GLADEVILLE — Wilson Central Wildcats dropped a close one Friday night as the Wildcats' final drive fell short on a fourth-and 22-play. Gallatin hung on to win 16-9.
Wilson Central moved the ball well in the first half but could not show much for its efforts. Jackson Redditt missed two field goals of 46 and 54 yards.
"We moved the football well but we have to find a way to finish," Wildcat coach Brad Dedman said after Central slipped to 2-3 for the season and 1-2 in District 9-AAA. "Our effort was great,"
After a Wilson Central punt, Gallatin took over at the 45-yard line and drove the ball to the end zone for the touchdown. The key play was a 36-yard run by quarterback Tremaine Smith. Darian Banks finished the drive with a 15-yard gallop for a 7-0 lead.
Wilson Central got the football back and drove down the field. The Wildcats got into field-goal range and called on Redditt again from 56 yards out. The ball sailed through
the air, hit the crossbar and bounced over for three points and the score was 7-3 at halftime.
"He has got a big leg and he is one of the best kickers in the state," Dedman said of Redditt's ability.
Midway through the third quarter, a high snap sailed over Redditt. He went to recover the ball and punted it through the end zone for a safety.
On the free kick, Gallatin fumbled and Wilson Central's Dakota Byrd recovered at the 29-yard line.
The drive stalled, and on a fourth-and-2 play, Redditt was called on to attempt a 38-yard field goal, which missed wide left.
Gallatin took over at its 20 and preceded to march 80 yards in 13 plays. At one point, it was first and 25 from the 17-yard line but Gallatin got out of the hole and put the ball in the end zone on a 10-yard run by Maurice Box. On the drive, receiver Anthony Woodard caught six balls for 70 yards.
"It changed the ball game for us, but we had to fight. Wilson Central has a good
football team," Gallatin coach Robert Lassiter said after the Green Wave moved to 3-1, 2-0.
Gallatin was driving for another score when a pass was caught then fumbled and recovered by the Wildcats, who returned it to the 43-yard line.
The Wildcats moved the ball down and quarterback Hunter Cranford sneaked the ball over from the 1 for the touchdown. The extra point was good but a procedure penalty moved the ball back to the 15 for the extra-point attempt, which was blocked and the score was 16-9.
With less than three minutes left, the Wildcats tried an onside kick and recovered the football at the 41-yard line.
A penalty and a quarterback sack moved the ball back for a fourth-and 22-play. Cranford went back to pass and the ball fell incomplete.
Gallatin ran out the clock for the victory.
Wilson Central will host McGavock next Friday for homecoming with kickoff at 7 p.m. while Gallatin will travel to Brentwood.