Wildcats score big shutout

The Watson Chapel Wildcats scored three touchdowns through the air and three on the ground in a 45-0 rout of the Hot Springs Trojans in 5A-South Conference action on Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.

Watson Chapel (1-2, 1-0 5A-South) controlled the tempo with the mixture of the pass and run games throughout the night. The Wildcats totaled 250 yards on the ground and added another 180 yards through the air.

Watson Chapel head coach George Shelton was proud of his team’s effort and pleased with their performance this week.

“It was a little bit better performance, so we’re happy about that,” Shelton said. “We made a few plays in the passing game and our run game was much better, so we’re getting a little bit better, hopefully.”

While the Wildcats offense was clicking, the defense was a force all night in causing five turnovers and getting many fourth-down stops as the defense was flying around the ball all night.

“We’ve made a lot of mistakes the last couple of games,” Shelton said. “It looked like they came out with great focus and I was pleased with their aggression and certainly their tackling. Their gang-tackling was pretty good.”

Watson Chapel jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead with 9:39 left in the first quarter. The Wildcats marched down the field on their opening possession and scored when senior running back Devonte Battles took a toss sweep to the right and cut back up the middle for a 21-yard run to the end zone. Senior kicker Corey Baxter added the PAT.

After a defensive stop, the Wildcats marched down the field again and received a 1-yard run from senior running back Tray Woods to give the Wildcats a 14-0 lead. After a fumble recovery from junior Kristen Trammel, the Wildcats needed just five plays to find the end zone again. Senior quarterback Kris McCullough found senior tight end Xavier Bullard for an 8-yard strike in the right corner of the end zone to give the Wildcats a 21-0 lead.

On the Wildcats next possession, Battles scampered in from 8 yards out line up at quarterback in the Wildcat formation to increase the lead to 28-0. Baxter later added a 33-yard field goal to give Watson Chapel a 31-0 lead at the half.

With Chapel’s offense in control, the Wildcats defense forced a fumble on Hot Springs first possession of the second half. The Wildcats added a 7-yard touchdown pass when McCullough found senior wide receiver Kirel Young wide open late in the third quarter. With the sportsmanship rule in effect, Watson Chapel added the knockout blow when McCullough hooked up with Young again for a 52-yard completion down the left sideline as the Wildcats moved ahead 45-0 with 6:10 left in the ballgame.

With the first conference victory under wraps, Shelton knows there are still corrections to be made for the next match with De Queen as the conference season is under way.

“There is always improvement (we can make),” he said. “This thing is nothing but a process. We are hoping we can execute much better on both sides of the ball.

“We had some alignment issues on defense and had some personal packages issues on offense. We have to clean up those types of things and get the right people on the field and off the field.”