Highland tops Cave City during showdown
The Highland Rebels won their first game of the season at home Friday, Oct. 4, by defeating the Cave City Cavemen 54-14 in a game that was called with 2:29 remaining in the third quarter. The Rebels moved to 1-4 overall for the season and 1-1 in the conference. Cave City dropped to 0-5 for the season and 0-2 in conference. The Cavemen fell to 0-5 overall and 0-2 in conference.
The Rebels scored 14 points in the first quarter and went on a scoring spree in the second quarter when the Rebels scored 26 points. Cave City got on the scoreboard with 6 points in the second quarter. The score at the half was Highland 40 and Cave City 6. This was one-point shy of having the “clock rule” invoked at the start of the third quarter.
Cave City kicked off and the football went out of bounds resulting in the football being placed at the Rebels 35-yard line. The Rebels immediately created excitement for their fans on the first play from scrimmage. With David Jones taking the football, he found a wide-open Colby Hopkins deep down field behind the Cavemen’s defense and threw a nice pass to Hopkins who took the football into the end zone on a 65-yard play. The two-point conversion by Jesse Taylor made it 8-0 for the Rebels.
On the kickoff, Cave City fumbled on its own 29-yard line and Highland’s Blake Novoa recovered. On the short drive, Jones took the football for a first down at the 15-yard line. Highland jumped offsides and was penalized back to the Cave City 20-yard line. The Highland drive was backed up further by a block in the back which took the ball back to the Cave City 30-yard line—one yard behind where the drive started. Then, Cave City’s Michael Rhoades made a tackle in the Rebels’ backfield to back Highland up even further. After an overthrown pass, a completion with forward progress stopped by Jay Nguyen and another overthrown pass, a holding penalty was declined.
The Cavemen took over on their own 21-yard line. A tackle by Garrett Statler left the Cavemen facing a 3rd down and 12 with 8:47 remaining in the first quarter. Eli Taylor carried the football for six yards with Joel Hoppe making the tackle. Rather than punting, Cave City elected to try for a 1st down and didn’t make it. The Rebels took over on Cave City’s 25-yard line. The Rebels’ Jones took the football down to the Cave City 10-yard line. Next, Jesse Taylor took the football into the end zone. The snap went astray on the conversion attempt, and the conversion was not successful. Highland led 14-0 with 6:24 remaining in the first quarter.
After the Highland kickoff and a Cave City penalty, the Cavemen started at their own 30-yard line. Jaron Price carried the football, and David Forehand made the tackle for the Rebels. With 6:08 remaining in the 1st quarter, Zac Scott picked off the Cavemen’s pass attempted at about the Cave City 45-yard line and returned it to the 23-yard line. Quarterback Wyatt Goodman took the football into the end zone for an apparent touchdown, but it was brought back due to multiple penalties by the Rebels. A block in the back penalty was declined, but the holding call was accepted. After a false start by the Rebels, it was 1st and 25 at the Cave City 33-yard line. Goodman tried to pass, but the receivers were covered, and he ran for four yards with Cason Shaw on the tackle. After Warren Burton took the football around left end for four yards, Goodman hit Hoppe with a pass, and the play went to the Cave City 1-yard line. Also, Cave City was flagged for a horse collar, but the football couldn’t be moved much due to where the play had ended. Taylor carried the football into the end zone for a touchdown. Then, it was a toss-back from Goodman to Burton for a two-point conversion. The score was Highland 22-0 with 3:40 remaining in the first quarter.
Maddox Moreland returned the Highland kickoff to the Cave City 30-yard line. After Taylor ran for three yards, there was a tackle in the backfield by Joe Horton, then; Cason Shaw caught a pass from Will Debaun for a 1st down with the tackle by Colby Hopkins . Cave City fumbled the football, but the Cavemen recovered. Cave City was facing a 2nd and 20. A Cave City player was injured, and there was a lengthy delay while the injured player was attended to and then taken from the field. Jay Nguyen caught a pass from Debaun, and Jones made the tackle. Then, Moreland punted to the Highland 30-yard line. After a penalty, Highland had the football on its own 24-yard line. Zac Scott made a couple on first downs with Jaron Price on the tackle on one of them. After a carry by Taylor, the first quarter ended with Highland leading 22-0.
On the second carry in a row by Scott, the football rested at the at the Cave City 9-yard line with 1st and goal. With 9:50 remaining in the second quarter, Goodman passed to Taylor for a touchdown. On the two-point conversion try, Scott came up short of the goal line. The Rebels led 28-0.
Nguyen returned the kickoff to the Rebel 25-yard line giving the Cavemen a bit of a spark. Eli Taylor made a 19-yard touchdown run. Oliver Ramirez was successful on the extra point kick, and Highland led 28-7.
An on-sides kick attempt was unsuccessful, and Highland took over on the Cave City 45-yard line. Cave City committed a face mask penalty moving theo football to the Cave City 28-yard line and a 1st and 10. Burton took the football to the 21-yard line. After Burton and Jones carried the football, Goodman took the ball to the three-yard line resulting in a 1st and goal with Moreland on the tackle. Then, quarterback Goodman took the football into the end zone for a 34-7 Highland lead. The two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful as Taylor was tackled in the backfield. After the ensuing kickoff, Taylor carried the ball, then; he carried again down to the Highland 28-yard line with Forehand on the tackle. Next, Moreland scored after catching a pass he came back toward the line of scrimmage for and then went into the end zone. Ramirez added the extra point, and the score was 34-14 with 2:15 remaining in the first half.
An on-sides kick attempt by Cave City was unsuccessful with Highland taking over at its own 48-yard line. A late hit out of bounds by Cave City took the football to the Cave City 31-yard line and a 1st and 10. Trevor Orosz carried the football for six yards, and Jones made a 1st and 10 at the Cave City 20-yard line with Moreland on the tackle. After a couple of plays and offsetting penalties with 33 seconds remaining in the first half, Goodman connected with Hopkins at the 6-yard line with Trevor Dockins on the tackle. Highland scored on a pass from Goodman to Joel Hoppe with three seconds remaining in the first half. The two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful as the pass attempt was batted away. Highland led 40-14 at the half.
The second half began with Highland kicking off to the Cave City 21-yard line. After a Cave City pass was incomplete when the ball jarred loose, Moreland caught the football and ran to the Cave City 49-yard line for a first down on the Cave City 49-yard line. Hoppe tackled the Cave City quarterback in the backfield resulting in a 2nd and 22 yards to go. Next, Brandon Dennis intercepted a pass and returned it to the Cave City one-yard line taking the football about 60 yards. Highland scored with quarterback Goodman taking the football into the end zone. The two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, and Highland led 46-14.2
After a couple of penalties, one on each team, Highland kicked off from the 50-yard line. After a few plays, Cave City fumbled, and Skyler Gulliver recovered for Highland. Scott carried the football into the end zone for the final touchdown of the game with 2:29 remaining in the third quarter. Taylor was successful on the two-point conversion increasing the Highland lead to 54-14.
On the kickoff, a Highland player was injured resulting in another lengthy delay. After several minutes, the referee went to midfield and announced that by mutual agreement by the coaches the game would end with 2:29 remaining in the third quarter.
For Highland, Goodman was 7 for 12 in passing for 66 yards. He also rushed 9 times for 21 yards. On the first play from scrimmage Jones threw a 65-yard touchdown pass for the other Highland pass of the game. Hopkins was on the receiving end of the 65-yard pass. Jones also had three rushes for 21 yards, and 88 total yards for the game. Scott had 16 carries for 92 yards and one pass reception for nine yards resulting in 101 yards, and, thus, a “100-yard” game. Burton rushed three times for 22 yards. Taylor rushed eight times for 53 yards and caught three passes for 25 yards resulting in 78 total yards.
On defense, Hoppe had five total tackles including two tackles for loss and caused a fumble. Scott had three total tackles, Jones had four and an interception, and Brandon Dennis had three unassisted and three assisted tackles and an interception. Hopkins had four total tackles, Taylor had five, Hayden Spurlock had three unassisted tackles and three assisted. James McCollough and Garrett Statler each had four. David Forehand came up with two unassisted tackles and four assisted for a total of six. Joe Horton had a total of four tackles and caused a fumble. Nick Ivey contributed one solo tackle and had three assists for a total of four. Hopkins had three solo tackles and one assist.
For Cave City, Jaron Price had 9 carries for 23 yards and one reception for 13 yards. Will Debaun had four carries for minus one yard and was 4 for 7 passing for 66 yards with one touchdown pass and had two interceptions. Eli Price had 9 carries for 60 yards and one 20-yard touchdown run. Jay Nguyen had 3 carries for 36 yards and one catch for 3 yards. Cason Shaw had one reception for 10 yards. Maddox Moreland had one reception for 28 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, Moreland had 10 solo tackles, Travis Dockins had 7 solo tackles, Jay Nguyen had 6 solo tackles and Drew Logan had 5.
Cave City’s Junior High team is 4-1 and has won the last two games with shutouts over Gosnell and Highland. The team is 3-0 in conference and tied for first with Brookland (3-0).
Cave City Head Coach Danny Brustrom reported the following, “Hunter Wojcik is out for the season with an elbow injury he sustained against Southside. He is scheduled for surgery later this month. ‘Big’ Mike Rhoades suffered a broken leg in the game last Friday night against Highland. We are waiting to hear from orthopedic this morning (Monday) about surgery for him.” Coach Brustrom continued, “We had a good week of practice but just didn’t execute at all. One starting lineman, Lane Stout, was out Friday with the flu. That really hurts our depth on the offensive and defensive lines. He (Stout) is one of our better linemen, and Rhoades had not even practiced on the offensive line during team periods this week, only during individuals.” He added, “Not an excuse at all, Coach Carter had his kids ready to go. We just hope we can rebound from the loss.”