Wildcats Wear Down Tigers

Updated: September 8, 2014

Friday night, September 5, the DeKalb County High School Tigers traveled to Livingston Academy to face the Wildcats in the Tigers’ third game of the season. The Tigers were looking for their first win of the season against a team that has historically proven to be quite a challenge for them.

DeKalb received the first kick, and the Tigers began their first drive on their own 29. Luke Boss had a nice carry for 15 yards followed by a lovely 21 yard run by A.J. Mooneyham. They were unfruitful after those two plays, however, and had to punt from Livingston’s 34. A very favorable bounce on the kick by Matthew Poss caused the ball to roll out of bounds at Livingston’s 1 yard line.

Livingston seemed undaunted by their poor field position. Quarterback Kaleb Qualls and running back Dylan Linder, along with a couple runs by Jordan Savage and Carter Hayes, combined to drive 78 yards in 7 plays. The Tigers dug in at this point, however. The Wildcats made it to the DeKalb 12 yard line, but a pair of false starts put them back at about the 20 yard line facing 4th and 16. Qualls tried to throw to wide receiver Wade Eldridge in the end zone, and Eldridge caught the ball, but he was out of bounds.

The Tigers took over at their 20. They gained one first down, but couldn’t accomplish anything after that and punted from their own 24 on 4th and 14. Livingston got one run in before the buzzer sounded on the first quarter. The Wildcats earned one first down, but couldn’t get past the Tiger 40 before they were forced to punt it right back. DeKalb took over at their own 14 yard line, and Steven Jennings, Luke Boss, and Aaron Patterson each contributed to drive to the Tiger 47. They were forced to punt again on 4th and 2.

A nice punt by Matthew Poss combined with a penalty called against Livingston pushed the ball all the way to Livingston’s 11, but on the Wildcats’ second play, Jordan Savage ran the ball 39 yards on a handoff from Qualls to the DeKalb 36. Three penalties on Livingston Academy challenged the Wildcats, but a facemask call against DeKalb helped them out, and a few plays later, Dylan Linder carried the ball into the end zone. DeKalb’s Hunter Stone blocked the extra point, but the Wildcats went ahead, 6-0.

DeKalb began their next drive from the Tiger 33 with a minute and 48 seconds on the clock. Jennings and Boss were able with their teammates to drive to the Wildcat 20 yard line. With nine seconds left, Matthew Poss came in to attempt a 37 yard field goal. The kick was straight, but it was about a foot short. Livingstone was able to run one play before the buzzer rang, ending the half with the Wildcats on top 6-0.

The match may have appeared close in the first half, but change came quickly in the third quarter. The Tigers appeared to be losing steam, but the Wildcats seemed to be getting warmed up. Livingsto n received the kick and began their drive on their own 26 yard line. After two short runs, Qualls connected with wide receiver Peter Hollars on a pass that netted the Wildcats 29 yards. Two plays later, Qualls ran the ball on a quarterback keeper for 32 more yards to score Livingston’s second touchdown. A good kick put the Wildcats up 13-0.

DeKalb fought their way from their own 22 to the 46, but Luke Boss lost his grip on a handoff from Steven Jennings and the ball was picked up by Livingstons’ Jacob Masters. Livingston then took the ball 44 yards in five plays, including a 21 yard pass from Qualls to Eldridge, finishing up with a quarterback keeper for 7 yards into the end zone. Another good kick, and Livingston was up 20-0.

DeKalb’s next possession began at their 27 yard line. On 2nd down, Jennings connected with Patterson, but the play was called back on a penalty against DeKalb. They connected again on 3rd for 14 yards, but they needed 18. They punted on 4th down from their 32 yard line.

Livingston began at their own 30 yard line, and just over two minutes later, they were in the end zone again. With the extra point, their lead increased to 27-0. DeKalb’s Aaron Patterson made a good return on the kick, carrying the ball from DeKalb’s 8 to the 42 yard line. The Tigers couldn’t capitalize, however, and three plays later, Poss was called in to punt.

Livingston began again on their own 44 yard line with 10 minutes remaining in the game. A handoff to Linder, a keeper by Qualls, a 19 yard pass to Eldridge, and a 24 yard connection with Carter Hayes brought the Wildcats to DeKalb’s 1 yard line. On 1st and goal Qualls tossed the ball to Hayes, who carried it in to put 6 more on the board for Livingston, now up 33-0.

DeKalb started deep in their own territory at the 9 yard line. Second string quarterback Tyler Cantrell gave the ball several times to Jordan Whitehead, who earned about three first downs, but Whitehead fumbled on a run near midfield and Livingston recovered. The Wildcat second string couldn’t make anything happen, so they punted on 4th and 5 from the DeKalb 46. The Tigers had the ball for the remaining couple of minutes and marched to the 46 yard line before the buzzer rang ending the game with a Wildcat victory, 33-0.

The loss put the Tigers at 0-3, with their next game being scheduled for next Friday at 7:00 against White County in Sparta. Livingston Academy has a by next week.