Polk County head coach Derrick Davis felt the Wildcats left too many points on the football field. Walker Valley head coach Glen Ryan felt the Mustangs left too many points in the field house.
They were both right.
The Wildcats turned the ball over in Mustang territory three times in the second quarter alone on a fumble, interception and a Walker Valley defensive stop on fourth-and-6.
"We've got a lot of room for improvement. Our defense has been hot and cold. We have given up some points to some teams. This is our first shutout," said Polk coach Derrick Davis after the 22-0 win. "We gave up some yards late, but when we needed to we were able to limit what they were doing."
Polk forced six first-half punts from the Mustangs and kept them from moving the sticks on Walker Valley's final three possessions of the game.
"They did what they had to do to win and we didn't," said a disappointed Mustang coach Glen Ryan.
"We've got to go back to the drawing board and we've got to figure out what is going on with this football team, take care of business and get things straightened out.
“We've got to do a better job as coaches and we've got to get the guys straightened out, back on the right track and go back and see what we can do. Right now we are not playing anything like what we should be playing. We've just got to figure out what it is and stop the leak."
The Wildcats finally added to a 6-0 lead with a Justin Green touchdown with less than a minute left in the half.
Polk scored first on its second possession of the first quarter, a three-yard plunge by Zach Miller who again passed the 100-yard mark for the fifth time this season with 121 yards on 28 carries.
The Mustangs were hampered with drive-killing penalties that led to six first-half punts, three inside the Wildcat's 20-yard line. Walker Valley workhorse Gabe Cartwright was limited to only 29 yards on eight carries.
"We didn't block well, we didn't run well, we didn't take care of the ball. There were a lot of things. It just all came to a big head tonight," said Ryan. "We are a fragile football team and we've got to get back in the groove and do the things we are supposed to do."
Both teams turned the ball over on fumbles to open the third quarter. After another punt the Mustangs' defense stopped Polk on a fourth-and long inside the Walker Valley 30. But, a fumble gave the ball back to the Wildcats with less than three minutes left in the quarter.
The Wildcats took possession on their own 35-yard line and drove the distance, aided by a pass interference call, to put six points on the board with a Josh Silas to Duncan Coffey 7-yard hook up.
The two-point Justin Brown to Coffey toss after a pitch from Silas made it 22-0.
Polk held The Mustangs on three consecutive fourth-down plays to lock up the win.
"We had three turnovers. That's too many. It's a work in progress. We're making mistakes, but if we can correct those mistakes we can continue to improve," Davis said.
"Last year's team was a team that kept improving as the season went on. I'm hoping this group will be the same. We are a little better since the first of the season, so I hope we can keep that going."