The Soddy-Daisy football team outlasted Hixson 49-36 as a lethal passing attack collided with a brutal ground-and-pound running game Friday night at Soddy-Daisy.
The visiting Wildcats looked to run early and often, striking first when James Cole took a handoff for 68 yards. They tacked on a two-point conversion, but the Trojans offense had an answer.
Quarterback Hunter Maynor led the charge downfield to set up a 3-yard touchdown pass to Blake Smith less than a minute after the Hixson score.
The first quarter went silently the rest of the way but led to a second-quarter offensive eruption.
Soddy-Daisy struck first this time. Tre Carter shed early tackles and bolted for an 84-yard touchdown reception to give his team a 13-8 lead.
Hixson maintained possession for most of the quarter, eventually breaking through on a 5-yard run by Preston Wilkey.
"We wanted to keep the ball all night, and we did a lot," Hixson coach Dan Duff said. "We fought hard and fought tough."
The two teams went punch for punch for the next two minutes, trading the lead three times.
Carter picked up another big reception, this time for 40 yards, before Wilkey scampered in for a second touchdown to put the Wildcats back up, 22-19.
"I was worried we wouldn't be able to stop them for a while," Trojans coach Justin Barnes said. "We had to go blow for blow, and I'm really proud of how our team responded."
Smith snagged his second touchdown pass of the night, Maynor's third of five, to give Soddy-Daisy a lead it would not relinquish as time expired in the second quarter. The Trojans headed to the locker room up 25-22.
"We made some adjustments at halftime on defense, and our offense was clicking all night long," Barnes said. "Being able to contain their run was the key."
Soddy-Daisy kept striking through the air, with Smith catching his third touchdown for 40 yards. Wilkey scored a third touchdown of his own on the ground to cut the deficit to 33-28 with 10:42 to play in the third quarter.
The Trojans offense, however, would prove how balanced it could be as it began to run on a tired Wildcats defense.
Christian Bell ran for two touchdowns and 176 yards.
That proved to be the end for Hixson. The Wildcats scored again with 2:36 to play but were left with no timeouts, and Soddy-Daisy ran out the clock.
"It was nice," Barnes said. "It's always nice when you start with a win and set the tone. We still have some things to clean up, but the defense made adjustments and our offense looked great."
Wilkey finished with 176 yards rushing on 16 attempts, and Cole rushed for 180 yards on 13 carries for Hixson.
Both Carter and Smith had more than 100 yards receiving for the Wildcats, compiling two and three touchdowns. Maynor was 13-for-18 passing with 244 yards and the five touchdowns.
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