By Stan Sadler
STRONG – A key interception, immediately followed by an 80-yard drive that ended with a touchdown on the opening play of the fourth quarter, finally broke open a tight game and the Rison Wildcats pulled away from the determined Strong Bulldogs to post a 31-8 victory in an 8-2A Conference battle at Jerry Burson Field last Friday night.
The win kept Rison’s record perfect at 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the league, while Strong dropped to 2-2 and 0-2.
Even though the ‘Cats dominated Strong, except for one big play from the Bulldogs’ quick and elusive Dez Newton, Rison head coach Clay Totty was not satisfied in the least with his team’s showing after three consecutive blowout wins.
From the start of the game, when the Bulldogs covered an onsides kick at the Rison 40, Totty said the Wildcats were not ready to play.
“The opening kick pretty well summed it up for us,” the R.H.S. mentor said. “We weren’t focused and locked in. I was bad disappointed in our mentality. I felt that way Friday night, and after watching the film I still felt the same way. I think all we did was show up to the game. There just wasn’t any consistency on our part. The backs didn’t run hard all the time. The line wanted to lean instead of drive. We missed 16 tackles, including special teams. We just didn’t show much energy, and because of that we got sloppy with some penalties and lack of execution. I’m thankful we won the game, because we could have just as easily lost.”
Midway of the opening period, Rison seemed to receive a spark when RoShawn Martin, the Wildcats’ leading ball carrier with 92 yards, ripped off a 27-yard gainer to the Strong 30. From there, though, the ‘Cats could get no closer than the 25 and turned the ball over on downs.
To read the full article, see the October 4, 2017 print or e-Herald edition of The Herald.