HS Football: Lagway and Wildkats Remain Hot with Victory Over Caney Creek

By: Jake Wilson
| Published 10/13/2023


WILLIS, TX -- The Willis Wildkats (8-0) put together a dominating effort in their win over the Caney Creek Panthers (3-4), which keeps the team atop the district 13-6A standings.

Despite the home crowd at Berton A. Yates Stadium supporting them, the Wildkats opened the game with a shaky opening drive. A fumble from quarterback D.J. Lagway gave possession to the Panthers deep inside Willis’ territory.

Luckily for the Wildkats, the defense came to play, forcing a turnover on downs that set the tone for the entire first half. Following the opening turnover on downs, the Wildkat defense would surrender only a handful of first downs to Caney Creek.

In an exclusive interview with The Woodlands Online Sports, Willis Head Coach Trent Miller voiced his approval of the defense for stepping up in the crucial moments.

“[Caney Creek] got a lot of yards down the field early,” said Miller. “I was proud of how our defense bowed their necks when they got across midfield.”

These stops by the defense provided a cushion to the Willis offense, who took the opportunity and ran. Lagway rebounded massively with lofted passes to his potent receiving core that set up easy scores.

The first on the night came from runningback Terri Lawrence III on a rushing score. After a passing score to receiver Jalen Mickens and another handoff touchdown to Lawrence III, the Willis offense proved why they were the number on offense in the district.

Caney Creek could not hold back the flood of scoring the Wildkats had started. Although both teams took their time in the second quarter, Willis notched another two touchdowns on the legs and arm of Lagway, who ended the half with three total touchdowns.

“Our offense is a machine,” said Miller. “The good thing is they have confidence in their abilities, and we as coaches have confidence in them.”

The Wildkats ended the half with a 35-0 lead with all the momentum on their side to open the second half.

Sticking to their bread and butter, the Panthers took to the ground attack to open the third quarter. Successful gains from runningback Jaiden Graves propelled the offense down the field while simultaneously consuming the clock. The opening drive did fall short of the endzone, but a field goal that bounced off the crossbar and through the goalpost got Caney Creek on the board.

The Willis offense returned to the field and set to work, looking to respond after the defense conceded their first points of the game. The offense avenged the lost shutout by dotting up the Panther secondary for another passing score to A’mauree Holmes.

After forcing another stop, Lagway found Jermaine Bishop Jr. for a passing touchdown to start the fourth quarter, making the game 56-3. Caney Creek responded with a lengthy drive that benefited from penalties against the Wildkat defense. The drive culminated in a read-option touchdown rush from quarterback Christian Aguilar that got Caney Creek its only touchdown of the night.

With both teams playing out the stretch, substitutes were brought in for additional reps while starters rested after a job well done. The Willis substitutes continued where their starters left off, with Jeremiah Thomas rushing in for a score that was the last of the game.

The Wildkats notched their eighth straight victory of the season with a 63-9 victory. The win did come with some lessons to be learned, however. Some extracurricular shoving and unnecessary penalties left the Willis sideline with issues to address during the bye week.

“It just was not clean,” said Miller. “When you are dominating on the scoreboard, and you are dominating on the field, there is no need for that extra stuff.”

Caney Creek will pick themselves up after the tough loss with their next matchup against the Woodlands on the 20th, while the Wildkats will take a bye week next week before facing off against the Highlanders on the 26th.

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