The Flint River Academy Wildcats lost to Piedmont Academy 48-28 in the Cats’ last regular season game. The contest, in Monticello last Friday night, placed the Cats 2nd in the region. FRA will have a bye this week before playing Briarwood in the first of their state rounds to be played on Nov. 13. Overall, the Wildcats finished the season 3-7.
The game was physical and sent two Wildcat players to the hospita l- Cullen Evans with a dislocated shoulder and Jacob Chester with a neck injury. The injuries in the second quarter definitely put a damper on the game.
FRA, in a trademark move, scored on their first play with a 51-yard TD pass from Parker Williams to James Murphy. The Wildcat offense was glad to see Murphy return to action after being laid off for several weeks, and he scored by catching the 51-yarder and later a 3-yard pass. He added more points by kicking four PATs. Brett Williamson scored TDs on a one yard run and later made a 5-yard catch, but overall picked up much fewer yards than usual as the Piedmont defense was ready for him. Parker Williams led the rushing stats with 108 yards on 19 plays.
FRA picked up 17 first downs to Piedmont’s 15, but the Cats were outmatched in the rushing department: 158 yards to 482. Going to the air has been the Cats’ strong suit and Williams was 17 out of 28 for 215 yards while Piedmont caught 4 out of 10 for 38 yards.
It was a night full of penalties as is any hard fought game with a title on the line. FRA amassed 6 penalties for 60 yards while Piedmont accrued 9 for 80 yards.
The players noted the positive points of the game: Murphy’s first play comeback and resulting TD, Dawson Taylor snagging the onside kick, overall playing well offensively, and the special teams executing exceptionally well.
The downside was that the FRA defense could not contain the bigger and stronger, hard hitting offense of the Cougars who pushed in to score seven TDs.
With a week for players to rest and recover, the Cats will prepare for Briarwood and travel to Warrenton. The Cats lost 48-20 when they played earlier in September; Briarwood is 8-2 overall and 3-0 in region play.