Wildcats celebrate Homecoming against Morton


By Steve Swogetinsky

The Kemper Messenger

 The Kemper County Wildcats celebrate Homecoming this Friday night when they host the Morton Panthers in the first Region 5-3A game for both teams.

The Wildcats come in with a 4-1 record following last Friday night’s 44-20 loss to Cleveland Central. Morton, 3-1, took a 15-7 victory over the Lake Hornets last week. Friday night’s game will be played on the East Mississippi Community College campus. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Cleveland Central led 16-12 at the end of the first quarter. Quarterback Aaron Steele scored the Wildcats’ first touchdown on an eight-yard run while Ty Steele caught a 20-yard pass from Steele. Neither extra point attempts were good.

Cleveland Central scored twice in the second quarter and led 28-12 at the half.

Dicenzo Miller Jr. scored on a five-yard run in the third quarter. Jamar Grace scored the two point conversion and the Wildcats trailed 34-20 at the end of the third quarter. Cleveland kept the Wildcats out of the end zone in the fourth quarter while tacking on a couple of touchdowns.

Kemper County had 283 total yards and 14 first downs. The Wildcats had 245 rushing yards on 22 carries, and completed 6-of-19 passing attempts for 38 yards and two interceptions.

Penalties were a problem for the Wildcats who were called eight times for a loss of 90 yards.

Miller was the leading rusher with 129 yards on 15 carries. Aaron Steele rushed 12 times for 78 yards. Steele had all of the passing yards, giving him 116 total yards. Ty Steele had three catches for 28 yards and Grace had two catches for five yards.

Ishmael Naylor was the leading tackler with 11 stops.

Though disappointed with the loss, Coach Ray Ray Westerfield said the Wildcats had to put this game in the past.

“When we stay on schedule, we are really good,” Westerfield said. “When we get behind the chains and are having penalties, it is going to make it tough on any offense.

“Defensively, we are going to have to work on the run picks and our tackling. The team that beat us only completed one pass the entire game.”

He added the Wildcats are going to have to improve if they hope to win their first region game against Morton.

“Morton is a physical team,” Westerfield said. “They can run and pass. They have good athletes. It will be a good challenge for us.” 

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