Wildcats End Tough Season with a “W”
The South Davidson Wildcat football team ended what had been a tough season with a huge victory over Chatham Central
in Bear Creek. The Wildcats had a really good week of practice as Interim Head Coach Kevin Bowers and his staff made adjustments
to the offense, defense, and special teams to set the Wildcats up for success. The Wildcats came out playing hard and never
let up against a much bigger Chatham Central team. Chatham had the biggest offensive and defensive line South played all season.
The Wildcats are young but the work they have put in showed up as they used what little depth they had to wear those big kids
down as the game went on. This was the first game that the ‘Cats chose to take defense instead of playing offense and
it paid off.
Chatham pushed the ball down the field but the Wildcats bowed
their necks and stopped them cold. South took the ball and drove it right back at them only to fumble on the two yard line.
The game went back and forth tightly contested by both sides. South also had two field goal opportunities they missed and
threw an interception that ended a scoring opportunity in the first half.
The Bears scored late in the second quarter to take an 8-0 lead going into halftime. Coach Bowers told the kids that they
had played hard and that they were only down 8-0. South had the opportunity to be winning 24-8 at the half if they had executed
and finished those drives. South coaches gave the kids a plan for the second half, which was not to panic, continue
to move the football and play solid defense. That plan worked as South held the Bears to just one more score in the 3rd quarter
which made it 14-0 with 7:06 to go in the game.
That is when the
feisty Wildcats exploded on the Bears and took charge of the game. South switched over to an offensive formation that they
had not seen on film and it paid off. Trent Shore started things off with a long 60 plus yard sprint to the end zone to make
the game 14-6 with less than 6:00 to go in the game. The Cats didn’t panic and stayed the course by making a huge defensive
stop to force the Bears to punt. The Wildcats took the ball and drove again using a combination of pass and run to eat up
yardage and score again making it 14-12 with less than 2 minutes to go in the game.
The scoring opportunity was set up by several nice passes from QB Corey Hartman to Matthew Glidewell and Alex
Grice. Hartman took a QB sneak into the end zone to make the score 14-12 with 1:45 to go in the game. South had another
play called, but Corey read the defensive front and went with the sneak.
That is where the true magic and the no quit attitude of the Wildcats paid off. South had one time out to use and
they had the ball. All Chatham had to do was basically get a first down or run three plays keeping the clock moving. That
is where fate stepped in and Chatham with a little over a minute to go with third down attempted a pass that was knocked down
by a south defender to stop the clock. Chatham punted and the Cats took over with less than 45 seconds to go in the game and
over 70 yards to cover. The Wildcats ran a nice sweep for good yards and threw several quick passes that moved the ball
to around midfield. With 13.4 seconds to go in the game and facing a 4th down and 11 yards to go, QB Corey Hartman heaved
a long pass down the right side line to a streaking Alex Grice to get the ball to the five yard line with 7.6 seconds remaining.
The offensive line did a great job holding those guys out and South made a super nice throw and catch to get that big play.
The Wildcats were out of timeouts, but Chatham called timeout to stop the clock.
Coach Bowers went into the huddle and told the kids, “ We’re going to kick a field goal and win
this game!” They wanted to run a play but Bowers told them they didn’t have a timeout to stop the clock so they
were going for the win. If they missed it would be on him since he made the call. Bowers told the line to block like
never before and Hunter Query to put his head down and kick that ball thru the uprights…and that is exactly what happened
and the Wildcats came away with a huge 15-14 win to end the season on a high note.
Coach Bowers was extremely proud of the players, coaches, and parents. “It was a great game with tons of support and
all the things we have been looking for this season came into play and worked. The Seniors went out winners and that is the
#1 goal we had going in. We had to get those guys a win and it happened.”
Everyone on the team in some way
helped the Wildcats get the win. They used pretty much everyone in some capacity against Chatham and it paid off. South
has been a very young team for two seasons, and they are losing some quality Seniors; but have the bulk of our starters back
and for the first time in three seasons will have almost 100% Varsity as all 11th and 12th graders. This last effort
and win set the tone for the future and Coach Bowers knows the kids will continue to lift weights, workout, train, and get
ready for next season. He told them after the game to use that momentum for next season and to understand that preparation
for 2015 began Monday.
South Seniors Preston Owens, Chase Smith,
Johnny McHone, Nathan Riffe, Alex Grice, and Gideon Binge all did a great job for us this year. Preston and Chase have been
with the Wildcats four years and the others joined this season and gave South some awesome work effort in practice and games.
Bowers hope is that more rising Seniors come out, even if it is for just one season. If they ask these guys, they will find
out that all of them wish they had played all four years. Wildcat football is on the rise and the coaches and the team want
to thank the parents and community for their support this season.