GLADEVILLE — Wilson Central is either in the playoffs or is the best team in the state which will be left out.
The Wildcats will find out between 10 and 11 a.m. today where they will play at 7 p.m. next Friday.
Until then, they can savor last night’s 25-20 triumph over Gallatin which sealed a 6-4 regular-season record.
“We’re hoping tomorrow morning we’re in,” Wildcat coach Brad Dedman said. “I think I’ve done most of the math. I think I’ve got us in, but you never know with TSSAA.”
Friday’s game proved the adage of how important special teams are. Brad Cavanough missed a 37-yard field goal and had a 12-yard shanked punt. But he drilled a 40-yard FG, was perfect on all three extra points, forced Gallatin into an 11-yard shank and, most importantly, put all five of his kickoffs either into or beyond the end zone, forcing the Green Wave to start on their 20-yard line every time and giving the Wildcats a short field much of the night.
“He’s a defensive-minded, for a football coach, guy,” Dedman said of his senior. “He kicks it deep and makes them go 80 and that’s all you can ask for. He did a heck of a job on his kickoffs. Missed the one field goal, but I’ll take his kickoffs.”
Central jumped to a 14-0 lead on Jordan Roundtree’s 21-yard pass to Blake Lea on the post and Kyle Coombes’ 26-yard interception return.
The Wildcat defense slammed Gallatin’s running game shut, holding the Green Wave to 23 yards on 24 carries. Eric Debow was held to 6 yards on 14 carries.
Gallatin had to rely on Clay Carnes, who completed 14 of 31 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown. The Wave also was able to take advantage of a couple of Central fumbles. The first of which set up Cory Coggins’ 5-yard scoring run on a double handoff three plays into the second quarter.
Carnes whipped a 35-yard scoring strike to Kerry Barr 34 seconds before halftime. But a missed extra point left Central in front 14-13 at the break.
The Wildcats again moved to a score on their first possession of the second half. Kaleb Butler’s 49-yard run set up Jordan Roundtree’s 7-yard stroke to Zack Dover.
Cavanough’s 40-yard field goal made it 25-13 midway through the third quarter.
After Cavanough forced the 11-yard shank, Central appeared poised to slam the door shut. But linebacker Madden Dakota stripped the ball and returned it 37 yards to the Central 43.
Carnes drove Gallatin to a first-and-goal inside the 10. But Hunter Wilson intercepted Carnes just in front of the goal line on fourth down.
On a night when many communities were celebrating Halloween a day late, Gallatin scored its second trick-play touchdown with less than five minutes to play when receiver Dedarius Redding winged a 65-yard pass to Gatkek Kueth to bring the visitors within five.
Central’s offense ran the clock down to a fourth down at the Gallatin 36 with just over a minute left and the Green Wave out of timeouts.
But Dedman, who went for it on fourth down on the previous series and whiffed, had offensive coordinator Zach White call another play and Roundtree [5-of-14 passing for 55 yards] found Alex Price for 9 yards and the first down, enabling White to call victory formation.
“All I could see was a blocked punt,” Dedman said. “They had enough big plays tonight. We gave up way too many.”
Wilson Central 25, Gallatin 20
Gallatin 0 13 0 7-20
Wilson Central 14 0 11 0—25
Wilson Central—Blake Lea 21 pass from Jordan Roundtree [Brad Cavanough kick], 8:04.
Wilson Central—Kyle Coombes 26 interception return [Cavanough kick], 6:43.
Gallatin—Cory Coggins 5 run [Tristan Rogers kick], 10:31.
Gallatin—Kerry Barr 35 pass from Clay Carnes [kick failed], :34.
Wilson Central—Zack Dover 7 pass from Roundtree [Lea pass from Roundtree], 9:56.
Wilson Central—Cavanough 40 FG, 7:19.
Gallatin—Gatkek Kueth 65 pass from Dedarius Redding [Rogers kick], 4:50.
Gallatin Wilson Central
First downs 10 14
—Rushing 2 10
—Passing 7 3
—Penalty 1 1
Rushes-yards 24-23 42-192
Passing yards 259 55
Comp.-Att.-Int. 15-32-2 5-14-0
Total yards 282 247
Punts-avg. 3-17.67 2-28.0
Penalties-yards 4-40 3-15
Fumbles lost 0 2
RUSHING—Gallatin: Kerry Barr 2-[-1], Eric Debow 14-6, Jacari Head 1-[-2], Clay Carnes 6-15, Cory Coggins 1-5. Wilson Central: Alex Price 8-42, Kaleb Butler 11-76, Jordan Roundtree 10-23, Gabe Angel 4-7, Vic Johnson 9-44.
PASSING—Gallatin: Clay Carnes 14-31-2-194, Dedarius Redding 1-1-0—65. Wilson Central: Jordan Roundtree 5-14-0—55.
RECEIVING—Gallatin: Cory Coggins 5-59, Elias Hacket 6-86, Dedarius Redding 2-14, Kerry Barr 1-35, Gatkek Kueth 1-65. Wilson Central: Blake Lea 1-21, Alex Price 2-14, Zack Dover 1-7, Gabe Angel 1-13.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Wilson Central, Cavanough 37.