Villa Rica's 'bounce back' win over Tri Cities leads to 1-0 start in region play
On Friday, the Tri Cities Bulldogs football team hosted the Villa Rica Wildcats as the two teams faced off in the region opening games for both. For the Bulldogs, not only did Friday mark the celebration of homecoming, Tri Cities also came into the match with a two game win streak, while on the other side, Villa Rica looked to end a two game losing streak and they would come out and set the tone early defensively forcing Tri Cities to a three and out on the opening drive of the game.
On the ensuing possession, the Wildcats would take advantage of a short field situation and get into the end zone as wide receiver, Carson Nalley would get back through the middle of the Bulldogs’ defense for a touchdown. The Wildcats would fail on the extra point attempt, however would have an early 6-0 lead. And while the Villa Rica defense would continue to get pressure up front, not allowing the Bulldogs to establish any type of offensive presence, the Wildcats offense would tack on three more points with a field goal to take a 9-0 lead.
The second quarter would be Villas Rica’s most dominating period of play as they would outscore Tri Cities 21-6 and take a commanding 30-6 lead into the locker room at the half. Of the second quarter scores, Nalley would get into the end zone for a second time as he would be on the receiving end of a Will Wallace touchdown pass that made it 15-0 before adding the extra point. A Jaiden Terry Rushing touchdown would eventually give the Wildcats a 30-0 lead, but the Bulldogs would get their first score courtesy of a Monte Cooper, who finished with two touchdowns, rushing score just before the half.
While the third quarter would turn out to be the best quarter of play defensively for Tri Cities, as they held Villa Rica scoreless, their offensive struggles would continue as they too would not find their way into the end zone. In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs would finally score as Cooper’s second rushing touchdown would come with about five minutes of play remaining, but with the clock not on their side, Tri Cities would fall 30-12, dropping to 2-2 on the season and 0-1 in region play, while Villa Rica, also now 2-2, improved to 1-0 in the region.
“It’s always important to take care of those region games,” Villa Rica head coach Tim Barron said after Friday’s win noting that in addition to his players opening up region play, he was also happy with how they bounced back from last week’s loss. “I was glad to see them bounce back after a tough loss last week to a rival opponent and a dang good football team,” in Carrollton, Barron added. Barron was also pleased with the level of confidence his team played with coming into Friday’s matchup, stating that “I don’t know if that’s something we’ve really done yet this year. So I think we took a step forward in that aspect,” Barron said.
The Villa Rica coach later noted that seeing his team struggle a bit in the third quarter to get anything going was a little concerning and he would like for his team to improve on taking advantage of large leads at halftime. “I’d like to see overall us play a more of a four quarter game. We came out in the second half flat, this is the first time this year that we’ve been up in a situation like that, so we’ve got to grow and mature and handle that in a better way,” Barron added. Villa Rica will be on the road next Friday when they take on Banneker in another region matchup.