Written by Joey Jacobs, RMS Teacher Sunday, 30 September 2012 18:56
The Riversprings Bears and the Wakulla Wildcats were supposed to tangle back in August.The schools usually begin the season with a kickoff extravaganza, but scheduling conflicts with the stadium forced the programs to reschedule the game to last Thursday, September 20th. Both schools entered the game searching for their first win of the season, but it was RMS that was able to squeak out a 16-14 win.
The format of the early season game between the cross county rivals is unique, in that the starters play for one half, second stringers for one quarter, and the younger and less experienced players for one quarter. Starters also play special teams the entire contest. This season, it was the “itty bitty’s” that started the game. RMS received the opening kickoff, but turned it over to WMS when Riversprings quarterback Kyle Johnson fumbled the first snap from scrimmage, giving WMS the ball at the Bear 33 yard line. After a loss of 1 on first down, WMS scampered 34 yards for a touchdown on their second play from scrimmage. The Wildcats added the extra point, and WMS was on top 8-0.
On the ensuing kickoff RMS standout Demarcus Lindsey returned the kick 62 yards for a Bear touchdown. Seventh grader Darrius Smith, playing his first snap ever at QB, punched the ball in for the extra point, tying the game at 8-8. Wakulla Middle then fumbled the RMS pooch kick, which was recovered by Jake McCarl. RMS couldn’t mount a drive, and turned the ball over to Wakulla after a 4th down fumble on the WMS 23 yard line. The Wildcats then marched down the field, chewing up yardage and the clock, scoring on a 26 yard touchdown run. WMS would miss the PAT, making the lead 14-8, giving WMS the 1st quarter edge.
At the beginning of the 2nd quarter, the second teamers came in. Back-up quarterback Jake McCarl would lead the RMS 2nd squad, and they would get as close as the WMS 21 yard line, but a holding penalty, coupled with a stiff WMS defense would end the RMS drive. The Wakulla second group didn’t fare any better, and the 1st half came to a close with WMS still leading 14-8.
As the 2nd half got underway, it proved to be a defensive struggle. The 3rd quarter came and went, without either team seriously threatening to score. The Bears would finally break into the scoring column again in the 4th quarter when, backed up to their own 16 yard line, quarterback Zach Norman hit Demarcus Lindsey, who blazed down the left sideline, tying the game at 14-14. Norman then threw a PAT pass to Justin Davis, putting the Bears up 16-14.
The Wildcats were not finished, however, mounting a drive from their own 36. A 6 yard run and a Bear offsides penalty gave WMS a first down at their 48 yard line. A stiffening Bears defense and a WMS false start penalty put WMS in a 4th and long situation, but the Wildcats threw a 27 yard pass completion, which gave them new life and the ball at the RMS 24 yard line. The Wildcats nearly won it when Wakulla’s QB threw to a wide open Wildcat, but the pass was a little long. WMS’ drive ended when a pass was completed short of the 1st down marker and RMS safety Demarcus Lindsey made the tackle, securing the RMS victory.
The Bears and Wildcats will tangle again on October 18th in the annual Sandgnat Slobberknocker for the Wakulla County Middle School Championship.
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