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It was the first quarter that hurt.
As the Henry County Wildcats squared off against the North Oldham Mustangs Saturday night in Goshen, they were down early, and had trouble recovering in what became a 38-7 Mustangs victory.
North Oldham started off with a 71-yard touchdown run on their first rushing play of the night.
Later in the first quarter, Henry County gave up a 45-yard punt return to go down 14-0.
Henry County Head Coach Jason Spencer blamed the slow start on blown assignments. “We didn’t play assignment football,” he said.
“You’ve got to get lined up correctly and listen for the checks and adjustments. We can’t have that many mental lapses against a quality opponent like that.”
The Cats seemed to right the ship when Mason Fish scored on a 5-yard run to make the score 14-7. But North Oldham scored again in the opening quarter to go up 21-7.
“If we cut out the punt return and missed assignments on the 71-yard run we were right in the game,” Spencer said.
Henry County’s defense stiffened in the second and third quarters and held the Mustangs back, allowing only a single Mustang field goal in the third quarter which made the score 24-7.
“When we cut out the long plays, they couldn’t drive the ball down the field on us,” Spencer said.
But the floodgates opened again in the fourth quarter as the Mustangs tacked on two more touchdowns to make it 38-7.
“We just couldn’t sustain a drive so our defense was on the field quite a bit,” Spencer said. “They just wore down in the fourth quarter.”
Quarterback Brock Fish was 15-of-24 passing with 1 interception. Mason Fish led the team in rushing with 14 carries for 58 yards. Trent McManis had 2 carries for 28 yards; Brock Fish rushed for 25 yards on 14 carries; Cody Tindle had 6 yards on 5 carries; Tyus Ford had 1 yard on 1 carry; and Austin Hartsell had 4 yards on 1 carry. The Wildcats rushed 37 times for 112 yards.
Cole Nelson led the receivers with 23 yards on 5 catches. Mason Fish had 32 yards on 4 catches and Bret Chilton also had 33 yards on 4 catches. Cody Tindle had 11 yards on 1 catch and Bo Wagner had 1 catch for no yards. The Cats had a total of 15 receptions for 99 yards.
Nick Magness led the team in tackles with 7 and was followed by Cole Nelson with 5. Austin Hartsell and Ben Ingabrand had four each. Hartsell also had a fumble recovery.
Spencer was not happy with the blown assignments but still has faith in his team. “We are a much better team than we showed Friday night, Spencer said. “I have a great group of seniors that display leadership in every area of the game. We just have to fix the mistakes and move on.”
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