.
The Wildcats got one more chance when poor clock management by Fort Campbell led to a punt with 30 seconds left.
However, Yule Wimbush intercepted Woodall’s fourth down pass at the Falcon 20-yard line to preserve the 14-7 win.
The Wildcats outgained Fort Campbell 144-105 in the second half, although the Falcons held the game advantage at 253-239.
However, Trigg scored just once in four red zone opportunities.
“We wanted to run the football and get them in a man defense so we could throw some,” Higgins said. “We may have waited too late to make that move, but we didn’t want to turn the football over.”
And the Wildcats didn’t. The late interception was the only turnover of the night for a Wildcat squad that had averaged three giveaways in their first four games.
Fort Campbell came out and set the early tone, driving 82 yards on 11 plays in the game’s opening series.
Senior star Micah Johnson accounted for 38 yards on six carries as Fort Campbell utilized a no-huddle offense for most of the first half. Johnson ended the drive with a 2-yard run with 8:48 left in the quarter for a 7-0 Falcon lead.
“We wanted to set the tempo early, and by scoring first, it helped us get that,” said Johnson, who finished with 159 yards on 22 carries.
Trigg County appeared to have an answer as they drove to the Falcon 17-yard line where Brent Wietting’s 24-yard field goal fell just short.
After that, the first half turned into a punting contest as the Falcons led 7-0 at halftime and carried that same lead into the fourth quarter.
Johnson put the Falcons ahead 14-0 with a 38-yard run around the right side with 11:09 left in the game.
Trigg County featured a balanced rushing attack, although it didn’t eat up huge chunks of yards.
McGee had 66 yards on 14 carries, while Tejada added 34 yards on nine attempts, and Acree (32 yards) and Woodall (31 yards) helped the Wildcats total 172 yards rushing.
Woodall was 4-of-13 through the air for 67 yards.
“Trigg County has a good football team. They are well-coached and play hard, and we expected that coming in,” Fort Campbell head coach Shawn Berner said after the Falcons improved to 4-0 and 1-0 in district play. “They ran the football more than we thought and showed us some different things than in the past.”
Fort Campbell has won ten of the last 12 meetings in the series overall, which they now lead 20-11.
“We didn’t bring our A+ game, but we brought our ‘A’ game and hit with them all night,” Higgins said as the Wildcats prepare for Caldwell County at home Friday.
The Falcons will travel to Lone Oak Friday for their first district game.