By Mac McLeod,

OCN Sports

With the current high school football season into its seventh week, Livingston Academy is currently the number one team in Region 3, 4A with a 7-0 record overall and 3-0 in the region. A look at the overall statistics is a good indicator of just why the Wildcats are where they are.

Long before the season started, it was no secret that the Wildcats would use the passing game as much as possible and hope to back it up with a running game that would keep opposing defenses on their toes. So far, it has worked.

Senior quarterback Will McDonald is having his best season on the field, throwing 141 passes and completing 100 for 1,376 yards and 17 touchdowns. He’s thrown only 3 interceptions. His competition percentage of 71% is outstanding and he’s just about erased every passing record at the school. His total yardage through six games this season stands at 6,390 yards, 939 yards ahead of second place Danny McCoin.

McDonald also is in first place for touchdown passes with 62.

Freshman Nathan Cowgill is in a learning situation and has seen considerable playing time. He’s attempted five passes, but has yet to find a receiver.

In the rushing department, Nate Neely leads the team with 316 yards on 51 attempts and 6 touchdowns. Had he not been injured for several games, his numbers would certainly be higher.

With Neely on the injury list, Kaleb Robinson has stepped up and done an outstanding job with 277 yards on 51 tries and he has 4 touchdowns. Nate Carwile has 38 yards on 3 carries, Dylan Woodall has 20 yards on 8 attempts, and Kyle Kernell has picked up 20 yards on 11 attempts. Cowgill has 4 yards on one try, and Lochlan Hammock has 3 yards on 4 tries.

The main factor for McDonald’s success as a passer is his receivers, and in that department, at least one school record has been broken. When the season started, end Wesley Smith was in 6th place on the list with 1,581 receiving yards. Two weeks ago at Smith County, he passed coach Matthan Houser for the top spot. Smith now has 2,130 total yards.

On the season, Smith has 36 receptions good for 549 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Senior Aubrey Hollars has put his best foot – and hands – forward this season and has pulled in 32 passes for 449 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Raven Carpenter has stepped up in his role of running and receiving, pulling down 21 McDonald throws for 249 yards and one touchdown. Bryer Mosley has 81 yards on 8 catches, Neely has 23 yards on two catches, Carwile has 20 yards on one reception, and Robinson has one reception.

In the kicking department, senior Tee Beaty is perfect with extra-point tries, hitting 27 of 27. Beaty has also tried 5 field goals, made 2, with the longest being 34 yards.

Punter Joseph Dees has punted 9 times this season and averaged 35 yards per kick.

Through six games this fall, the Livingston defense has been stingy, allowing only a total of 50 points while the offense has scored 195 points, a combination that easily accounts for a 6-0 start.

Carwile leads the Cats in tackles with 46, four for losses, while Dusty Parrish accounts for 43 and he also had four for losses. Neely has 33 tackles, six for losses, while Dexter Wright has 31 stops and four for losses. Cole Spears has 26 tackles along with Carson Smith. Smith has 5 for losses and Spears had 3.

Austin Reeder has accounted for 25 stops, three for losses, while Wesley Smith has 21, Raven Carpenter 19, and Hollars 14. Thomas Pentifuff had 13 stops, one for a loss, while Westyn Clouse has 12 stops and two for losses. Robinson has 9 tackles, Mosely has 6, Xander Cantrell 5, Ayden Coffee, Cody Garrett, Jon Storie, and Zach Oliver each with 4, Kernell 3, Daniel Hill, Bailey Johnson, and Jordan Brown with 2 each, and Logan Johnson, Donnie Phillips, Beaty, Camren Jackson, Jayden Lawrence, Lochlan Hammock, Clay McDonald, and Zack Presley all with one each.

“It’s pretty plain to see why we have been successful this season,” LA coach Bruce Lamb pointed out. “We have a lot of players doing good things and we’re playing as a team.”

These numbers will increase as the season hits it final four regular season games and the playoffs.