Head coach Derrick Davis was in full agreement. Still, he was not pleased with four lost fumbles, including one that cost the Wildcats a pair of touchdowns, another on a short yardage run, and a third on what would have been a TD pass.
“We are going to have to hold onto the football is what I learned today,” Davis said as the teams walked off the field. “We can’t win like that even though (it is still very early). We got down inside the one once, fumble. That’s the big thing.”
Polk showed nothing new staying primarily on the ground and scoring four times to the Hustlin’ Tigers’ two.
Quarterback Jared Allen broke loose for a 52-yard gain to set up a Derrick Saxe score from five yards out for Polk’s first score.
Howard mounted a long drive to tie the informal scrap at one score apiece. The Wildcats scored again on a Tyler Lee plunge off tackle and Michael Hargrove picked off a Howard pass and returned the ball some 15 yards to the Hustlin’ Tigers’ 2-yard line where Allen called his own number on an off tackle keeper for the Wildcats’ third score.
Howard fought back to score once more to make it 3-2.
Polk’s Coty Farmer raced 15 to paydirt to put the Wildcats’ fourth tally of the day in the books. Polk missed a final opportunity to cross the goal line after an impressive drive set the ’Cats up in Tiger territory. Allen threaded the needle between two Howard defenders for a nice gain to the 20-yard line. A second consecutive pass found Lee across the middle and headed for an apparent score when the ball was knocked loose around the 1-yard line and bounced out of the end zone.
“We got a lot of positives out of this. It was a pretty tough, physical scrimmage,” Davis said before quickly pointing out there is much work left to be done. “There are some things that are going to keep us from being a good football team if we don’t correct them. One of them is holding onto the ball.”
For the most part, Davis said he was pleased with the defensive play of the Wildcats.
“Defensively, we played pretty well at times. (We have) three weeks until Bradley. We’ve got to go to work Monday and get ready for next Friday. We’ve got East Ridge coming. They will be another tough, physical team. Hopefully, we can watch tape and get better from this, keep moving forward and getting better,” said Davis.