• 68°

Wilcox defeats Wilkinson County in season opener

IRWINTON- The Wilcox County High School football team got their season off to a good start with a big 30-0 road win over the Wilkinson County Warriors on Friday night.

The teams started out the game with a scoreless first quarter, in which both were able to move the ball but neither of the two were able to get on the board. Wilcox later picked up the first score of the game on their first drive of second quarter.

The Patriots started the scoring drive at their own 25-yard line and used several passes to move into Warrior territory. Wilcox quarterback, Noah Hollingsworth, completed passes to Christian Freeman, Matt McAdoo, KeAndre Faison and EJ Howard to pick up yards on the drive and Desmond Tisdol picked up the first score of the game shortly after on a 36-yard touchdown run straight through the Warrior defense. Tisdol also ran in the two-point conversion to put the Patriots ahead 8-0 with about eight minutes left in the second quarter.

The teams swapped defensive stops over the next couple of drives, and Wilcox added to their lead near the end of the first half. The Patriots started the drive in good field position at the Wilkinson 32-yard line after a short punt and Hollingsworth threw to Freeman on the first play for a 10-yard pickup. Runs by Justin Moore and Jacquarius Dixon, added to a couple of Warrior penalties, moved Wilcox down close to the goal line. Hollingsworth then threw to Azavion Deans on third and goal from the five-yard line for the second touchdown of the game. Tisdol threw a pass to Hollingsworth for the two-point conversion to put Wilcox in front 16-0 with just over a minute left to play in the first half.

A quick defensive stop from the Patriots, led by tackles for loss from Tisdol and Martez Thrower, gave Wilcox one more chance to add to the lead going into halftime. Hollingsworth threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Tisdol as time expired in the first half, but a holding penalty took the score off the board. Wilcox County had a 16-0 lead at halftime.

The Warriors started the second half with possession of the ball but were quickly forced to punt after a sack and a tackle for loss on consecutive plays by Cameron Patterson. The teams traded another couple of defensive stops over the next few minutes of the third quarter and the Patriots later tacked on another score. Wilcox capped off a five-play, 48-yard drive with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Hollingsworth to Branson Owens for the third touchdown of the night. Manny Carrillo added the extra point for a 23-0 lead with less than two minutes to play in the third quarter.

Wilcox tacked on the final points of the night early in the fourth quarter after a six play drive starting at their own 35-yard line. Hollingsworth threw to Patterson on the first play of the drive for 32 yards, and Howard then caught a pass for a 13-yard pickup. McAdoo, Tisdol and Moore each tacked on a few yards on the next several plays to get down near the Warrior goal line, and Hollingsworth capped off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run. Carrillo’s extra point made the score 30-0 in favor of Wilcox with about nine minutes to play in the game.

The Warriors later fumbled possession of the ball away after driving into Wilcox territory. Thrower forced the fumble and Tisdol then made the recovery, so the Patriots were able to run out the clock from there to preserve the shut out.

Hollingsworth finished the game with 16 completions on 23 pass attempts for 172 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and one rushing touchdown. Tisdol was the leading rusher in the game for the Patriots with 68 yards and one touchdown on just five carries. Howard finished as the leading receiver for Wilcox in the game with five catches for 50 yards, while Freeman caught four passes for 31 yards.

Patterson had a big night on defense for the Patriots with six total tackles and two sacks. JayQuan Brown finished the game as the leading tackler for Wilcox with seven total, including two for a loss of yards. Deans, Dixon, Lagan Luke, Michael Archer, Landon Sercer and Ahmad Johnson all pitched in with several tackles for loss in the contest.

Wilcox will play their home opener this coming Friday night in Rochelle at 7:30 against one of their biggest rivals, the Hawkinsville High School Red Devils.