The Okolona Chieftains planned to run the ball right past the Houlka Wildcats Aug. 29, but the Cats’ defense didn’t see it that way.
The Wildcats knocked heads with the Okolona Chieftains, hard, and held the Chiefs to only six points on their home field in the first quarter, forcing coach Jack Clark to rearrange the play book.
“We threw it around at times, more than we usually do,” Clark said. “We came in to run, but they lined up on us and (passing) was called for.”
The passing game worked well enough to move the ball inside the red zone and across the line for a 31-0 opening game win.
The Chieftains scored once in the first quarter but it took them 13 plays and over six minutes to get there with the Wildcats pushing back against the offensive drive and sacking quarterback Tyson Eddie along the way.
The Chiefs went to the air and Eddie hit Dequin Babbit from 12-yards out to open the scoring. Eddie threw his way to the red zone in the second quarter, connecting with Rod Jones and Babbit and hit Jay Collins from eight-yards out for the second TD of the game. A 43-yard pass to Jacolbi Heard extended their lead to 19-0 and Houlka miscues cost them as Curtis Green scooped up a Wildcat fumble and took it 78 yards across the line.
J.C. Buchanan capitalized on a Houlka fumble in the third and the Chiefs held their 31-0 lead for the win.
But Houlka principal and interim coach, Jerry Seago, was not unhappy with the way the defensive line handled their business.
“We found some football players tonight,” Seago said. “They never quit and played hard start to finish. Our defense, we spent a lot of time on defense and I feel good about it. We’ll keep working on it.”
The Wildcats offense stalled inside the red zone three times, falling just short of the goal on the three-yard line in the third quarter.
“I take repsonsibility for the offense,” Seago said. “We spend way more time on defense because you win on defense. We’ll be working on offense and we’ll get better.”
The Chiefs will host the Houston Hilltoppers on Falkner Field for the annual “Battle of the Creek” Friday. The Toppers are coming off losses to Pontotoc and Calhoun City and the Chiefs opened their season against Houlka with a win.
The Wildcats will also be back on Falkner Field hosting Coahoma County in a Thursday match. The Clarksdale team is 2-0 with wins over Marshall and Williams-Sullivan.