PREVIEW: Wildcats kick off the season at home against Golden Bears
When: Friday, September 4th 2020. Kickoff set for 7 pm
Where: Walnut, MS
Who: Alcorn Central
The Wildcats open up the 2020 season with a home game against the Golden Bears of Alcorn Central. Walnut defeated Central 48-16 a season ago.
Walnut will bring back lots of experience from a season ago on the offensive side of the ball and that should translate to points in bunches. The Wildcats return all-everything weapon TJ Colom, who put up 2500 total yards and 28 touchdowns a season ago. Coach John Meeks and Walnut are in a unique position this season. Without a Spring, not much of a summer and a late start to the fall season they have continuity with the entire coaching staff returning, as well as the vast majority of last seasons production. Look for quarterback Cade Hunt to take another step forward with weapons surrounding him that have multiple years of experience. TJ Luellen, Bubba Wilbanks and Brandon Shield will all play prominent roles and any one of them could put up big numbers on Friday night. Three of five linemen return from a season ago, including JC Merritt, who was lost to a season ending injury in 2019 and looks to have a bounce back year.
The Wildcats defense features the return of multiple key contributors from a season ago. Look for the hard-hitting linebacker core to lead the way against an Alcorn Central squad that will try and establish the run game. Wilbanks returns as the leading tackler from a season ago. At defensive back, the Wildcats hope newcomer Zay Hudson will be able to lock down on receivers in their man schemes. If James Hinson and the defensive line can get through the Golden Bears offensive line, Walnut could wreck havoc and force some three and outs on Friday night.
Keys to victory and prediction
The Wildcats have high hopes for 2020 and it all starts Friday night. If the defense steps up and the offense lives up to expectations, Walnut could put up points similar to a season ago. Colom scored 4 touchdowns in limited action in the last meeting between these teams. A repeat performance would spell victory and a 1-0 start for Walnut.
Prediction: Wildcats build a big early lead and pick up the early season win.