DE QUEEN—The Watson Chapel Wildcats received a four-touchdown performance from senior running back Devonte Battles in cruising to a 48-7 win over the DeQueen Leopards in 5A-South Conference action on Friday night at Leopard Stadium.
Watson Chapel (2-2, 2-0 5A-South) controlled the tempo by dominating the line of scrimmage all night against De Queen (0-5, 0-2 5A-South). The Wildcats running backs totaled 381 yards on the ground throughout the night and accounted for six total touchdowns.
Watson Chapel head coach George Shelton was proud of his team’s effort overall and pleased with the defensive effort on the night as they remained undefeated in conference play.
“They did a good job,” Shelton said. “They played hard and holding them to 7 points is a good thing. Hopefully we can continue the trend of playing well and getting people off the field.”
The Wildcats never had any doubts on the outcome of the game scoring early and often. De Queen won the toss and elected to receive, but the Leopards had a quick three-and-out as Chapel took over from its own 28-yard line after the punt. A burst up the middle by Trey Woods put the ball into Leopard territory and Battles scored three plays later on a 3-yard run up the middle to put the Wildcats up 7-0.
The Wildcats defense forced another quick fourth down and caught a break when the long snapper sailed the ball over the punters head as Chapel took over from the Leopards 11-yard line. Running back Trey Cole needed just one play to score from 11 yards out as the Wildcats went up 14-0 with 7:15 left in the first.
With 23 seconds left before the second quarter, Battles took a handoff and outran everybody for his second touchdown of the night with a 33-yard run to put the Wildcats up 21-0 after Corey Baxter added the PAT. The Wildcats defense added a couple of highlights when they forced a fumble and intercepted a pass in the second quarter.
After the interception, the Wildcats scored three plays later when Battles took a toss to the left side and then cut back up the middle for a 33-yard touchdown run. Battles had a game high 12 carries for 106 yards and four touchdowns.
“That was just another typical performance by him,” Shelton said of Battles. “He plays hard and he has a lot of ability. He can run. He can catch it. He can play multiple positions so he just did everything we expected of him. He’s one of our team leaders.”
The sportsmanship rule came in effect after the second half kickoff with the Wildcats leading by 35 points. The Leopards found the scoreboard late in the third quarter when quarterback Jake Arndt found Kewaun French for a 35-yard TD pass to make the score 35-7.
Watson Chapel responded with a 10-play, 80-yard drive capped off by a 2-yard TD run by Battles with the clock continually running to give the Wildcats a 42-7 lead. The final touchdown of the night came from Joshua Harris when he caught a 3-yard pass from Kris McCullough.
With another conference victory under his belt, Shelton said there are always corrections to be made as they go on the road again to face the Hope Bobcats.
“We definitely need to sharpen up in the passing game,” he said. “We need to be a little bit better at the line of scrimmage. We had some penetration at times which is a bit of improvement from last week, so hopefully we will continue to improve.”