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Wildcats host Mills at home

by Tanner Spearman | September 15, 2023 at 3:43 a.m.
Watson Chapel High School football players warm up before an Aug. 18 scrimmage game at home against Forrest City. (Special to The Commercial/William Harvey)

After three straight road games to start the season, Watson Chapel is set to come home.

The Wildcats host Mills in their home opener at 7 tonight. Watson Chapel (0-3, 0-1) is coming off a 60-8 defeat at Pine Bluff High School in its 5A-Central Conference opener. Mills (3-0, 1-0) defeated Beebe last week 41-8 at home.

Other than last month's scrimmage with Forrest City, a 14-14 tie, this will be Watson Chapel fans' first chance to see their team play at home this year. The Wildcats began the season with road games at Texarkana, McGehee and Pine Bluff.

Their reward for so much early travel is a lengthy homestand. Including this Friday, four of Watson Chapel's next five games are at Wildcat Stadium.

The Wildcats will travel next week to Robinson before playing three straight games at home.

Watson Chapel coach Maurice Moody said the Wildcats are excited.

"No travel," Moody said. "Get a chance to try to get a W in front of our home fans, so yeah, we're definitely excited about that."

Three straight road games to begin the season isn't the only challenge the Wildcats' schedule presented them this season.

They also begin conference play with many of 5A-Central's best teams. Watson Chapel's next four games are all against playoff teams from last year.

Mills finished in second place last season after a 29-28 loss to Robinson. The Comets reached the second round of the playoffs before losing to eventual state runner-up Shiloh Christian.

Moody said having so many good teams early on is challenging.

"You don't have no nights off," Moody said. "We're in the point, the peak of our schedule where we got tough games almost every Friday night. It just kinda make you focus, kinda make you tougher."

"You gotta see how mentally tough you are. Sure, the games are challenging, but we gotta meet that challenge head on and do our best and try to get a W."

Last week, the Comets and Wildcats were on opposite ends of similar games.

Watson Chapel's lone score against Pine Bluff came when Omarrion Hunter returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the first quarter and McErvin Bagby ran in the 2-point conversion, making the game 14-8 in the Zebras' favor at the time.

The Wildcats' defense held Pine Bluff's offense at bay in the second quarter but couldn't keep that up in the second half.

Hunter led both teams with 58 rushing yards on 10 carries.

Moody said Hunter is a tough player and a team leader.

"He gives us a spark out there," Moody said. "He have big-play ability written all over him, so we're going to give him the football and see what he can do with it."

Mills led 21-0 when Beebe's Braydon Sanders returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown.

Otherwise, the Comets remained in complete control. Senior quarterback Achillies Ringo completed 16 of 26 passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for a touchdown.

Print Headline: Wildcats host Mills at home


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