The Henry County Wildcats’ defense and special teams shone Friday night as they rolled 41-7 over the Owen County Rebels, in a game that was even more one-sided than the score indicates.
The Cats had scored all 41 of their points by the six-minute mark in the second quarter. A running clock and generous substitutions by the Wildcats’ coaching staff meant that the Rebels would get their only touchdown in the rest of the game.
Quarterback Austin Hartsell found Gavin Black for the first touchdown of the game about two minutes into the first quarter on a 14-yard pass to make it 6-0. The score was set up by a long kickoff return on the opening play of the game by Ethan Tuggle.
Devin Hagan got in on the scoring when Owen had to punt three minutes later. Hagan returned the ball 36 yards for the score and Jacob Buckley’s extra-point kick was good giving the Cats a 13-0 lead.
Hartsell scored on the last play of the quarter when he ran it in from three yards out to make it 20-0. He struck again at the 10:38 mark in the second quarter on a 21-yard run to give the Cats a 27-point lead.
Mason Fish scored from two yards out with 8:37 to go in the half. Tuggle capped off the scoring two minutes later when he intercepted a pass and returned it 34 yards to finish off the torrid 41-point scoring spree.
The Rebels scored with 6:55 left in the third quarter and made the PAT to set the final score.
The Cats’ younger players moved the ball well in the second half but were unable to score. The second-team defense stiffened after the Rebel score and kept Owen County at bay the rest of the night.
Coach Jason Spencer saw it as a team victory.
“We played well as a team,” Spencer said. “We came out and scored every way possible; pass, run, special teams and defense. The team came out prepared and ready. They improved a lot over last week and really bonded as a team this week and it really showed.”
Spencer was especially pleased with his offensive line.
“The O-line played extremely well. We were able to run and throw and do what we wanted to do. The varsity defense had another shutout. This was a total team effort.”