‘Cats struggle early, execute late in scrimmage at Marshall
by Justin McGill, Executive Editor -- jmcgill@cadizrecord.com
Aug 18, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DRAFFENVILLE – Trigg County started slowly but finished strong in Friday’s football scrimmage at Marshall County. The varsity Wildcats lost the first half 12-0 and won the second half 17-14.

Early, Trigg’s offense sputtered due to eight dropped passes and three holding penalties. Marshall scored touchdowns on an 80-yard run by quarterback Chase Clark and a 70-yard pass to his brother Blake Clark.

After scrimmaging special teams situations and a quarter of junior varsity action, the fourth quarter featured running-clock gameplay for the varsity squads.

The ‘Cats shot themselves in the foot again to start the quarter when the Marshals recovered a bad punt snap in the end zone. Both teams were forced to punt on their next possessions, and Trigg quarterback Andrew Stewart was intercepted in the red zone midway through the quarter. However, the Wildcat defense evened the score with linebacker Toddrick Wilson forced a fumble, recovered it and ran 15 yards for a touchdown.

After forcing another Marshall punt, Trigg drove 67 yards in six plays and took the lead on a 17-yard run by Stewart. The Marshals tied the score on the very next play, an 80-yard Clark-to-Clark connection, with 1:33 left on the clock.

Running a no-huddle offense, Trigg then began on its own 20-yard line and used six plays to get into field goal range, highlighted by a 33-yard jump-ball catch by Jermya Love. With nine seconds left on the clock, senior kicker Ethan Sweno nailed a 25-yard try to put Trigg ahead 17-14.

Stewart finished the night with 123 passing yards, going 11-for-27 with a pair of interceptions. He also ran six times for 50 yards. David Wease, who also punted for the ‘Cats, led receivers with four catches for 34 yards. Maurice Powell finished with two catches for 28 yards, and Devontae Nance caught a pair of passes for 26 yards.

If not for three big scoring plays, Trigg’s defensive stats would have looked much better. Without those plays, the ‘Cats allowed only 57 yards on 32 plays and forced two turnovers – Wilson’s fumble and an interception during the JV quarter.

Trigg scrimmaged without four senior starters – running back and defensive lineman Akeem Wilson, wide receiver and defensive backs Jaron Gilbert and Nick Watkins and defensive lineman Alonzo Lewis. Trigg head coach Shannon Burcham said each was “a little dinged up” and will likely play in Friday’s season-opener against defending Tennessee Class 1A champion Union City (7:30 p.m., Perdue Field).

“We’ve got to find some guys that can play and give us depth,” Burcham said. “We were struggling halfway through. It’s been hard trying to condition guys while teaching things on both sides of the ball and the kicking game to boot, but they responded the right way. If they’ll do that, they can do a whole lot of things in football or the game of life.”

The scrimmage would have given plenty of opportunity for younger players to get some experience, and the absence of four starters provided even more chances, Burcham said.

“That’s what we wanted to get out of this,” Burcham said. “We tried to play everybody we could. We’ll look at film and find out if guys did what we asked them to do, and those that did will be the guys that get to play. We’ve got a lot of guys playing both ways, so we’ve got to find some depth and get ready to play four quarters.”

Senior kicker Aaron Yielding also sat out at Marshall, and he and Sweno will both miss Friday’s game as the soccer ‘Cats are competing this weekend in a tournament at Graves County. Wease and Stewart have each practiced as kickers this season and will likely fulfill those duties this week.
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