By: Nick Hall
The Fort Payne Wildcats celebrated homecoming Friday night with a 45-18 thrashing of the Lee-Huntsville Generals. The Wildcats, who struggled in the ground game last week, put up 269 yards of rushing and 31 first downs on the night. The Wildcats opened by driving the ball inside the Generals 5-yard line, but a block in the back penalty pushed them back, forcing a 29-yard field goal that put Fort Payne up 3-0. Later in the quarter, Donald Winchester capped off a 7-play, 54-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, increasing the Wildcat lead to 10.
Less than a minute into the second quarter, Tyler Newton had a 50-yard pick six to stretch the lead to 17. On the Wildcats’ next possession, Jordan Baine orchestrated a 6-play, 88-yard drive that culminated in a 31-yard touchdown run by Carter Pinholster, extending the Wildcats’ lead to 24. The Wildcats’ defensed force another three-and-out, and the offense was able to capitalize again when Jordan Baine threw a 1-yard scoring strike to Matthew Shaddix to end the first half up 31-0.
The Generals avoided the shutout with an 80-yard touchdown run to open the second half. The Wildcats capitalized on a Generals’ fumble later in the third quarter by putting together a 10-play, 54-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard scoring run by Pinholster to put Fort Payne up 38-6. Lee responded with a 95-yard touchdown return on the ensuing kickoff to shrink the Wildcats advantage back to 38-12. The Wildcats scored once more on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Baine to Pinholster and the Generals added one more touchdown in the final seconds to close the game out at 45-18. Fort Payne (3-3, 3-0) will host 6A, Region 8 foe Buckhorn this Friday.