Wildcats snuff Dragons, head to playoffs
Cats play Grundy
County in playoff first round
Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff
LA’s Jamey Vaughn gets blocking up front as he attempts to turn
the corner in Friday’s playoff game.
By ASHLEY HUNTER, OCN staff
The Livingston Academy Wildcat football team finished up yet another
great season last Friday night, Nov. 8, losing in the first round
of the playoffs to Grundy County. The team began the season 0-3,
then had a major turnaround, winning 7 straight games; however,
it was simply a bad second half that stopped the Cats in Grundy
LA Head Coach Matt Eldridge said of the season, "We had a
really good year considering that we had a young, inexperienced
"The kids did a good job this year, coming back from being
0-3 early on.
"We're very proud of them."
The game began with flying colors for LA. Early on, Wilson Cates
picked off a Grundy County pass to gain offensive possession.
The momentum continued to swing the Wildcats' way as, on their
next drive, a 20-yard pass to senior Joe Nigro completed a touchdown.
The extra point attempt by kicker Wesley Puckett was good and the
Cats found themselves up 7-0.
Grundy County had plans of their own as they capped off their first
drive of the second quarter with a touchdown. Their extra point
attempt was also successful and the score was tied up at 7 points
Livingston put the pedal to the metal a couple of drives later,
marching 91 yards in 7:38 to the Grundy County end of the field.
The go-ahead score came on an 18-yard touchdown pass to Lance Holland.
The second half seemed like a totally different ballgame as the
Wildcats seemed to be less polished than usual. They began the third
quarter with two consecutive penalties. This forced them to punt
the ball out of their own endzone.
The punt didn't come off as planned and the Yellow Jackets took
over from the Livingston 3-yard line. Grundy County took three plays
to go those 3 yards, but nevertheless, the Wildcats found themselves
facing a tie early in the third quarter.
LA's next offensive possession, though executed pretty well, never
materialized with a score.
Grundy County seemed to be doing a little tailoring of their own,
though, as they scored on their next drive. The score came from
a 46-yard drive by standout Joey Cook. The lead increased to 21-14
in favor of the Yellow Jackets.
Grundy County continued their amazing punishment in the fourth
quarter, as they scored very early. A reverse play put the stingers
up by two touchdowns at 28-14.
The game continued on with no real offensive output until the very
end, when Grundy County put yet another TD on the board. This one
was capped off by a 3-yard run by Grundy QB Justin Bryant.
As far as stats go, the teams were pretty matched, with 283 yards
of offense for Grundy County and 282 yards for Livingston Academy,
with 265 of Grundy County's yards on the ground, while 18 were passing
yards. On the other end of the spectrum, 88 of LA's yards were on
the ground, while 194 were passing yards.
Grundy was led in yards rushing by Cook with 123 yards. Quarterback
Bryant was next with 75 yards. Robbie Anderson rushed for 37 yards,
and Jeremy Melton rushed for 30 yards. At QB, Bryant hit 2 of 4.
Brian Colson was Livingston's leading rusher, with 51 yards. He
was followed by Wilson Cates with 30 yards, and Whitney Coleman
with 20 yards.
At quarterback, Cates went 16 of 31 for 194 yards. In yards receiving,
Joe Nigro was the LA leader with 76 yards. He was followed by Cody
King and Lance Holland, with 63 and 55 yards, respectively.
Coach Eldridge said of the game, "We played a pretty good
first half. In the second half, we just started to make silly mistakes
that we hadn't been previously making and it cost us the game."
This year the Wildcats lose 10 senior players and two senior managers
to graduation. These are Joe Nigro, Jared Rudd, Eric Huddleston,
Marco Lisi, Matt Brown, Bruce Wilson, Michael Poston, Michael Hayes,
Rob Medley, Matt Rooker, Bobby Hughes, and Bryan Rooker.
The outlook for next season is a positive one, though, according
to Coach Eldridge. "We have a lot of kids coming back next
year, " he said.
"We are excited about our chances and hope everyone comes
out and continues to watch us."
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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570