WATERTOWN — For everyone at Robinson Stadium on Friday night, the mosquitos were brutally annoying.
For Mt. Juliet Christian, the Watertown Purple Tigers were just brutal.
Following a scoreless first quarter, the Tigers hung up 41 second-period points and breezed past the Saints 61-7.
Just about everyone had a hand in this one as running back Deramus Carey scored on a 5-yard run on the first play of the second quarter and added scoring runs of 4 and 2 yards.
A fumble recovery by middle linebacker Jordan Carter set Watertown up in a short field for a 10-yard scoring run by Zach Hill.
Heath Price scored touchdowns three different ways – a 47-yard punt return midway through the second quarter, a 44-yard pass from Bryce Webster two plays into the second half and a 53-yard return of an onside kick.
Quanterrius Hughes-Malone returned an interception 54 yards down the Saint sideline for the 41-0 halftime lead.
“Second week in a row we had a score in all facets of the game,” Watertown coach Gavin Webster said after his Purple Tigers moved to 2-0. “When you do that, it helps out a lot of things.”
Brandon Watts scored on a 3-yard run early in the fourth quarter.
Receiver Isaac Needham didn’t score, but set up two touchdowns with a 30-yard catch from Webster and a 44-yarder from sophomore Isaac Finch. Webster was an efficient 7-of-12 passing for 98 yards.
Watertown’s defense sacked Saints quarterback Christian Link four times and intercepted him twice. Freshman Sam Wills got the second pick in the closing seconds. The Tigers also held star runner Darius Hylick in check until he swept loose for a 75-yard touchdown early in the fourth with the Saints down 55-0. That run enabled him to finish with a game-high 120 yards on 13 carries.
“Bottom line is, they were going to come after us and we didn’t play as well as we should have and sometimes things don’t go your way,” Mt. Juliet Christian coach Dan Davis said after his Saints slipped to 1-1. “Good thing is this wasn’t a district game. We’re going to learn from it and get better and grow up, and that’s okay. We don’t like losing, but it was a good night for a lot of us to grow up.”
Looking at the final score, it’s hard to believe no one scored during the first quarter as both teams struggled to get something going offensively.
“We sputtered coming out of the gate,” Webster said. “We just didn’t execute, bottom line. Offense didn’t execute. Defense was playing well. Offense just didn’t execute the first two drives. Hats off to them, they defended it and we didn’t execute.
“We came back and played our type of football and got things under control.”
The Saints got a first down on their second series, but were plagued by dropped passes and penalties before the turnovers aggravated the avalanche.
“That’s part of football,” Davis said. “You’re supposed to execute what you’re supposed to do. Watch the game. The ball’s where it’s supposed to be most of the time, got to catch it. Got to do the little things right.”
Watertown will open Region 4-2A play at 7 p.m. next Friday in Hartsville against defending region champion Trousdale County. Mt. Juliet Christian is off next week due to Concord Christian’s decision to drop football this season. The Saints will return to action at 7 p.m. Sept. 7 in Celina against Clay County.
“I’d rather my kids have 10 games,” said Davis, whose Saints will have just nine. “But at the same time, the good news about this is it gives us some time to emphasize and work on what we need to work on to get where we want to go.”
As for Watertown’s next game, “Trousdale’s the team to beat,” Webster said. “They won the region last year and have most everybody back. Until somebody knocks them off that mountain, they’re the team to beat.”
Watertown 61, Mt. Juliet Christian 7
Mt. Juliet Christian 0 0 0 7—7
Watertown 0 41 7 13—61
Watertown—Deramus Carey 5 run (Cole Miller kick), 11:53.
Watertown—Carey 4 run (kick failed), 9:36.
Watertown—Zach Hill 10 run (Miller kick), 8:36.
Watertown—Heath Price 47 punt return (Miller kick), 6:02.
Watertown—Miller 2 run (Hill pass from Bryce Webster), 3:55.
Watertown—Quanterrius Hughes-Malone 54 interception return (kick failed), 1:29.
Watertown—Price 44 pass from Webster (Miller kick), 10:06.
Watertown—Brandon Watts 3 run (Miller kick), 10:30.
Mt. Juliet Christian—Darius Hylick 75 run (Carter Branim kick), 9:19.
Watertown—Price 53 kickoff return (kick failed), 9:01.
First downs 6 13
—Rush 4 9
—Pass 2 4
—Penalty 0 0
Rushes-yards 22-128 276-169
Passing yards 45 142
—Comp.-Att.-Int. 8-21-2 8-13-0
Punts-avg. 6-25.3 2-32.0
Penalties-yards 7-50 3-15
Fumbles lost 1 0
RUSHING—Mt. Juliet Christian: Darius Hylick 13-120, Christian Link 8-(-14), Cameron Curtis 1-11. Watertown: Deramus Carey 15-88, Zach Hill 3-27, Jordan Cason 5-12, Brandon Watts 3-20, Brayden Cousino 1-22.
PASSING—Mt. Juliet Christian: Christian Link 8-21-2—45. Watertown: Bryce Webster 7-12-0—98, Isaac Finch 1-1-0—44.
RECEIVING—Mt. Juliet Christian: Logan Collier 4-17, Jack Crouch 2-11, Darius Hylick 1-11, Cameron Curtis 1-6. Watertown: Brandon Allison 3-16, Deramus Carey 1-2, Heath Price 2-50, Isaac Needham 2-74.