Behind three total touchdowns by Aidan Raines, including two off fake field goals, the Golden Bears built a 28-0 halftime lead and extended their 2017 scoring margin to 200-0 at the halfway point of the regular season.
“All glory to God,” Mt. Juliet coach Trey Perry said. “It’s a pretty amazing thing. But it’s not a coach or a player or a staff, it is collective from the administration to the program. I feel like this is something that started in December, or maybe several years ago with a lot of young guys playing that’s had a lot of experience. You can do a lot of things when you line up correctly, and they do a good job lining up.”
Playing on a warm evening, the Golden Bears used their speed to cut off Wilson Central’s running game, throwing the Wildcats to minus-yards on the ground and 99 total. They also received a fumble recovery from Marcello Walton off a muffed punt in the first quarter and interceptions from Blake Weaver and Cage Ellis in the fourth quarter.
“I feel like collectively our team speed has improved from the last couple of years,” Perry said. I credit Coach (Curtis) Grah and the job he does in the strength and conditioning program and the guys for showing up every day and doing it.”
“They got speed all over the field, offensively and defensively, especially on the defensive side,” Wildcats coach Brad Dedman said after Central slipped to 1-4 for the season. “They were able to control up front and we were struggling all night up front.
“When you have trouble blocking people up front, it’s hard to gain any yards at all.”
Cody Glass, whose first pass was picked off by Kalib Graves, came back with an 18-yard scoring strike to Colby Martin.
Mt. Juliet then lined up for a 26-yard field goal. But Raines, the holder, passed to Colton Reeder for a 14-0 lead. Raines scored on a more conventional 38-yard run to cap the first quarter.
Another fake field goal ended in a 4-yard Raines scoring run for a 28-0 halftime lead.
“I feel like this series always has a lot of special teams fakes,” Perry said. “Obviously, that’s a lot of respect for each other from that standpoint.”
But while many high school blowouts result in low-scoring second halves with running clocks. Mt. Juliet couldn’t get on the board again until Marcello Walton raced in from 40 yards out with 4:22 to play. Another factor was Graves, who picked off two passes deep in Wildcat territory, giving him three interceptions in the last two games.
“No matter what’s happened all year long, our defense has battled in the second halves,” Dedman said. “It’s all three phases. We don’t quit. We didn’t put points on the board, but our kids didn’t quit.
“Kalib Graves is a pretty good corner. He can cover some ground and he does a good job when the ball is in the air.
“Wilson Central played hard tonight,” Perry said. “At halftime, they had an opportunity, maybe, to not finish the second half the way they would want to. But the played hard and they deserved credit for that.
“We did rotate some people. But we promised this football team 48 full minutes tonight.”
The teams will step out of Region 4-6A next Friday. Wilson Central will entertain Gallatin while Northwest visits Mt. Juliet at 7 p.m.
“I’m excited about next week and evaluating this film and evaluating 48 full minutes and seeing how we are conditioning-wise on a hotter night and making adjustments and moving on,” Perry said.
Mt. Juliet 35, Wilson Central 0
Wilson Central 0 0 0 0—0
Mt. Juliet 21 7 0 7—35
Mt. Juliet—Colby Martin 18 pass from Cody Glass (Robbie Brewington kick), 8:56.
Mt. Juliet—Colton Reeder 9 pass from Aidan Raines (Brewington kick), 3:52.
Mt. Juliet—Raines 38 run (Brewington kick), :37.
Mt. Juliet—Raines 4 run (Brewington kick), 5:22.
Mt. Juliet—Marcello Walton 40 run (Brewington kick), 4:22.
Wilson Central Mt. Juliet
First downs 8 16
—Rush 3 11
—Pass 4 4
—Penalty 1 1
Rushes-yards 20-(-6) 54-274
Passing yards 105 87
—Comp.-Att.-Int. 12-34-2 6-12-2
Punts-avg. 7-36.0 3-37.3
Penalties-yards 8-75 11-119
Fumbles lost 1 0
RUSHING—Wilson Central: Zay Kern 8-(-6), Stratton Farmer 7-28, Will Lafollete 1-(-8) Aaron Hubbell 4-(-20). Mt. Juliet: Cody Glass 6-(-3), Connor Ruzek 2-3, Marcello Walton 14-89, Reggie Grimes 5-22, Jeremiah Birdsong 1-1, Aidan Raines 22-142, Jayshawn Taylor 1-9, Alvin Mixon 2-10, Kelvis Duffie 1-1.
PASSING—Wilson Central: Aaron Hubbell 12-32-1—105, Dylan Carpenter 0-2-1—0. Mt. Juliet: Cody Glass 5-11-2—78, Aidan Raines 1-1-0—9.
RECEIVING—Wilson Central: Zay Kern 5-56, Garrett Todd 2-7, Dalton King 2-20, Stratton Farmer 2-12, Kwamez Kirby 1-10. Mt. Juliet: Colby Martin 1-18, Colton Reeder 1-9, Braden Costley 1-3, Alvin Mixon 1-29, Cage Ellis 1-13, Aidan Raines 1-15.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—None