Wildcats tie Homewood in spring game

The Shelby County Wildcats ended their spring training with a scrimmage against the Homewood Patriots Friday night.

The varsity squads finished in a 21-21 tie in three quarters of play while the Patriot junior varsity defeated the Wildcats 14-0 in one quarter.

The 2008 season (11-1) was an unforgettable one, but this year welcome’s new faces in new places for the Wildcats. Still, the disciplined swagger and hard work of Ryan Herring’s squad remains the same.

Friday’s game plan for the Wildcats was the same as it’s always been, as they only went to the air two times on the offensive side. The running game will be Shelby County’s catnip for yet another season.

Quarterback Braten Dill looks to be poised for a big senior year leading the ’Cats under center. Veteran Tae Lewis cracked the end zone on an option pitch from Dill in the first quarter to give the ’Cats the early lead. Gage Finley and Cornerstone transfer Brandon Johnson added short scoring runs.

The playbook wasn’t flashy, but effective, as the Wildcat offense showed signs of promise for the fall.

“I thought the offense executed fairly well for a spring jamboree,” Wildcat head coach Ryan Herring said. “We had a couple of blocking assignments that we missed up front, but it is nothing we can’t get corrected. Overall, I’m pleased the way they competed tonight.”

Defensively, the ’Cats gave up big play at times, which eventually set up scoring runs for the Patriots.

Chad King, a transfer from Shelby Academy, gave the Wildcat defense a needed boost with an interception return that set up Johnson’s 2-yard touchdown run.

Herring said finding the right players on defense will be his main challenge.

“We’ve got to find 11 guys that want to hit,” Herring said. “We’ll have to find players this summer that want to break on the ball and make tackles. We need guys that want to get after it.”