By BRYAN URBACH
PALESTINE — The old saying of a tale of two halves fit perfectly for the Wildcats in a 56-28 Friday night victory against Groesbeck.
The first half was a shootout, to say the least. Groesbeck started with control of the ball, and it was not going to give it up easily. The Goats marched down the field and took off five and a half minutes of the first quarter before scoring from one yard out by their quarterback, Sterling Cable.
The first possession for the Wildcats came with a quick score. On the first play from scrimmage for the Wildcats, running back Ben Luckett rushed the ball through the opposing defense and into the end zone from 54 yards out.
The next Palestine possession had another long run in it as running back Jarrell Owens ran the ball in from 30 yards out as his first of two touchdowns. He got his second one about halfway through the second quarter when he ran it in from 35 yards out. The back-and-forth scoring continued, and the halftime score was 28-22.
And then it happened.
Sheldon Watson, who plays both receiver and cornerback for the Wildcats, saw his chance to make a play. Groesbeck had been driving the ball coming out of halftime and Palestine had its back against the wall. Groesbeck’s Sterling Cable dropped back to throw a bomb out to his favorite wide out in Cody Favors and Sheldon Watson jumped the route. He picked off Cable’s pass and started running. 85 yards later and Watson was celebrating in the other end zone with his teammates. Coach Angel said Watson’s performance helped provide the extra boost that Palestine had been lacking thus far into the game.
“Sheldon made plays,” Angel said. “That interception return … we were struggling a bit offensively. We had come out with a three-and-out and had to punt. For Sheldon to come out and make that play … that really sparked us in the second half. He did a great job tonight of coming out here and making plays.”
After that pick-six, the Wildcats had full momentum. They went on to score two more in the third, Watson with a 23-yard reception from quarterback Gee Clark and then DeVonte Mims ran it in from 15 yards out.
From there, Groesbeck and Palestine both scored one more time, and Palestine came away with the 56-28 win. Notable players for the game include Palestine’s Jarrell Owens, who came in and ran the ball three times for 70 yards and two touchdowns, and Gee Clark who passed the ball 8-13 for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Angel said his team’s all-around performance is what helped it on its way to victory.
“A win is a win in district,” Angel said. “There were times in the game that it wasn’t pretty. I thought in the first half, credit to them that they made some plays, and we just had some miscues defensively. The kids and coaches did a great job of fixing that at halftime, and I thought the kids played great in the second half. There’s no such thing as an easy win, and tonight’s game was definitely a lesson in that.”