“Our defense was big tonight. They kept us in the game,” said Wildcat head coach Jeff Byrd.
“The two big runs by Eli (Chestnutt) were big, but we looked lazy. We took a step back tonight. Rosewood was beating up on both sides of the ball. We just have to get back to the grind.”.
The Wildcats had first chance at the ball. They took it to the 20-yard line but fumbled it with Rosewood recovering at the 14. On first down, Rosewood fumbled with Courtney Robinson recovering for the Wildcats at the 15-yard line. The Wildcat offense stalled and wound up punting the ball away.
On Rosewood’s first down, the receiver bobbled the ball and Ira Moore picked it out of the air and returned it 85 yards for a Wildcat score with 3:55 left in the first quarter. Brad Evans kicked the point after for a 7-0 lead.
Rosewood took over but had to punt as the first quarter wound down. The Wildcats took over on their 30-yard line. Chestnutt took the first down 70 yards for another Wildcat score. Evans’ kick went wide leaving the score at 13-0.
Late in the second quarter, the Wildcats scored again when Chestnutt got outside on a 1-play 49-yard run for a 19-0 lead with 2:09 left. The Wildcats lined up in kick formation but holder Donovan King stood up and hit Henry Barnes in the end zone for the 2-point conversion and a 21-0 halftime lead.
Rosewood came out after the break and put together a 64-yard drive for their only score. Jamie Wooten scored on a 16-yard run with 7:27 left in the third period. The extra point attempt was blocked. The score was 21-6.
Early in the final period, the Wildcats scored again on an 8-yard run by Henry Barnes capping a 56-yard drive. Evans kicked the point after for a 28-6 final.
Chestnutt led the rushing with 157 yards on 12 carries and 2 touchdowns. Ira Moore had an 85-yard interception return. The Wildcats amassed 195 yards on 24 attempts.
They travel to North Duplin next week.