The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Sports

October 31, 2012

H.S. Football Roundup: Cayuga welcomes in rival Cross Roads

When the Cayuga football team left the field after Friday’s 20-16 loss to Italy, a chance at the District 6-A title may have left the field with them.

But, the playoffs are still a very real possibility for the Wildcats (5-3, 2-1), who welcome in rival Cross Roads (1-7, 0-4) for the final home game of 2012 at Scarborough Stadium (Hwy. 287, Bethel, Texas 75832). Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

Between the renewal of the rivalry and senior night, CHS coach Greg Jenkins isn’t worried about any lingering effects of the Italy loss.

“Our kids always get ready to play Cross Roads,” he said. “It’s been a good week of practice for us coming off of a heart-breaking loss. They haven’t batted an eye this week. They know the task at hand is to win this week.”

While the Wildcats can’t outright clinch a playoff spot with a win this week, it’ll go along way toward the task. Wins in the final two games over the Bobcats and then Dallas Gateway in the season finale would wrap-up the No. 2 seed for Cayuga.

“We’ve got to win it,” Jenkins said. “Win the next two and you’re in, that’s basically what we’ve told them.”

For the second-straight week, the Wildcats will be without running back D’onte Jackson, who Jenkins classified as “out indefinitely.”

It’s a big loss for the Wildcats, who will miss Jackson’s almost 800 yards on the ground. It also means a bigger workload for other players.

Wesley Rigdon shouldered some of that load against Italy, rushing 12 times for 91 yards, and Jenkins spoke very highly of his first-year player.

“He runs hard and does everything that he needs to do,” he said.

Rigdon is also the team’s — and area’s — leading receiver. His brother, quarterback Chandler, also had a big night, rushing for 129 yards.

Jenkins said everybody will have to step up to fill the void left by Jackson, but that his coaching staff is trying not to ask too much of the team.

He said they’re simply telling players, “Just do what we’re asking you to do.”

Cross Roads brings a slightly complicated spread offense with them, based in a lot of pre-snap movement that is meant to confuse defenses.

“They do a lot of stuff out of the spread, including some stuff we haven’t seen this year,” Jenkins said. “They’re not simple, they give you every look. Offensively, we think they do a good job.”

Because of that, Jenkins said he and defensive coordinator Glen Tunstall have been trying to keep things simple this week in preparing.

If that can happen with the Wildcats talented defense, and the offense can get a rhythm, he thinks Cayuga can be dangerous.

“Get lined up where you’re supposed to line up and attack,” he said. “We’re a deep playoff team defensively, we’ve just got to get some consistency on offense.”

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