Bulldogs to host Wildcats in 2A playoff opener

Published 3:20 pm Tuesday, October 31, 2023

STAR CORRESPONDENT

They will be fighting like cats and dogs when the Polk County Wildcats take on the Hampton Bulldogs in the first round of the TSSAA 2A playoffs on Friday night at JC Campbell Stadium.

Polk County (4-6 overall) has a junior quarterback Cade Brewer who has thrown for 1,038 yards and senior RB/WR Damien McWilliams who has rushed for 726 yards and has caught 33 passes for 610 yards with six touchdowns.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“That number 12 (McWilliams) is basically their whole offense,” Bulldogs head coach Michael Lunsford said. “They line him up all over the place and are at their best with the ball in his hands.”

Hampton (8-2 overall) has won seven in a row and toppled top conference foe South Greene 32-14 last week in the battle for the Mountain East Conference title. The Bulldogs are in prime form and Lunsford said, “We are playing our best football right now and that’s a good way to feel. Polk County has some good players, that number 12 is a good return player and they have good size. He is the guy they want to get the ball to.”

The Wildcats also have freshman RB Nathan Lawson who has rushed for 361 yards and three touchdowns this season and RB Jesse Holden who has 63 rushes for 341 yards. The Bulldogs rushed for 309 yards in the win over the Rebels with junior RB Dom Burleson rushing for 210 yards.

After a slow first half that had South Greene ahead 7-6 at halftime, the ‘Dogs stormed to victory in the second half.

“We figured out what they were doing to us and we spread them out in the second half,” Lunsford said. “They were pinching in the middle of the line so we used more spread sets, and Dylan Trivett ran hard to take some pressure off Dom.”

The Bulldogs scoring average took a hit with just 32 points last week after scoring 50-plus points in five consecutive games. Polk County averages 19.4 points per game offensively and surrender an average of 23.1 points defensively.

Game time is 7 pm.