Wildcats blast past Rockets in rain-soaked home game
The Whitney Wildcats hit the Robinson Rockets with a perfect storm Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.
After trudging through a rain-soaked first half, the Wildcats exploded for 31 unanswered points in the final two quarters to cruise to a 41-0 victory.
“The difference from last week was that we went back to the basics,” Head Coach Mark Byrd said. “We harped on the Big 3: Alignment, Assignment, Execution. We knew that taking care of those three would aid in the success moving forward.”
The Whitney defense fueled the attack, recovering five fumbles on the night to constantly put the offense in prime field position.
The Wildcats limited the Rockets to a staggering 85 yards on the night.
“I’m very proud of how our defense really flipped the switch,” Byrd said. “We took some strides moving forward, but we still have some ground to cover to be where we want to be.”
On the other side of the ball, the Wildcat offense caught fire to gain more than 400 yards. Byrd said the offensive production was the key.
Though both teams struggled to gain traction in the first half, quarterback Garrett Peacock marched Whitney down the field at the end of the second quarter, and the Wildcats found the scoreboard just before heading into the locker room.
Up 8-0, Whitney fielded the second half kickoff and never looked back. The Wildcats went on a scoring spree on each possession and the defense applied non-stop pressure.
“We knew we needed to come out and get a quick score and start making them push the panic button,” Byrd said. “Turnovers were a big part.”
With Robinson sputtering, Peacock picked apart the Rocket secondary and skillfully guided the offense, completing 17 of 26 passing attempts and throwing for two touchdowns. The junior added two rushing touchdowns to the stat sheet, which were matched by two punch-in scores from Dawson Hightower.
Peacock spread the ball around to seven different receivers on the night, with junior Kyler Cryns leading the way with 99 yards on three catches. Cryns had two second-half scores, including a 52-yard touchdown reception.
The Wildcats travel to Rogers this Friday to face a 0-2 Eagles squad. Rogers, a playoff team from last year that is a traditionally strong 3A-Division 2 program, is a new opponent for the Whitney schedule. Rogers has lost two close games in 2020 to Little River Academy and San Saba.
Byrd said a game like against Robinson will help the Wildcats the next few weeks.
“We are going to keep grinding through the preseason against two quality programs in Rogers and Mart,” Byrd said. “Nothing comes easy for the Cats but what a great stage to be on the next two weeks.”