The Henry County Wildcats traveled to Louisville Friday night to take on the Central High School Yellowjackets.
The Cats played tough defense most of the night but fell victim to a handful of big plays and lost 21-0.
Central’s first score came with 5:23 left in the first half on a 2-yard-run, which was set up by a long pass into the red zone on an earlier play. The extra-point kick made it 7-0.
Three minutes later, the Yellowjackets struck again via the long ball when they hit for a 50-yard touchdown pass with 2:23 left in the opening period.
The Wildcats’ defense stiffened after that play and held Central in check until right before halftime.
The Cats had one big goal-line stand earlier in the second quarter when Central reached the five-yard line and had first goal. After three running plays Central faced fourth and one but the Cats penetrated into the backfield and the running back ended up losing 18 yards on the play to give the Cats the ball on their own 19-yard line. But the Cats couldn’t get any offense going and Central got the ball back.
With 20 seconds to go in the half Central got their final score on another 50-yard pass play that made it 21-0.
The second half saw both teams struggle to move the football as the defenses ruled and the game ended in a 21-point loss for the Cats.
“Their run defense was really good,” coach Jason Spencer said. “Their linebackers are as good as they come.
“We did a good job defensively of stopping the run but three big plays hurt us. Their defense is good and our defense is good they just had three big plays. Except for those plays our defense played extraordinarily well.”
Spencer saw this game as measuring stick for the program’s progress. “They have won the state championship six out of the last seven years. The good thing we can take from this is that we are closing the gap on them,” he said.
Tyler Singleton had a monster game and Andrew Mahoney stepped in at middle linebacker in the second half and played well, but it is really hard to single anybody out on our defense because they all played well. The kids went in there and played their hearts out. We held them in check in the second half.
Offensively, we have to figure out how to get the ball in the hands of our playmakers.”
The Wildcats close out their district schedule next week when they host Elizabethtown with a number two seed on the line for the playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7:30.