by Don Julian
For the first time in quite a few years, the Wildcats have started the season with a 3-0 record and district play at 2-0. The Wildcats achieved those marks with a 28-10 district win at Royse City Thursday night. The game was delayed for an hour by lightning strikes near the end of the first quarter.
The opportunistic Wildcats used a strong first quarter to seize control of the game. On the Bulldogs second drive, they lost a fumble that the Wildcats recovered. The Wildcats then drove 33 yards for their first score. Quarterback D’Corian Young threw an 8-yard TD pass to wide receiver Landry Tyson for the score. With the successful extra point kick, the Wildcats led 7-0 at the 5:38 mark of the first quarter. The Bulldogs fumbled again on their next drive and again the Wildcats recovered. This time the Wildcats drove 44 yards for a score. On a fourth and two play at the Royse City 20 yard line, Jermond Bryant-Amos, serving as the quarterback in the jumbo package, took the shotgun snap and raced through a gaping hole in the Royse City defense scoring on a 20-yard touchdown run. After another good extra point kick, the Wildcats led 14-0 in the first quarter.
Royse City couldn’t sustain much on their next drive and were forced to punt. Wildcats punt returner Austin Dodd fielded the punt on his own 20 yard line and then set sail 80 yards to the end zone. Along the way, Dodd bumped into an official but kept going diving into the end zone pylon for the score. The extra point kick was good and the Wildcats led 21-0 with just one second left in the first quarter. At that point, both teams were sent to the locker rooms due to lightning strikes in the area.
After the one hour delay, the Bulldogs returned to the field apparently refocused. Royse City drove 61 yards scoring on a one yard run by back Bryce Martinez. After a successful extra point kick, Royse City trimmed the Wildcats lead to 21-7 at the 8:14 mark of the second quarter. The Wildcats threatened to answer the score but a fourth and short run deep in Bulldogs territory came up just short. The Wildcats led 21-7 at halftime.
During a scoreless third period, both teams struggled to sustain drives. Safety Dodd had an interception to stifle one Bulldog drive. The score remained Sulphur Springs 21 and Royse City 7 after three quarters. Early in the fourth quarter Royse City ended a drive settling for a 31-yard field goal by Anthony Ortiz to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 21-10 at the 10:54 mark. A 66 yard touchdown drive by the Wildcats clinched the game. Facing a fourth down and 25 on the Royse City 26 yard line, quarterback Young rolled to the right and fired a perfect strike to Dodd in the front of the end zone. With the good extra point kick, the Wildcats lead was 28-10 with 7:21 to play. That was the final score.
The 3-0 start to a season is the Wildcats best since the 2009 Wildcats opened the season with five straight wins. That team went 10-4 losing in the Regional Final to Denison at SMU’s Ford Stadium. The 2-0 start in district play is the best since the 2012 team won all five of their district games to claim a district championship. That team ended the season with an 8-3 record after a lopsided bi-district loss to Wylie East at McKinney’s Ron Poe Stadium.
The Wildcats have a bye Friday week on September 28. They return to action on October 5 against Forney at Gerald Prim Stadium.
District Standings After Two Weeks
Sulphur Springs 2-0
Royse City 0-1
North Forney 0-2