Clarksville High made sure there would be no repeats of the previous two weeks.
The Wildcats jumped out on Northwest early, kept its foot on the pedal and didn’t let up as it cruised to a 40-7 victory. The score could have been worse, but three touchdowns were called back because of penalties and the second half was played with a running clock as CHS had 40 points by halftime.
It was a bit of medicine for the Wildcats who had lost the previous two games (Fort Campbell and Christian County) after having leads during those games.
“Anytime you get your first win, it feels great,” CHS coach Ken Busbee said. “I just wish it didn’t come so late, but the first two games of the season were against very good, outstanding teams.”
Clarksville now turns its attention to Springfield for today’s 7 p.m. game at Hilda J. Richardson Field. Regardless of Springfield’s record (0-3, 0-1) each year, the Yellow Jackets bring enough athletic talent to the field to make opposing teams worry. Busbee has already stewed on ways to stop the Yellow Jackets’ Brandon Farmer.
Farmer has been one of the district’s more electrifying talents at both the quarterback position and at wide receiver and the Yellow Jackets managed to knock off CHS 29-28 last year.
“It’s a matter of do you want him to have the ball in his hands every snap or do you want someone to put the ball in his hands,” Busbee said. “I know what I’d rather see. I’d rather see someone getting the ball to him. I think that’s easier to defend then him having the ball to start a play.”
Clarksville’s defense, despite giving up 26 points to the Falcons and 38 to Christian County, has been solid. The Falcons needed two overtimes to get to 26 points while Clarksville held a 21-7 advantage on Christian County nearing halftime. The Wildcats played lights out last week against Northwest.
But Busbee is concerned his group is out on the field too long. A portion of that concern falls on the defense itself. Getting off the field after third down will help rest that side of the ball.
“We also can’t go 3-and-out on offense,” Busbee said. “We’ve got to sustain drives better. We all like big plays but if our defense is going to have a chance in a game that will be close, they have to remain fresh throughout the game. That’s where the offense can come in and help out by putting together long drives.”
Busbee has utilized his no huddle offense at times this season but not as much as he did a year ago with Devon Rodriguez. Quarterback Jeff Webb has been maturing as play-caller and has made significant strides in the passing game, Busbee said. His main targets continue to be running backs Dallin Bridges and Lawrenz Guerra. Both backs caught all three of Webb’s touchdown tosses last week against the Vikings.
And Bridges could have had four TDs but two rushing scores were called back. He gained only 77 rushing yards last week but Clarksville spent the entire first half in Northwest territory after the defense forced two fumbles and blocked a punt that led to 26 first-quarter points.
“The defense has been big for us all year,” Busbee said. “They’ve grown up from last year when they were learning a new system. That system isn’t new to them anymore so they’re comfortable in it.”