The Enterprise Wildcats (5-5) came back from being down 21-0 in the first quarter to earn a wild 28-27 win over the Theodore Bobcats (8-2) on the road on Friday, Nov. 1.
Theodore started out the game scoring three consecutive touchdowns and 164 yards on the Bobcats’ first three drives, but totaled just 114 yards and six points for the remainder of the game. The Wildcats were lifted by 21 points in the final six minutes of the game.
Trailing 21-0 in the second quarter, Enterprise dodged a bullet as Theodore missed a 34-yard field goal attempt late in the period. Theodore marched down the field again right before the half but Wildcat defensive back Romaine McFarland made a leaping interception in the end-zone to snuff out that drive, as well.
The Wildcat offense simply couldn’t get going in the first half, totaling just 54 yards of offense in the entire half.
As the second half began, Enterprise started things off with a bang as freshman running back Mykel Johnson exploded for 62 yards before stumbling at the Theodore 3-yard line. Junior Josh McCray cashed in the score on the next play for a 3-yard touchdown. The PAT cut Theodore’s lead to 21-7 with 11:19 remaining in the third quarter.
Theodore switched to backup quarterback Ryheem Quinney but both sides simply exchanged punts for much of the rest of the third quarter. Late in the period, however, the Wildcats fumbled at their own 30-yard line and gave a struggling Theodore offense new life.
As the fourth quarter began, Taurean Richardson scored on a 4-yard touchdown run with 11:54 left. Enterprise’s Jaylen Webster came up huge, though, as the junior blocked his third kick of the season, which would loom very large later in the game. Theodore led 27-7.
Enterprise drove into Theodore territory but after facing a fourth-and-20, quarterback Jackson Darlington’s desperation pass was intercepted at the Theodore 10-yard line.
The Wildcat defense forced the Bobcats backwards and pushed Theodore inside its own 1-yard line forcing a punt from the end-zone.
Enterprise’s LZ Leonard returned the ensuing punt down to the Theodore 20-yard line, and then – after a loss of yardage – Darlington found receiver Jared Smith for a 23-yard touchdown pass. The PAT cut Theodore’s lead to 27-14 with 5:54 left.
Enterprise kicker Hunter Perry pooched a short kickoff and the Bobcats fumbled, giving the Wildcats the ball back inside the Theodore 20-yard line again when tight end Xavier Moore covered up the ball.
After a couple of solid pickups from senior KJ Couch and Johnson, McCray forced his way into the end-zone for a 2-yard touchdown run. The PAT brought Enterprise within 27-21 with 5:24 remaining.
Theodore decided to put starting quarterback Gavin Moore back in the game on the next possession, but it wouldn’t matter as Wildcat linebacker LZ Leonard stepped in front of Moore’s third down pass and raced 19 yards down to the Theodore 26-yard line with less than three minutes remaining.
Darlington found Smith for 13 more yards and then Johnson carried the ball down to the Theodore 4-yard line. On the next play, Johnson took a "jet sweep" four yards to finish off the drive with a touchdown. The PAT gave Enterprise its first lead of the game 28-27 with just 1:54 left.
Theodore found new life, however, as the Bobcats returned the ensuing kickoff 34 yards down to the Enterprise 36-yard line. A fired up Wildcat defense wasn’t budging, though, and forced a turnover on downs in four straight plays. On fourth-and-long, defensive tackle Larry Magwood sacked Moore.
On the next play, McCray may have made his biggest play of the game when he dove onto the ball after a snap went over the head of the Wildcat runners. Enterprise was unable to pick up a first down after that and Theodore managed to use timeouts and force another punt.
The Enterprise defense came up big again forcing yet another turnover on downs to secure the win.
In the past three games, the Wildcat defense has secured wins with big plays by the defense.
In total, Theodore mustered just 278 yards of offense with 43 total yards in the second half. Enterprise put up just 267 total yards themselves, but 213 of those yards came in the second half.
Enterprise was led by Johnson with 95 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Smith caught five passes for 83 yards and a touchdown, while Terrell Hudson caught two passes for 44 yards. Darlington completed 11-of-20 pass attempts for 136 yards and one touchdown with one interception. McCray scored two rushing touchdowns. McCray also had six tackles and one pass breakup on defense.
Enterprise linebacker LZ Leonard had 5.5 tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss, 1 quarterback hurry and an interception. Defensive tackle Anthony Calloway was a nightmare for the Theodore offense with 6.5 tackles, three tackles-for-loss and 0.5 sack.
Defensive tackle DJ Turner also had a big night with 5.5 tackles, 4.5 tackles-for-loss and one sack.
Theodore was led by Kierstan Rogers with 110 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Moore completed 6-of-15 pass attempts for 86 yards and two interceptions. None of those completions came in the second half.
Theodore's first quarter touchdowns came on a 53-yard run from Rogers, 7-yard touchdown run from DeChrystian Porter and a 13-yard touchdown run from Demouy Kennedy.
The Wildcats will return to the Mobile area next week to face McGill-Toolen in the opening round of the Class 7A State Playoffs.