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Archives 09-10-2008

Sports

Jr. Wildcats defeat Clay County 12-6
LA shows promise in loss at Kingston
Lady Wildcats win over White County
Wildcats Volleyball beginning to roll

Jr. Wildcats defeat Clay County 12-6


Josh Scott photo
Creed Hayes gets a push up front from the Jr. Wildcats’ offensive line to open up running room.


Josh Scott photo
The Jr. Wildcats pile on to stop a Clay County offensive drive.

By Josh Scott,
OCN Sports
Everybody loves being perfect, period. If you are not perfect, you try your best to get there, and if you are, you try your best to stay there. After a perfect 2-0 start, the Overton County Jr. Wildcats played Clay County on Thursday night looking to improve to 3-0.

The Jr. Cats got the ball to start the game, but after a long drive into Bulldog territory, fumbled the ball on a toss play to the right. Then came out the defensive unit, who without knowing, would have to be a strong point all night, and they succeeded. Although they gave up yardage, and had penalties, the Jr. Cats defense bent, but never broke, and allowed zero points in the game.

Coach Steve Mosely said, “Defensively, we played well, that was the standout. Offensively, we drove the ball down on the first drive, and fumbled. After that, we never were in rhythm.”

No rhythm was evident, seeing how after putting up scores of 40 and 16, the Jr. Cats offense managed to put up a score in the 4th by Creed Hayes, but failing on the 2 point-after try making the game 6-0 Jr. Cats.

But, there are three parts to a great football team, offense, defense, and special teams, and on the very kickoff after the TD, the Bulldogs returned the kick 85 yards for a score, converting on the PAT to make the game now 8-6 Bulldogs, with under 5 minutes to play.

“We played sloppy. Towards the end, we moved the ball when we had to, but the game itself should have never been close,” Mosely said.

McCoin, Hayes, Reagan, and the crew found one more drive left in them. With under 2 minutes left in the game, a name was called that was familiar from last week, as Lucas Reagan took the ball and put it in from 3 yards out, turning the game from 8-6, to 12-6, with 1:30 left in the game. The Jr. Cats failed on another 2-point attempt, but covered well on the ensuing kickoff, and Clay County took over with under a minute left, no timeouts, and having to score.

The Wildcat D stepped up yet again, and closed the door when Clay made an attempt to throw the ball deep, which was broken up by McCoin.

Although the Jr. Cats won, it was sloppy. Also, not only do they play this week, they play twice. The ‘Cats play one of the toughest teams in the conference, Smith County, Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., and then turn around and play DeKalb County Thursday at Livingston at 6:30 p.m.

“These two games will define our season,” Coach Mosely said. “It is gonna be tough playing with one day’s rest for both games, but we have to do it unless I can change it. These two games are the biggest in our season, and they are back-to-back.”

The September 11 game may be changed to Saturday, Sept. 13.

When a team is allowing 8 points a game, and scoring 22.6 points a game, it will be successful, and so far that is the truth for the Jr. Cats.



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LA shows promise in loss at Kingston


Landon Amonett photo
Quarterback Brannon McCoin cuts back on an LA run Friday.


Landon Amonett photo
Livingston Academy’s defense takes down a Yellow Jacket.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports
“I can’t remember when I was ever more proud of a football team than I was tonight,” Livingston Academy head coach Bruce Lamb said Friday night with somewhat mixed emotions.

“Yes, we lost the game, but I believe we won our confidence back tonight, and that was a giant step in rebuilding this team. We are no longer intimidated, by anyone.

“Tonight we found out that we can play in this league, and I can’t wait to play again. I wish it was Saturday night.”

Lamb and the Wildcats will have to wait two weeks to show off their newfound confidence, and it will be a big challenge, but despite a 21-0 defeat in Kingston, for the first time in a long time, the Wildcats showed they were not a pushover.

“We had a great week of practice and tonight, we had a great effort from everyone on this team,“ Wildcats captain Stenson Smith explained. “Our offense moved the ball and our defense stopped them cold all night.

“One big play and a couple fumbles really killed us, but it didn’t dampen our determination. We now believe we can get the job done, and tonight went a long way towards regrouping this team. We should have won.”

Lamb and Smith were both right on the money. If a team ever needed a good effort it was the Wildcats, and on the road Friday, they produced it.

After two years of being the whipping boy of Region 2, 3A, Livingston will now have to be taken more seriously by opponents. The road is still long and rough, but at least it appears that the journey back has begun.

Prior to Friday’s contest, Livingston had only managed 86 yards on the ground and 52 through the air in two one-sided losses to Smith County and Trousdale County. There were some definite problems in the Wildcat offense. Defensively, the Cats had given up over 400 yards on the ground and over 240 through the air. The prospect for any kind of season at all looked bleak.

“We have got to get some kind of leadership on this team,” Smith explained after last week’s loss to Trousdale County. “Our defense is staying on the field too long and our offense can’t move the ball. We have a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball.”

Friday the leadership showed up in the form of not one, but several players, and on both sides of the ball, the Wildcats were a totally different team.

This time the Cats produced more than 200 yards of offense, and more importantly, put up the most impressive defensive effort in almost two years. Only a couple big plays by the Yellow Jackets spelled the difference in the game.

By winning the toss to start the game, the Wildcats decided to give the ball to the Yellow Jackets, and on the very first series, held the home team on the Wildcats 2 yard line. On fourth and two, LA’s John Burkett made a crushing tackle that gave the ball to Livingston. During the goal line stand, outstanding play by the up front defense of Looper, Josh Beaty, Talon Sircy, Jacob Deu, Seth Kilgore, and Jesse Cole got the job done.

“That was a very big statement,” lineman Josh Looper pointed out. “Our defense held on the very first series in a very critical situation and it pumped everybody up. We’ve held before, but that time was special. It was the start of a good night on defense.”

On their first offensive series, the Cats put on their most impressive drive of the young season, moving the ball 50 yards, the biggest offensive series of the entire season. Quarterback Brannon McCoin ripped off 32 yards on one play, the longest run of the year for the Cats, and hit Tracey McDonald with a 14-yard pass. But McDonald fumbled the reception and Kingston was back in business offensively.

Five plays later, John Cody Brown intercepted a Kingston pass and Livingston went back on the offense.

And that’s the way it went almost all night. Livingston dropped the ball three times and intercepted three passes plus recovered one fumble. The difference was Kingston managed to score and the Wildcats didn’t.

Kingston got on the board on their first drive of the second period. It took six plays that covered 39 yards. An 18-yard pass play on fourth down and 13 yards to go was the killing blow.

“Apparently, we had some kind of breakdown on that play,” Lamb explained. “Giving up a touchdown on fourth down with that much yardage to go really hurt.”

It didn’t hurt nearly as much as the next LA breakdown. It would be the one that took all the wind out of the Livingston sails.

Smith took the second half kickoff at his own 10 and broke free down the sidelines, returning the ball 78 yards to the Kingston 12. It looked like the Cats would score and knot the game. But after three plays could only get the ball to the five, LA turned the ball over on downs.

On the second play, the defense tackled the Kingston quarterback on the 2. Then on a third and 13, Adam Jackson took a short pass in the flat then got past the LA defense for a 98-yard scoring run.

“That absolutely killed us,” Smith later recalled. “We had them and let them get away. We didn’t give up at that point, but we knew we had let a big chance get away.”

In the final period, the Cats got one more serious shot at the endzone. Josh Huitt picked off a Kingston pass and Livingston moved the ball to the home team 30. The drive was stopped when the Cats coughed up the ball for the third time in the game.

Kingston then took over and marched methodically 73 yards on seven play for the night’s final touchdown.

For Livingston on the night, Smith had 66 yards on the ground on eight carries, and Tracy McDonald added 51 through the air.

“We are no longer intimidated,” Lamb concluded. “We didn’t win tonight, but this was the step we have been looking for for a long time. We are headed in the right direction. It doesn’t get any easier. Four of our next opponents are ranked in the top ten in the state, but now we will face those teams with a very different attitude. From here forward, we know we can stand our ground. “

After a week off, Livingston will host Knox Catholic, Friday, Sept. 19.

The Yardstick
LA TC
1st Downs- LA 10, TC 15
Yds. Rushing- LA 164, TC 222
Yds. Passing- LA 38, TC 161
Pass Att./Com-LA 9/3, TC 9/3
Interceptions- LA3, TC 0
Fumbles Lost- LA 3, TC 1
Punts/Avg.- LA 2/23, TC 0
Yds. Pent.- LA 15, TC 75

Score By Quarter

LA 0 0 0 0 – 0
K 0 7 7 7 – 21

Scoring

K – Sams, 18 pass from Francis. Sellman kick.
K – Jackson, 98 pass from Francis. Sellman kick.
K – Roberts, 17 run. Sellman kick.

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Lady Wildcats win over White County


courtesy of Tony Nigro
Hillary Ramsey moves the ball along for Livingston Academy.

Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats Soccer moved out of the district to find competition last week.

Coach Ethan King has beefed up the 2008 schedule by adding 8 games against AAA high schools as well as scheduling the #1 and #9 ranked AA high schools, Franklin Road Academy and Goodpasture respectively.

LA hosted the White County Lady Warriors on Tuesday, Sept. 2. The hospitable invitation was short lived as the Lady Wildcats scored in the second minute of the game when Kat Nigro slotted a pass through the Warrior defense to freshman Kelsey Copeland, who had no problem blasting it into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead; however, the Lady Warriors fought back and managed to tie the game before the 10-minute mark.

For the next 30 minutes the action was end-to-end with LA controlling possession and the shot count, but the ladies from White County kept pressuring the experienced LA defense led by Sarah Jane Maynard, Savannah Vaughn, Kelsi Sotis, and Kelsey Webb.

The LA scoring continued when Kat Nigro managed to steal an outlet pass at the top of the box and fire a low shot into the bottom corner of the net for a 2-1 lead. Within minutes, McKenzie McConaha stole a ball from the White County midfielder and passed up the sideline to Nigro as she connected for her second goal of the game and a 3-1 halftime lead.

In the second half, the large crowd at the LA soccer complex watched as the two teams fought for every loose ball. Only Kat Nigro scored one more goal late in the second half on an unassisted shot from the top of the box just past the outstretched hand of a diving keeper.

On Thursday, Sept. 4, the LA Lady Wildcats took their first road trip to face the Wilson Central Wildcats.

The women from Wilson Central came out flying and seemed to intimidate the young LA squad. The Cats were knocked back on their heals as Wilson Central scored 20 minutes into the contest.

The tremendous effort by goalkeeper Brianna Colson helped keep LA in the game. Coach King tried numerous combinations to spark the LA attack with little success.

The second goal by Wilson Central came late in the contest when Coach King had pushed the midfield up to try to get the game tied.

The LA Lady Wildcats were scheduled to step back into district play on Tuesday, Sept. 9 at Carthage against the Smith County Lady Owls, before playing in the Bison Invitational at Station Camp on September 11-13.

The Lady Wildcats will return home on Tuesday, Sept. 16 to host Cumberland County at 6 p.m., with a junior varsity game slated to follow the varsity game.


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Wildcats Volleyball beginning to roll


Josh Scott photo
LA senior Kendria Kilgore goes for a kill in recent action.


Josh Scott photo
Coach Christie Jenkins instructs her team during a break.

By Josh Scott,
OCN Sports
Livingston Academy’s volleyball team is starting to roll.

After a great opening week, the Cats opened up week two, and coming off the 2nd place finish in the White County Tournament, the drive and will to win is a big motivation.

After getting beat by the first opponent, Gordonsville, on Monday night, Sept. 1, the girls rattled off three straight, winning against Cannon, Smith, and Clay counties respectively.

Coach Christie Jenkins thinks she knows why the team is successful.
“Kendria Kilgore and Adrian West both had a great week spiking,” she said. “Alissa Sells served up 17 points against Clay County, and our freshman team has really played hard.”

“We have started playing as a team, and when we do that we can do anything,” Jenkins said.

When asked about what they could to to keep the success, the coach replied, “We just have to keep talking to each other, make sure to cover our spots on the court, and encourage each other while on the court.”

After a dissapointing year last year, and an early exit from districts, the girls wanted to make a statement early this season.

Senior Kendria Kilgore said, “Early success has helped a lot emotionally. I mean, we play so much better, and we don’t get down on ourselves as easy, and if we do, someone steps in to pick us back up.

“As long as we keep winning and keep each other up, the success will continue.”

Alissa Sells also agreed with Kilgore, as well as Jenkins, saying, ”We
played well together all week.”

After hitting the road to Crossville on Monday, Sept. 8 to play Cumberland County, the Cats will host Jackson County and Monterey on Thursday, Sept. 11, and play in the Wilson Central Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 12 and 13.

Livingston Academy will host Cookeville on Monday, Sept. 15, then will travel to play Red Boiling Springs and Upperman on Tuesday, Sept. 16.

 

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