By: Jake Hood
GLADEVILLE– Wilson Central falls to 4-2 after losing to Gallatin 16-0.
Following a tough loss at the hands of the Golden Bears, the Wildcats looked to get back on track against the Green Wave. Gallatin, with the help of SEC-bound halfback Spencer Briggs, traveled to Wilson Central with a 5-0 record. This came from a new coaching staff with Chad Watson at the helm. The name of the game for the Wildcats would be limiting Briggs’s yardage, and that they did.
In the first quarter, the Wildcats were held scoreless. They were unable to find a consistent source of offense, as Wildcat back Zavier Ali was sidelined with an ankle injury. CJ Hatchett and Brett Robinson split snaps, and the Wildcats tried to make do with Ali’s absence. Gallatin took to the scoreboard first with a Spencer Briggs touchdown carry good for 4 yards. Briggs was known for putting up impressive statlines against several teams, including a Station Camp game that granted him 14 carries for over 300 yards. He was held relatively silent through the first quarter, as neither team scored after Gallatin’s touchdown.
The second quarter flew by, as both teams resorted to their ground game for the most part. Wilson Central received a momentum shift when Jared Lawrence sacked Gallatin quarterback Isaiah Briscoe to force a fumble. Miguel Padilla recovered the fumble, and the Wildcats took over at midfield. Unfortunately, the Wildcats could not put a scoring drive together, and the Green Wave received the ball. Their next drive resulted in a punt, and the Wildcats did the same. Gallatin gave the ball back to Wilson Central after a failed 4th-and-2, and Tristan Lewis knelt his way to halftime.
The score was locked at 7-0 at the half. The Wildcats were held to less than 60 yards of offense, and Gallatin was kept to far fewer points than several of their previous games. Additionally, Briggs, who does not usually see the second half due to his accumulation of rushing yards in the first, returned to the field with under 80 rushing yards. The third quarter kicked off, and so did Trace Kelley. Kelley drilled a 36-yard field goal with under a minute to go in the quarter, putting the Green Wave up 10-0.
The fourth quarter proved similar to the third, as the Wildcats were silenced once more. They were unable to find their rushing game throughout the game, as Lewis tossed the ball more than usual. Gallatin got within range for Kelley to attempt two more field goals. About halfway through the fourth, Kelley booted his second field goal of 32 yards, extending the lead to 13-0. After the Wildcats gave the ball back, Gallatin marched into range for Kelley to bang a 41-yarder that would’ve gone in from 50. The Wildcats were shut out for the first time in 2019, and Kelley put up more points than the Green Wave offense.
Tristan Lewis finished 8 of 15 for 49 yards compared to Briscoe’s 9-13-135. Brett Robinson and CJ Hatchett combined for 17 yards on 9 carries, and Briggs ran for 85 yards on 26 attempts. This could be seen as a defensive victory for the Wildcats, as Briggs had already rushed for over 1,000 yards this season. Ezra Widelock caught 3 passes for 28 yards, and Robinson followed with a 3 of 11 night. Gallatin’s Jaylen Grimmett led a Green Wave receiving core responsible for 135 yards with 43 yards.
The Wildcats fall to 4-2 (1-1), and they will travel to Hendersonville on October 4 to battle the Commandos in their homecoming. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on the NFHS Network.