The win improved the Wildcats to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in district play. The victory was also the 300th in the football program’s history dating back to 1938.
The Wildcats took advantage of two fumbles, an interception, a bad punt snap, and a blocked punt to build a 27-7 halftime cushion and win going away.
Playing with a short field, the Wildcats only amassed 301 yards of offense but started five of their nine drives in Heath territory.
The Wildcats were successful through the air as Tommy Woodall completed 6-of-10 passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns.
Jamaal Boyd caught three of those for 73 yards and a pair of scores.
“We had more of an emphasis on throwing the ball successfully in practice this week,” Wildcat head coach Curtis Higgins said. “We wanted their skill guys on offense to play defense and force them to tackle us. But if we didn’t pass the ball successfully, I felt like we could have lined up and run the ball on them, but we didn’t need to.”
The Wildcats finished with 120 yards on 30 carries, with Scotty Mayes (48 yards) and Taylor McGee (45 yards) handling the bulk of the carries.
Despite averaging four yards a carry, Higgins wasn’t pleased with the play of his linemen up front.
“We didn’t do a good job tonight. We had sophomores playing like sophomores tonight and seniors jumping offsides. Those are things they haven’t been doing in the past few games,” Higgins said.
Six of Trigg’s nine penalties were on offense, with the Wildcats flagged for 70 total yards.
Defensively, the Wildcats were able to get pressure on Heath quarterback Clint Tilford, who only completed 7-of-15 passes for 42 yards and an interception. Tilford was sacked by the Wildcat defense six times. Trigg also forced two fumbles.
“They run that veer, and we tried to hit them in that mesh point where the quarterback puts the ball in front of him,” Higgins said.
Heath gained just 189 yards, about half of their usual total.
“We thought we could run the football, and we did in the second half, but they brought quite a bit of pressure all night,” Heath head coach Butch Edwards said. “We can scare some people sometimes, but we’re not good enough to play with the big boys yet. Their size was a problem for us.”
An interception by Woodall on the game’s fourth play set up Trigg’s first score, a 58-yard screen pass to Greg Acree with 9:22 left in the first quarter.
Heath answered immediately by driving 71 yards in just four plays and knotting the game at 7-7 on a 1-yard keeper by Tilford.
Then, Heath’s mistakes handed the game to the Wildcats.
A bad snap on a Heath punt resulted in an incomplete pass and gave the Wildcats the football at the 31-yard line. Six plays later, McGee scored on a 16-yard run to put the Wildcats ahead 13-7 with 1:05 left in the quarter.
Heath fumbled on the very next play, and Trigg quickly answered when Woodall found Boyd on a hitch-and-go for a 37-yard score to put the Wildcats up 19-7.
Another fumble by Heath set up another 37-yard touchdown from Woodall to Boyd with 3:38 left in the half for a 27-7 Wildcat lead.
The Wildcats opened the second half with a 5-play, 62-yard drive that culminated in a 30-yard option toss to Scotty Mayes for to put Trigg up 33-7 with 9:49 left in the third quarter.
Heath put together a pair of 12-play drives to start the second half but scored on only one of those, a 19-yard power by Chris McKinney to cut the Wildcat lead to 33-14 with 3:07 left in the third quarter.
A 1-yard run by McGee with 2:29 ended the Wildcat scoring for the night.
Heath fell to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in district play. The Pirates travel to Fort Campbell to play the top-ranked Falcons, who will be without the services of Mr. Football candidate Micah Johnson, who was ejected from last week’s game with Caldwell County and must sit out Friday’s game.
A win by Heath would force a three-way tie atop the district standings, which could put Trigg County in third place by virtue of the KHSAA tie-breaking system.
A Fort Campbell win all but assures the Wildcats a two-seed in the playoffs and a first round home game.
The Wildcats travel to Webster County Friday.