The Fort Payne Wildcats are this week's Times-Journal Team of the Week, presented by Northeast Alabama Community College, after receiving a whopping 68 percent of all votes in this week’s online poll.
Fort Payne is coming off of a big 42-7 win over rival Scottsboro, which allowed them to reclaim to the TopCat Trophy last week.
Fort Payne opened the game forcing a 3-and-out on defense before their offense struck quickly to take the lead for good.
On their third offensive snap, Fort Payne quarterback J.D. Blalock found a wide open Matthew Shaddix over the middle. Shaddix raced to the goal line untouched for a 52-yard score, his first of five touchdowns for the night. Alex McPherson followed with his first of six PATs to make the score 7-0 less than four minutes into the game.
Fort Payne’s next scoring drive started near the beginning of the second quarter near midfield after the Wildcats’ defense forced Scottsboro to punt near the shadow of their own goal post.
A pair of 13-yard runs by Shaddix and Hunter Love put the Wildcat offense on the edge of the red zone before a chop block call against Fort Payne backed them up.
That call didn’t slow down the ‘Cats offense at all though as the next play saw Shaddix turn a short completion into a 34-yard touchdown, which doubled Fort Payne’s lead with 9:04 to go in the half.
Fort Payne then allowed Scottsboro to move the chains just once before forcing them to punt again. The Wildcats’ next offensive snap saw Love pound his way through several defenders for a 63-yard gain. Darwin Camp scored from two yards out a play later to make the lead 21-0.
After another Scottsboro 3-and-out, Fort Payne had enough time for one more scoring drive, with this one covering 58 yards in eight plays. The biggest plays of the drive were a 25-yard completion to Shaddix and a 13-yard scramble from quarterback J.D. Blalock. From three yards out, Shaddix took a direct snap and raced to the goal line to make the lead 28-0 at halftime.
Fort Payne then started the second half with the football and caught a break when a Scottsboro interception was negated by a pass interference penalty.
Three plays after the penalty, Blalock found Carter Pinholster down the right sideline for a 30-yard pickup, which later set up a 9-yard touchdown run by Shaddix to make the score 35-0.
Scottsboro answered with their lone touchdown of the night, but Fort Payne quickly made the lead 35 once more with a 9-play, 68-yard drive that ended in a 19-yard strike from Blalock to Shaddix in the back of the end zone.
The Wildcats will go for another win over a top rival this week then they travel to face the Albertville Aggies.