The Wildcats end the regular season with an 8-2 record – their school record sixth straight season with eight or more wins.
Trigg will host Glasgow Friday in the first round of the playoffs at Perdue Field.
While the Wildcats weren’t sharp on offense early, it was the defense that took over the contest. Trigg forced four fumbles and returned three for touchdowns while holding the Lone Oak offense to 126 total yards – with all but 36 coming against Trigg’s second-string defense.
“Defensively, we played extremely well,” said Wildcat head coach Curtis Higgins. “We made some big plays, caused some fumbles, and forced a bad snap on a kick. I was also pleased with how we picked up their backs out of the backfield on pass plays.”
The Wildcats pressured Lone Oak quarterback Cory Robinson most of the night, with a focus on not allowing any long passes. The sophomore completed 7-of-21 passes for just 56 yards, which is about 35 below his per game average.
Only two of Robinson’s passes went for longer than 20 yards, but Higgins felt Trigg’s secondary played too soft at times.
“I was a little disappointed with our secondary. We probably gave up five too many completions. I may be greedy, but we’re better than that,” Higgins said. “We need to make some more plays on the football in the secondary.”
Up front, Lone Oak abandoned their running game when their first 17 carries netted minus-20 yards.
After Tommy Woodall hit Devin Tejada across the middle for a 46-yard touchdown on Trigg’s second play from scrimmage, the Wildcat defense settled in and did the dirty work necessary to win.
Lone Oak didn’t gain more than two yards in any of their first six offensive drives, which ended in four punts and two fumbles returned for a touchdown.
The first came when a bad punt snap rolled into the end zone where Dhayna Cavanaugh picked it up for a quick 14-0 Wildcat lead with 5:34 left in the opening quarter.
Another Lone Oak fumble deep in their own territory led to an 11-yard run by Taylor McGee to put the Wildcats up 21-0 with 7:33 left in the first half.
The Wildcat defense came up with another big play when Corey Hobbs took a short pass from Robinson and was leveled at the Purple Flash 31-yard line by John David Fourqurean, jarring the ball loose. Dylan Sonnek picked up the fumble and took it 26 yards for the score and a 28-0 Wildcat lead.
Lone Oak countered with their first serious scoring threat that took them to the Wildcat 9-yard line with two minutes left before halftime.
A 6-yard scoring run by Hobbs was called back because of a holding penalty, and the drive stalled at the 12 when Robinson’s pass to Matt Hopper was trapped in the end zone.
Lone Oak again ventured into the Wildcat red zone on their first drive of the second half, but two tackles for loss and two incomplete passes end the threat at the Wildcat 15-yard line.
Trigg began nailing the coffin shut when Scotty Mayes took his only handoff of the night and swept around the left end for an 82-yard run with 4:32 left in the third quarter for a 35-0 lead.
Woodall later added a 1-yard run, and the Wildcat defense added their third score of the night when freshman Donald Bush scooped up a fumble and returned it 15 yards for the score and a 49-0 lead with a minute left in the third quarter.
Lone Oak got on the scoreboard against the Wildcat J.V. defense, with Hobbs scoring on a 9-yard run with 9:29 showing on the running clock.
The Purple Flash ran 56 offensive plays compared to just 38 for the Wildcats, and the difference showed up in time of possession. Lone Oak owned the football for 31:44, while the Wildcats had it for 16:16 – their fourth straight game where their time of possession was under 20 minutes.
The Wildcats had 266 yards of offense, averaging seven yards per play.
Woodall was 9-of-16 passing for 116 yards, with Jamaal Boyd and Stephon Smithers each catching three passes.
If there was a negative to the night, the Wildcats were penalized a season-high 12 times for 100 yards, which seems to becoming an annual tenth game trait.
Lone Oak finished their season with a record of 5-5. Their 4-3 district record equaled that of Heath and Caldwell County, but the Purple Flash lost the tie-breaker for the third and fourth playoff spots.
“We’ve got a good bunch of young kids, but we made too many turnovers. Trigg just has too many good players for us to match on defense,” Lone Oak head coach Jack Haskins said.
The win was Trigg County’s fifth straight against Lone Oak and ninth in ten career games at Perdue Field.
EXTRA POINTS – Despite scoring 49 points, Trigg County’s 266 yards of offense was their lowest total since their Sept. 16 loss to Fort Campbell…Trigg County has allowed just 33 first half points in their last seven games…The Wildcats have won 15 straight games in October dating back to 2002…The win was Curtis Higgins’ 75th as a high school head coach. He is 58-16 at TCHS…Trigg County has won 12 straight games against McCracken County schools dating back to 2001…Lone Oak sophomore and starting offensive tackle Jon Carr is the grandson of Cadiz residents Hollis and Dean Carr.