Playing the first day game in their 17-year history, the Wildcats failed to capitalize on an opening drive before falling behind 28-0 by halftime as Rossview running back Fred Orr ran for 178 yards and four touchdowns, including three in the first half. Quarterback Nick Harbor got the Hawks rolling with a 43-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline to Cole Ogle.
But instead of packing it up, the Wildcats came out determined in the second half, throwing a brick wall on Orr during the third quarter while quarterback Aaron Hubbell guided Central to Ries Adkisson’s 7-yard touchdown run and his own 1-yard sneak as the ‘Cats clawed to within 28-13 going into the fourth quarter.
“Like I told them, ‘Are you going to fight with me, or are you going to lay down and die?’ One of the two,” Wildcat coach Brad Dedman said after Central slipped to 0-3. “They stood up and wanted to fight in the second half. They made a good showing in the second half.”
But a high snap over Hubbell in shotgun on fourth down was recovered by Rossview at the Central 14-yard line. Zaden Webber converted the mishap into a 22-yard field goal for a 31-13 lead with just over nine minutes to play.
But Central kept coming even down by three scores. Hubbell, who hit 18 of his 33 passes for 202 yards, found wideout Dalton King in the right side of the end zone from 15 yards. The pair connected again for the two-point conversion to bring the Wildcats within 31-21 with 7:19 left.
But after being bottled up for the entire second half to that point, Orr got free for a back-breaking 53-yard touchdown run with just over five minutes to play to seal the Hawks’ first win of the season.
Central, which outgained Rossview in total yards 256-247, opened the game with a solid drive from the Wildcat 25 to the Rossview 31 before a holding penalty helped stall the series. The home team then proceeded to dominate the remainder of the first half.
“They showed us a few things we hadn’t seen on film,” Dedman said. “Offense-wise we were having trouble moving the ball and defense we were giving up big plays. That’s not a good combination,” Dedman said. “We started way too slow. We can be a good football team if we start fast.”
Dedman said halftime adjustments were both Xs and Os and attitude.
“We changed our scheme a little bit up front, tried to slow them down,” Dedman said. “Mainly, it was an attitude adjustment. We just had to come out and want to play.”
Wilson Central will return home for a non-region game with John Overton at 7 p.m. Friday.
Rossview 38, Wilson Central 21
Wilson Central 0 0 13 8—21
Rossview 14 14 0 10—38
Rossview—Cole Ogle 43 pass from Nick Harbor (Zaden Webber kick), 5:34.
Rossview—Fred Orr 42 run (Webber kick), 1:08.
Rossview—Orr 16 run (Webber kick), 10:11.
Rossview—Orr 3 run (Webber kick), 3:22.
Wilson Central—Ries Adkisson 7 run (kick failed), 7:58.
Wilson Central—Aaron Hubbell 1 run (Will Lafollete kick), 3:17.
Rossview—Webber 22 FG, 9:08.
Wilson Central—Dalton King 15 pass from Hubbell (King pass from Hubbell), 7:19.
Rossview—Orr 53 run (Webber kick), 5:08.
Wilson Central Rossview
First downs 13 16
—Rush 4 12
—Pass 8 2
—Penalty 1 2
Rushes-yards 27-54 22-178
Passing yards 202 69
—Comp.-Att.-Int. 18-33-1 6-9-1
Punts-avg. 30.5 27.7
Penalties-yards 8-46 2-25
Fumbles lost 2 1
RUSHING—Wilson Central: Zay Kern 8-28, Stratton Farmer 7-50, Michael Powell 3-5, Aaron Hubbell 6-(-22), Ries Adkisson 2-10, Team 1-(-17). Rossview: Johnathan Coffee 5-9, Graham Barnett 2-2, Nick Harbor 7-2, Gino Avros 13-41, Kayden Miller 3-8, Cole Ogle 1-7, Fred Orr 22-178.
PASSING—Wilson Central: Aaron Hubbell 18-33-1—202. Rossview: Nick Harbor 4-7-1—52, Gino Avros 2-2-0—17.
RECEIVING—Wilson Central: Todd Garrett 2-1, Zay Kern 3-14, Kirby Kwamez 3-50, Stratton Farmer 1-1, Dalton King 6-74, DeMarius McBroom 3-2. Rossview: Cole Ogle 2-44, Isaiah Phillips 1-8, Fred Orr 1-(-1), Darious Lewis 1-9, Clayton Spence 1-9.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.