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In a contest labled “The Game,” it just wasn’t much of a game this year. In fact, it was a K.O. off a strong, right haymaker in the opening round — if this was a boxing match that is. Eminence was bounced off the ropes, knocked down early and couldn’t get back up as Henry County came away with an unpredictable 55-6 victory.
In what might have been the final high school football game between the Wildcats and Warriors in a long time, it was complete domination from a Henry team that continued to stretch out the score from the get-go. In the end, after the dust cleared, the Wildcats proved to be the top team in the county and earned bragging rights over their rival. For the Cats, the scoreboard was just what they needed after a tough loss to North Oldham the week before. For the Warriors, it was a big speed bump to an otherwise unblemished start. Both teams are now 5-1 with four games remaining in the regular season.
Though I wasn’t rooting one way or the other, I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t a closer game. The Cats came out with smoke rolling out of their helmets, made the big plays when they needed to and sent Eminence back down the road with a larger-than-anticipated loss — their first of the season after starting the 2008 campaign perfect through five weeks.
Henry made enough big plays to lose count early on, while Eminence couldn’t respond with an offense that never seemed to get in sync — credit that to spectacular play by the Wildcats’ defense.
Eminence can take a lot away from this game, despite what the final score indicated. The Warriors’ season to date still has a lot more positives then negatives with their best record since 2001, an undefeated district record (3-0) so far, and a chance to play for the district title and win the first state-playoff game in school history. Eminence just faced a in-your-face Henry team at the wrong time. The Wildcats seemed fired up after their loss to North Oldham the week before, which might have led to the smash-mouth play and near-perfect execution we saw from the determined Cats.
As for Henry, its team play was due to numerous superb individual performances. Luke Magness passed for 289 yards; Cody Miracle rushed for 127 yards; Lance Timberlake rushed for 33 yards and had a team-high 90 yards receiving; Matt Long had another solid game with five catches for 71 yards; and the entire offensive and defensive lines controlled the line of scrimmage during the entire 48 minutes. Like the Wildcats’ uncountable big plays, there were just too many great individual performances to point them all out.
Now, it’s time to see how the Wildcats move forward, and how the Warriors respond to this loss. For both teams, history is still left to be made.
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