ATHENS - It wasn't pretty, but Apalachee had plenty of defense and just enough offense to hold off Cedar Shoals 12-6 Friday night in Athens.
The win, however, was not a pleasant one for Apalachee head coach Shane Davis.
"(It feels) horrible," Davis said. "We can't sustain a drive on offense, we had touchdowns called back ... I don't know if we had 11 men on the field at times there in the second half."
The Wildcats (2-0) were plagued by mental mistakes all night long, and could have put more points on the scoreboard had it not been for penalties. A total of 14 penalties to be exact for a whopping 88 yards, including one that did wipe out a 53-yard touchdown run.
"I don't know what we're going to do - run a lot," Davis said of how to solve his team's problems. "But it's mental stuff and it starts with coaching, we've got to do a better job from the top on down."
Nevertheless, Apalachee stepped up its defense, not allowing Cedar Shoals (1-1) many yards out of its wing-T offense. The Wildcats only allowed 166 total yards of offense and that would have been less had there not been two rare completions by the Jaguars for 54 yards.
"Our defense was playing well," Davis said. "But our intensity was horrible and we were just kind of going (through the motions) and that also starts from the top on down."
Apalachee started the scoring in the first quarter with a 65-yard touchdown run by senior John Ansley. After several plays had dropped the Wildcats back on their first couple drives, Ansley patiently waited for the hole to open and then found nothing but green and off he went for the score and a 6-0 lead.
"I saw a big hole," Ansley said. "The line did a good job blocking and I think (Reggie) Battle was the fullback on that play and he did a good job of turning his man."
Apalachee later got another impressive run, this time from Battle to put the Wildcats up 12-0. Apalachee attempted a two-point conversion, but once again, two penalties cost them a chance to convert.
That proved to be enough for the Wildcats, as they allowed one score by Cedar Shoals.
Ansley led all rushers in the game with 67 yards and senior Christian Hoard added 59.