The Wildcats took a 28-7 halftime lead and was able to hang on for a 42-32 victory over the West Lauderdale Knights to advance to the second round against Byhalia (4-6) at Byhalia on Friday. Cleveland improved to 7-5, while West Lauderdale ended its year at 7-5.
“They’re going to keep fighting until the end,” Cleveland High head coach Kelly Causey said about his team. “They’ve got a never give up attitude. A couple of ball games we’ve lost were right there at the end. We had to deal with adversity earlier this year. I think that taught us a valuable lesson. If anything happens just keep fighting through it.”
Causey said West Lauderdale proved to be a team that wasn’t going to lay down for anybody.
“They ended up getting a wildcat formation,” Causey said. “They’ve got on kid that’s a good runner. They gave us some trouble with that. They are very well coached team. You’re not going to trick’em with much stuff. They are going to be where they’re supposed to be.”
The Wildcats ran the ball very effectively as they rushed for 412 yards on 63 carries. Andonte Maxie had a great game by rushing for 212 yards with two touchdowns on 24 carries. Quarterback Vaughnte Dorsey ran for 110 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries to aid the Wildcats, followed by Earnest Butler with 75 rushing yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, Orlando Burns with 14 yards on three carries and Samuel Dancer with a one-yard touchdown run.
Causey said the offensive line did a great job of blocking.
“The offensive line were creating holes,” Causey said. “Our backs blocked well for each other also. I really think it was our best game in that aspect also.”
The Wildcats also did well on point-after conversions as Trace Edwards made everyone of his six PAT attempts. West Lauderdale also couldn’t convert on there’s as they messed up on an extra point kick and failed to convert on two 2-point conversions.
On defense, Dillon Norwood played well, and Larry Douglas ran an interception back for a touchdown.