BENTON, Tenn. - Finally, Polk County fans and football coach Derrick Davis are thinking happy thoughts.
The Wildcats put together four solid quarters Friday night, especially on defense, and secured a 33-7 victory over Walker Valley. That kept the Mustangs winless in the series and extended their 2013 losing skid to three games following a 3-0 start. Polk is now 4-1.
"We were more fired up tonight, and I think it finally hit the seniors that we are only guaranteed five more games," said Polk fullback Zach Miller, who returned to his 100-yard rushing ways with 169 yards and four touchdowns.
"I didn't see it coming, but what we saw tonight is what I had been hoping for," Davis said. "I thought I had lost them. It was a great win. We need that. Heck, I needed that."
The coach had been disappointed the previous three weeks with a loss at East Ridge and a slipshod victory over McMinn Central.
"It has been disappointing because I knew they had [four-quarter football] in them," Davis said.
As has been their style, they went the distance on their first drive and went ahead on Miller's 6-yard run. They made it 13-0 on a 1-yard Miller run and extended the lead to 19-0 on Josh Silas' 1-yard quarterback sneak.
Silas also completed four of four passes for 79 yards.
The Wildlcats put it away in the fourth quarter with two more Miller TDs before Walker Valley scored on a 64-yard run by Avery Jones.
Miller had a string of 13 straight 100-yard rushing games ended last week by McMinn Central.
"It bothered me some, yeah, but I honestly don't play for those kinds of streaks," he said. "The biggest difference tonight was that the O-line got fired up and took care of business."
Polk's defense made sure the offense had plenty of opportunities, limiting the Mustangs to three first downs and 55 total yards.
Contact Ward Gossett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.