Wildcats to clash with Trojans

Enterprise receiver fights for extra yardage against North Miami Beach. Hudson caught two passes for 74 yards in the game.

The Enterprise Wildcats will look to rebound from last week’s loss in tonight’s battle with the Charles Henderson Trojans. 

Enterprise (0-1) engineered an explosive first half -- putting up 264 yards and building a 23-6 lead -- against North Miami Beach last Friday, but struggled in the final quarter giving up 22 unanswered points to lose the game 34-31.

Head coach Rick Darlington said one of the major issues for Enterprise right now is inconsistency going back to the spring game against Park Crossing (the Wildcats lost that game 30-27).

“I don’t know what to expect (tonight),” Darlington said. “I didn’t expect to jump out to a 23-6 lead against North Miami Beach, and I didn’t expect to blow a fourth quarter lead. I guess every week is an adventure. What I would like is for us to play better in the second half than in the first half. Offensively, that’s two games -- this and the spring game -- that we didn’t play well in the second half.”

It was, in fact, a tale of halves for Enterprise in both those games.

Against Park Crossing, Enterprise’s offense posted 240 yards and three touchdowns in a first-half effort eerily similar to last Friday’s game. Both games began with freshman back Mykel Johnson scoring long touchdown runs (66 yards against Park Crossing, 70 against North Miami Beach) on the first play from scrimmage.

In the second half of the spring game, the Wildcats were held to just 100 yards and a touchdown. The situation in the second half of the North Miami Beach game was similar, as Enterprise managed around 180 yards and no scores.

Defensively, Enterprise allowed nearly 250 yards of offense and three touchdowns against Park Crossing in the first half, but allowed only 41 yards in the second. Against North Miami Beach, the defense imploded in the second half, allowing 175 yards and three touchdowns in the final quarter.

“In the second half of the spring game we played great defense,” Darlington said. “The second half in this game was totally the opposite. We’ve got to stop that inconsistency.”

The Class 5A Trojans (0-0) are coming off a preseason 12-6 win against rival Pike County last week and hoping to upend the Class 7A Wildcats. Charles Henderson is led by quarterback Pooka Jones and tailback Johnathan Carter who combined for nearly 275 yards last week.

“They’re a very fast, very athletic team,” Darlington said of the Trojans, who fell 35-28 to Enterprise last August in what is Enterprise’s most recent win.

Regarding consistency, Darlington said he also wants to see it in the passing game. The Wildcats were 5-of-13 for 101 yards and an interception last week.

“We’ve got to get better,” Darlington said. “Everyone thinks I don’t want to throw it. I don’t care how many times we throw it. I care about our (completion) percentage. It’s not about the number of attempts. I would much rather go 4-for-5 than 11-for-20. We did well with ball control. The only turnover we had the other night was on the last play of the game when the defensive back took the ball away from Jalen (Cunningham). We just have to be more consistent and be a second half team.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. tonight at Troy’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.

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