LAVERGNE — Turnovers had been Wilson Central’s undoing during a six-loss season.
They turned out to be the difference in the Wildcats’ 38-14 win over host LaVergne on Friday night.
But the play the Wildcats will probably most talk about is the record-setting 99-yard pass from Aaron Hubbell to Garrett Todd which opened a 21-0 lead in the second quarter. Coach Brad Dedman, who has been at Central all but one year (when he was at LaVergne, ironically) since its 2001 opening, couldn’t remember another 99-yard scoring play in the Wildcats’ 17 seasons.
“As much speed as they got, it’s hard to happen,” Dedman said. “They missed a tackle and we were able to run it the rest of the way. Hats off to the throw and hats off to the catch.”
Central owned the first 18 minutes or so as Ries Adkisson recovered a LaVergne fumble on the Wolverines’ first offensive play. Hubbell, who had just flipped a 32-yard swing pass for a touchdown to Stratton Farmer, hit Dalton King on a 7-yard slant for a 14-0 lead.
“Our guys definitely performed well tonight,” Dedman said. “We had a good week of preparation all week long. When you have a good week it shows up on the field on Friday night, and tonight it showed up.”
But after the 99-yard home run, LaVergne which was stopped on downs at the Central 7-yard line on its previous series to set up the long score, regrouped and drove to a 1-yard touchdown run by A.J. Wallace to slice the margin to 21-7 by halftime.
Central had trouble tackling Montez Gray, who ran for 192 yards on 20 carries. He had 61 on a touchdown down the left side to bring LaVergne to within 21-14.
Then Hubbell, who hit 8 of 13 passes for 196 yards, was intercepted on a jump ball. But Central got the ball right back three plays later when King recovered a fumble. Hubbell muscled in a 1-yard scoring sneak to turn the tide at 28-14.
Will LaFollete lined a 28-yard field goal through the linemen and just over the crossbar for a 31-14 lead late in the third quarter. Kwamez Kirby capped the scoring with a10-yard jet sweep midway through the fourth quarter as the Wildcats climbed to 2-6 going into their bye week.
“The turnovers were the key to the game,” Dedman said. “It got the momentum back to our side. We were able to keep it the rest of the time.”
A plethora of Wildcat runners accumulated 204 yards in a balanced attack. LaVergne, which saw a two-game winning streak end to fall to 2-6, was one-dimensional as while the Wolverines ran for 236 yards, they had just three through the air as Drew Warren led the pass rush with a pair of sacks.
Following the bye week, Wilson Central will welcome Lebanon at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 as the Wildcats look to find a way to slow the Blue Devils’ playoff push.