Wilson Central couldn't have asked for a better start Friday night. But the Wildcats -- hampered by an injury to their quarterback -- had problems finishing.
Host Cleveland took control in the second half, rolling up 406 total yards en route to a 33-13 victory.
Jordan Rountree, who led the opening touchdown drive and capped it with a 22-yard scoring pass to Alex Price, went out of the game with an ankle injury and did not play in the second half.
"On offense, we were not able to finish out our blocks which cost us throughout the game, while on defense we had no answer for Cleveland's running attack," Wildcat coach Brad Dedman said. "We were pressed early and got tired on the offensive side of the ball, and had to rely on our running game after our quarterback went down with an ankle injury."
Wilson Central (2-2) rallied to within 17-13 when Weston Rountree scored on a 35-yard run midway through the third quarter. Backup quarterback Cody Ray had a 16-yard pass to price and Gabe Angel had a 14-yard run to give the Wildcats some key plays in the drive.
But Cleveland answered with a 65-yard drive, scoring in eight plays. Austin Herink hit Eric Goodwin for 39 yards to the Wildcats' 13. DJ Jones carried in from the 5-yard line three plays later.
Cleveland added a safety early in the fourth quarter to make it 26-13 when Ray was tackled in the end zone. The Blue Raiders had their final touchdown with two minutes left.
"Early on in the game," Dedman said. "I like the way we played. We were physical up front on our opening touchdown drive. Because we were physical up front and throughout most of the game, we were able to run the ball effictivly. While on defense our front seven played a physical game as well, they got good penetration and were able to pressure the quarterback up the midle and keep him from taking off and running."
Dedman saw several bright spots.
"I was impressed with Weston Rountree, he came up big for us in the second half with his touchdown run. While on the defensive side of the ball, Preston Reed plugged up the gaps on the defensive line and played an altogether physical game."
Wilson Central visits Mt. Juliet next week in a key District 9-AAA game.
"On the offensive line, we blocked well, but we got tired up front," Dedman said. "We need to keep up our physicalness throughout the entirety of the game, we need to improve upfront if we want to improve in the future."
Wilson Central 13
Cleveland 7 0 6 0--13
Wilson Central 0 17 7 9 --33
First downs 16 19
Rushes-Yards 49-182 27-176
Passing Yards 80 230
Comp-Att-Int 6-13-0 15-22-2
Punts 4-156 2-100
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 3-2
Penalties-Yards 6-70 3-35
WC — Alex Price 22 pass from Jordan Rountree (Brad Cavanough kick), 7:30
Cle — Austin Herink 5 run (Oscar Galvan kick), 11:54
Cle— Galvan 23 field goal, 3:01
Cle— Parker Smith 10 pass from Hering (Galvan kick), 2:24
WC — Weston Rountree 35 run (kick failed), 6:16
Cle — DJ Jones 5 run (Galvan kick), 3:34
Cle — Safety, 9:49
Cle— Herink 1 run (Galvan kick), 2:02