KNOXVILLE—The Oak Ridge Wildcats extended their district win streak to 3-0 against the Central High School Bobcats on Friday in Knoxville.
The final score was 24-13.
Next up is district rival Anderson County on Halloween. It’s the last regular-season game and a district title could be at stake.
Oak Ridge Coach Joe Gaddis has emphasized that he wants the Wildcats to go 4-0 in the final four district games.
Oak Ridge (7-2, 6-1 in the district) seemed to struggle a bit on offense in the first half on Friday, but Gaddis said the team played well in the second. The offensive line and running game were critical, Gaddis said.
Sophomore running back Isiah Jones led the Wildcats in rushing, with 138 yards on 18 carries. Quarterback Jaylin Henderson added 160 yards through the air on 10 passes.
Although temperatures dropped below freezing and there were dropped snaps and passes, Gaddis didn’t think weather played a critical role, saying the team had practiced on a cold, windy day Wednesday.
Gaddis said he was proud of the Wildcats for holding the Bobcats, who have had some high-scoring games, to 13 points. He said the 10-6 lead for the Wildcats at halftime was big, and going up 17-6 with 6:34 left in the third quarter was also important.
Oak Ridge scored first on a 32-yard field goal by Brandon Nickle with 2:31 in the first quarter.
The Bobcats (4-5, 4-3) answered two drives later on a 17-yard pass from Austin Kirby to Cedric Washington, but they missed the extra point, making the score 6-3 in favor of Central at 7:38 in the second quarter.
But the Wildcats took the lead—and kept it—going into halftime on a one-yard touchdown run by Henderson to the right side of the field with about 15 seconds to play. The score was 10-6, with Oak Ridge on top.
The Wildcats added their last two scores on a 40-yard pass play to Tee Higgins with 6:34 left in the third and a six-yard rushing touchdown by senior Kyler Jones in the fourth with 7:25 remaining.
The Bobcats set up their final score on a pass on a fourth-and-24 at the Oak Ridge 33. It led to a three-yard touchdown run by Josh Poplar with 3:23 left in the game.
The Halloween game against the Mavericks (8-1, 6-1) starts at 7 p.m. Thursday at Blankenship Field.
See the preliminary stats here, courtesy of Mark Haste: Oak Ridge Wildcats and Central Bobcats Preliminary Stats.
Note: This story was last updated at 5:30 p.m.