Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local Sports

November 10, 2012

Wildcats wallop Randolph Southern in battle for No. 3 playoff seed

Cordele — By putting everything together in its regular season finale, Crisp Academy’s Wildcats tore Randolph Southern’s Patriots apart by a somewhat shocking 42-0 score Friday night.

That outcome bettered the home team’s record to 6-4 overall, 3-2 in Region 2-A and earned it a No. 3 seed for this coming Friday’s opening round of the GISA state playoffs. Its foe in a game likely to be played at Hogansville will be Region 2-A runner-up Dawson Street of LaGrange.

“We played pretty good, pretty hard and, yes, I am a little surprised by the final score,” first-year Crisp coach Ron Drummonds said in reflecting upon the ease which his team prevailed.

“We got on top of them early and that’s probably what let us pile up as many points as we did. When we stayed after them the way we did, I think  they got a little frustrated.

“Our only disappointment came in the injury department where both Jeff McKinney and Corey Stewart went down in the third period and never returned. We have our fingers crossed that both will be OK and available for the playoffs as they’re valuable and much needed players.”

The early going gave no indication of the one-sided manner in which the game would eventually go as the ’Cats only held a 6-0 lead after a quarter. That advantage was provided when Hunter Chambers dashed 26 yards off left tackle to cap a 53-yard, nine-play drive.

Business began to pick up for Crisp in the second period, however, as a pair

of touchdowns and successful two-point conversions made it a 22-0 game at halftime.

Jeff McKinney got the first six-pointer on a 75-yard dash that saw him burst off right tackle and hit the sidelines on his way to paydirt. He would finish with 12 carries for 136 yards before departing. Stewart, who had an 11-yard gain in the 97-yard, four-play march, ran the conversion.

As time wound down before intermission, McKinney again visited the end zone this time on a 2-yard smash that culminated an 80-yard, 12-play excursion. Chambers ran the conversion.

The home team ran just four plays in the entire third quarter. The last of them resulted in a 44-yard scoring gallop on fullback Matt Wright’s dive play up the middle. A 33-yard sprint by Chambers set it up.

Crisp got a pair of insurance scores in the final stanza. The first came on a toss sweep right that Chambers converted into a 73-yard scoring burst on his way to a 12-carry, 202-yard evening. John John Wright toed the extra point.

The Wildcats’ final points were recorded when Chambers’ second interception of the evening led to a four-hike, 22-yard drive that ended on Justin McKinney’s 3-yard run. James Wessel booted the PAT.

“In having one of our better games of the season, we did well on both sides of the football,” Drummonds said. “Defensively, we pretty much held in check the running game we knew they preferred and also picked off a couple of passes, recovered one fumble and forced another.

“Offensively, we ran the ball better and blocked better than I had anticipated and as a result wound up with a single-game high in rushing yardage (436). Our goal always is to run for around 300 yards so to get over 400 was superb.

“O thought there were two other keys to the outcome as well.

“One, our playoff seeding was at stake as we wanted to make sure we got a No. 3 instead of a No. 4 slot that would have sent us right off the bat to (Region 1-A champion) Thomas Jefferson.

“Two, was the desire of our underclassmen to make sure our seniors’ final home game ended on a positive note.”

“Again, it was just a great night in what has been a good year thus far. I really feel blessed with the intensity our kids had for this one and how hard they played throughout.”

In addition to his big night offensively, Chambers also stood out like a sore thumb from his safety position on defense where he was credited with six solo tackles, a fumble recovery and two interceptions.

Other stop-’em crew standouts were linebackers Matt Wright (eight tackles, two assists) and Wessel (five solos, four assists), defensive linemen Thomas Hall (three tackles, six assists) and Chandler Larkin (four solos) and cornerback Folsom (three tackles, five assists).

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