Photo courtesy of Philip Moore
Zack Neil holds on for an amazing catch in Friday's 20-7 win over Meigs County.
|Published: 8:41 AM, 10/03/2012
||Last updated: 8:56 AM, 10/03/2012
Author: Bryan Burchfield
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
Wildcats came into Friday's game at home against Meigs County battered and bruised after two rough
road loses to Polk County and Loudon. The Wildcats badly needed a win against district opponent
Meigs County to get things back on the right track as well as to maintain control of their own
destiny for one of the two automatic playoff berths in district 5-AA. However, Meigs County would
not go down easily and fought the Wildcats hard before falling, 20-7.
Sweetwater looked sharp on the opening drive of the game. After a good
kick return that set the Wildcats up on the Meigs County 49-yard line, Sweetwater methodically
drove the ball to the end zone and scored on an Andrew Barr to Nick Wicker pass that covered 13
yards while eating just over four minutes off the clock.
Sweetwater led 7-0 with 7:50 to go in the first quarter. Both teams traded punts before Meigs
County found the end zone, with 1:28 to go in the first quarter, after their 53-yard drive was
capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Bryson Baker. As the game moved into the second
quarter, it seemed that every time either team began to establish something positive, a costly
penalty or turnover was committed. Neither team could get the advantage and the score remained 7-7
at the half.
Sweetwater's defense forced Meigs County into a
punting situation on the opening series of the third quarter. The Tigers booted an excellent punt
that was downed at the Sweetwater 2-yard line. Sweetwater marched the football down to the Meigs
County 3-yard line but couldn't punch it into the end zone. Garret Zickgraf came in and knocked
through a 20-yard field goal to put the Wildcats ahead 10-7 with 5:08 to go in the third quarter.
Turnovers and penalties slowed any momentum either team had through the remainder of the third
quarter and much of the fourth quarter.
Then with 4:44 left in
the game, the Sweetwater defense was rewarded for a night of hard-nosed play. After forcing Meigs
County to punt, the Wildcat defense would get on the board as the snap for Meigs County sailed over
the punter's head and through the end zone for a safety. Sweetwater led 12-7 and Meigs County had
to kick the ball back to Sweetwater.
The Wildcats then
climbed on the backs of Eli Arwood and Jordan McGaughey, as the backfield duo dragged the Meigs
County defense down the field and put the Tigers away on a 1-yard Jordan McGaughey touchdown.
McGaughey ran in the 2-point conversion to end the scoring drive and to seal up the game.
It wasn't easy, but Sweetwater picked up a much needed district
win over Meigs County, 20-7.
Subscribe to The Advocate and Democrat by clicking SUBSCRIBE.
Sign up for Breaking News emails from The Advocate and Democrat by clicking EMAIL ALERTS and inputting
your email address next to "Add Me" near the top left corner.