By Brian Bloom
The Bolton Wildcats, in their most complete contest of the year, ran past previously once-beaten Arlington 28-7 Friday night.
Coach Tommy Miller’s team got 216 yards from senior tailback Brandon Henderson and support from a stifling defense that shut out the Tigers until the game was well in hand.
“I told the team our play offs start right now,” Miller said of his 5-4, 2-2 in the district, Wildcats. “We let a game get away from us earlier in the year and if we want to control our own destiny and make the play-offs we have to start now.”
Bolton dominated from early on using the formula of a potent rushing attack and an aggressive defense.
“We won the game at the line of scrimmage,” Miller said. He cited the efforts of senior left guard Tanner Odom, sophomore left tackle Lawrence Guyot and juniors Tariq McGruder (center), Michael Forbes (right guard) and Corey Goforth (right tackle) in opening holes as the team pounded for 334 yards on the ground.
Miller also cited his defensive secondary for holding the previously potent Arlington attack at bay. Juniors Sam Tolliver and Even Luster and seniors Benquavis Poole and Garrett Copeland teamed with Mike linebacker Austin Haskin to pitch a shut out until the final three minutes.
Bolton started fast and never let off the gas.
The Wildcats went 57 yards on their second possession with Henderson capping the drive from six yards out. Garrett Copeland hit the first of four PATS for a 7-0 lead.
After an exchange of punts, the Wildcats went back to work. An apparent 75-yard touchdown pass was nullified by a holding penalty but Bolton marched the field. Kal Granderson connected with Chayton Stuart from 29-yards out for a 14-0 cushion at the half.
After a scoreless third, Henderson raced 81-yards to pay dirt to start the fourth quarter and sophomore DeVante Williams capped of the Wildcat attack with a 14-yard dash with five minutes to play.
“We came out and played our best football game for four quarters,” Miller said. “The boys were focused on our message.”
Bolton’s march to the play-offs continues Friday when the Bobcats host Cordova for senior night. Game time is 7 p.m.