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Wildcats have a happy return

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MESQUITE – The Wildcats didn’t have an interception for the first time this season. In fact, Sulphur  Springs defense didn’t produce a turnover.  But, the Wildcats still had their third return for a touchdown this season.
That came courtesy of punt returner Bryant “Day Day” Jackson, who  took a punt back 52 yards to paydirt in the third quarter. His zag-zag scoring run came after Poteet punter Stewart MacDonnell had purposely kicked away from Jackson the play before, but Mesquite had to re-punt after a procedure penalty nullified the previous kick.
MacDonnell made the mistake of punting it right down the middle of the field, and Jackson used the entire field, going straight ahead before cutting to his right, stopping and going back to the left sideline before cutting back inside for the final 10 yards.
It was one of nine punts for the Pirates on the evening.
DEFENSE STANDS – The SS defense held Poteet down until the offense could get untracked. Poteet had just 52 yards rushing on 26 carries, a paltry 2.0-per-carry-average. Almost half of that came on QB Beau Nowell’s 21-yard scoring run. … With the Wildcats’ leading tackler, Tyler Higginbotham, out with an injury, linebacker Jocko Spataro and defensive end  Kedrick Dial were the most active SS defenders. Dial had four sacks – half of the team’s total of eight. Spataro also had a sack and led the team in tackles. Others with sacks were Jimmy Villa, Tyler Halerumal, J.B. Beachem and Roger Mandujano. … Poteet did not have a first down in the first quarter. Early Pirate drives were stopped by a pass break-up by safety Tylan Harris, another pass break-up on third down by Spataro, a third-down stop by Dial and Joe Scott and a pass knocked down at the line of scrimmage by Jimmy Villa.
KICKING IT – Junior kicker Fernando Arellano booted two field goals to bring his season total to four – matching his total from last year.  ... Poteet tried an onside kick to start the third quarter, but Sulphur Springs senior Seth Harris alertly covered it. Harris also tipped Poteet’s first extra point attempt, knocking it offline. .. The Wildcats were hit with a plethora of penalties – flagged 10 times for 95 yards. … SSHS used three different punters – usual punter Sharard Timmons and QBs Justin Owens and Colton Lee both pooch-kicked the ball inside the 20-yard line. … Senior Sawyer Sinclair also saw time at QB.
FOUR FOR FIFTY-THREE – It’s a safe bet that SSHS senior Colby Suggs leads the state in the number of touchdowns scored by a player wearing a uniform number in the 50s. Suggs, who is No. 53, scored his fourth TD of the season on a 1-yard plunge in the first quarter. Suggs usually plays center, but subs in at QB on short-yardage situations. … He was one of seven players to carry the ball for the Wildcats. … SSHS leading rusher Devion Hill toted the ball 17 times for 116 yards, a healthy 6.8-per-carry-average. His final carry was a tackle-breaking 7-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.
ON AVERAGE – After scoring 32 points on Friday, the Wildcats are now averaging 32 points per game. … The 13 points they gave up is their season low. … Each team fumbled once, but retained possession. … Sulphur Springs opens District 13-4A next week when the Wildcats host Pine Tree. … Poteet managed just seven first downs. Six of the seven came on their two touchdown drives. … SSHS wide receiver Shane McQueen had the Wildcats’ two longest plays from scrimmage – receptions of 46 and 41 yards from Lee.
 

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