By Jake Hood
Wilson Central fell just shy of defeating Rossview 17-14 at home Friday night.
The Wildcats had just come off of a tough loss to Smyrna last Friday, and Rossview topped Christian County. Rossview needed to carry its momentum into the game at Wilson Central to improve to 2-1, and Central needed to try something new to get its first win and not fall to 0-3 on the year.
The game was back and forth through the entire game, but a successful Rossview field goal and a missed field goal by the Wildcats turned out to be the difference.
The first quarter was slow, as neither team was able to put any points on the board for the first 12 minutes of play. The Red Hawks, led by senior quarterback Nick Harbor, were able to march down to Wilson Central’s 35-yard line before turning the ball over on an incomplete pass on fourth and two.
The Wildcats switched from their usual spread formation to a wing-T scheme. This meant the ball would stay on the ground more for the Cats. It worked for Wilson Central all the way to the Rossview 5-yard line before time expired in the first quarter. The rushing core, led by the quartet of Dawson Ray, Devonte McBroom, Garrett Todd and Kwamez Kirby, established the ground game early for the Wildcats.
On the opening play of the second quarter, Garrett Todd ran the ball in for a 5-yard touchdown. This gave Wilson Central a 7-0 lead.
However, Rossview answered with 10:20 left in the second. Nick Harbor threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to receiver Alshon Davis, which tied the score 7-7. Wilson Central had three chances to score in the second following the Rossview touchdown, but the Wildcats were unable to cross into Rossview territory for the remainder of the quarter.
The Red Hawks attacked quickly to start the third quarter. In only 46 seconds, Harbor and the Rossview offense were able to drive to midfield and allow Harbor to unleash a 50-yard pass to Kayden Miller for a touchdown.
About 10 minutes later, though, the Wildcat offense marched down to the Rossview 1, and Dylan Carpenter dove over the right pylon with 5:56 remaining in the third, which tied the score 14-14.
The Red Hawks and Wildcats each had a chance to score, but neither team could find the end zone before the fourth quarter began.
The fourth quarter started off slow for both sides, but the Red Hawks’ kicker Zaden Webber nailed a 44-yard field goal to put Rossview ahead 17-14 with 5:58 remaining in the game. Wilson Central got within field goal range, but kicker Ezra Widelock missed a 37 yarder that would have tied the game at 17-17. The Wildcats would get one more scoring chance after that, but a crucial sack by Rossview put the Wildcats away.
The Wildcat rushing core had a solid night, finishing with 216 total yards compared to Rossview’s 58 yards. Dylan Carpenter completed 3-of-9 passes for 80 yards, and Nick Harbor rushed for 20 yards and complete 8-of-14 passing attempts for 146 yards. Kayden Miller had a solid night, as he had 89 yards receiving and returned two punts for 54 yards.
The Wildcats’ Brett Robinson, McBroom and Ray had 34, 27 and 19 yards receiving, respectively.
The Wildcats will be on the road Friday to take on John Overton. Rossview will be at home next week and looks knock off undefeated Clarksville Northeast.