Fayetteville High School traveled to Wayne County Monday night last week and picked up a 28-6 win over the Wildcats in their first meeting.
The Tigers went into the action after being off for three weeks with two rain-out games and one open week. Dropped passes early and execution were signs of their layoff, but the speed of Fayetteville determined the outcome of the game early.
“We were as rusty as I thought we’d be,” Coach Alvin Palmer said of his Tigers. “Coach Rice called this morning and said it was sprinkling rain and the field was very wet. He wanted to know if we could find someone else to play – my answer was, ‘no!’ He knew we had not played in three weeks and his kids wanted to play so the game was on.
“We played hard,” Coach P continued. “They (Wayne County) played several kids who played with their varsity Friday night, but that’s what we need. We’re not running a baby sitting service – we’re getting ready to play Friday night football.
“It’s my hope to keep them on the schedule next year at the varsity level,” he continued. “It’ll all depend how the reclassification by the TSSAA turns out. That will determine how many out-of-district games we need. Coach Rice runs a good program, and I’d love to have them on the schedule.
“I thought Coach Bobby Emmons and the players did a great job on our kickoff return. Defensively Coach Tavis England, Adam McCormick, Ross Bryson, Jason Williams and Bobby Emmons did a great job stopping their inside and outside Veer offense. Our offensive front did a good job because Coach Rob Finch had us well prepared.
“Cascade and Page will both play some varsity players,” he said. “And they’ll put teams on the field that will hit you. We need as much quality competition as we can get.”
The Tigers jumped on the Wildcats early. Tre Emmons took the opening kickoff 80 yards for a score. Cooper Shelton’s kick was good, and FHS was up 7-0 with 9:43 in the first.
In the following possession, Wayne County went for it on a fourth and four situation. The Tigers held but an inadvertent whistle by the officials moved the ball back a yard, and the down was replayed. With fourth and five, the Tigers held and took over on downs at the Wildcats 42.
The decision proved costly as quarterback Trevonte Emmons pushed it in from the two with 5:48 on the clock. Michael Hardin scored on the two-point conversion, and the Tigers were up 15-0. Following a Wayne County punt their next possession, FHS started at their own 13-yard line. Hardin broke loose on the first play and went 87 yards for the score. Shelton’s kick was good, and with 2:25 in the first, the Tigers were up 22-0.
The Wildcats controlled the ball most of the second period. Starting at their own 32-yard line, the Cats were on the move. With the help of three penalties by the Tigers, Wayne County moved to the 17-yard line. On the next play, they coughed up the ball, but it was kicked into the end zone. The Wildcats recovered the ball and were on the scoreboard. On a two-point conversion Kendrell Hall intercepted a pass, and with 3:59 remaining in the first half, it was a 22-6 ball game.
Late in the third quarter, the Tigers recovered on a punt giving them the ball at the Cats’ 38-yard line. After the change of field in the fourth, in a second and 12 situation, Hardin broke loose, taking it to the 20. With a third and one, Trevonte Emmons connected with Ryan Yates who went to the nine-yard line. Quarterback Emmons carried it in for the score. Shelton’s kick missed its mark, and FHS was up 28-6. The remainder of the period remained scoreless.
The Tigers forced a change of possession on an interception by Donovan Potts with seven minutes remaining in the game. FHS finished with the win 28-6.
Offensively the Tigers put up 206 yards on the ground and four in the air. Trevonte Emmons was one of four passing. Hardin finished with 122 yards in four carries. Trevonte Emmons had seven rushes for 37 yards. Tre Emmons was seven for 23 yards. Dorian Thompson was three for 20 yards. Jacob pick was three for four yards.
Defensively the Tigers gave up 111 yards in 33 tries. The Wildcats were zero for seven in the air.
For their next action, Fayetteville was to host Cascade Monday night, Oct. 15, at Billy Joe Evans Field for their final home action of the season. Oct. 22 the Tigers travel to Madison Academy for a 7 p.m. match. Coach Palmer has added a game to the original schedule, traveling to Page Oct. 25 with kickoff at 6:30 p.m.