10 Quick Things about Wharton’s 48-0 win over Freedom in the 2021 season opener for both teams
1. Wharton is now 13-6 against its rivals right down Bruce B. Downs Blvd., but Friday’s win only punctuated what is the most lopsided stretch in the series. In the last three years since Freedom’s last win, the Wildcats have outscored the Patriots 140-20. The only other three-year stretch that comes even close is 2010-12, when the Wildcats outscored Freedom 99-21.
2. Fridays game was never in doubt. Freedom quarterback Alex De la Cruz had about 2.3 seconds each play to get rid of the ball, and rushed two interceptions on his first two throws, leading to Wharton scores. After a three-and-out on Freedom’s next series, it was 20-0 midway through the opening quarter.
3. It was 41-0 with 8:44 remaining in the first half, meaning the Wildcats were scoring 2.7 points a minute, and on pace to score 129.4 points. Freedom accepted the running clock shortly after that, choosing not to wait until halftime.
4. Senior Carson Mohler, a Plant City transfer, is Wharton’s new QB, he certainly looks the part at 6-foot-2, 225.
He was 8-for-18 for 176 and three TDs last season for the Raiders.
Friday night, he was 6-for-8 for 161 yards and three TDs, completing passes to five different receivers.
5. The only receiver to catch more than one pass from Mohler was Cameron Cobb. He caught two of the widest-openest touchdowns you will ever see. And no, widest-openest isn’t a word, but it fits in this case.
6. Sophomore Arkese Parks had an 87-yard touchdown run on his first touch of the night, and finished with 90 yards. Starter Keith Morris also scored a touchdown.
7. Wharton’s defense, even without Division-I recruits like Daveon Crouch, Booker Pickett Jr. and Dijon Johnson in the lineup, came up with a number of big plays. Senior linebacker Henry Griffith had his first career interception leading to a score, lineman Micheal James returned a fumble 20 yards for a score to make it 27-0 in the first quarter, and linebacker Cam Campbell scored a touchdown as well, but it deserves its own number.
8. So, De la Cruz is punting for Freedom, and Campbell blocks the low kick right back to Patriot kicker, who punts it again, right into the hands of…Campbell. The Wildcat returns it 20 yards for a touchdown. How does one even score that? Is it legal? Has it ever happened before in the history of football? I have no idea. (And while we are at it, have two Camerons on the same team but one playing defense and one playing offense ever scored touchdowns in the same in football history?)
9. Freedom ran 23 offensive plays in the first half, to just 14 for Wharton. But the Patriots were outgained 260 yards to minus-13.
10. This game didn’t tell Wharton coach Mike Williams anything about his team. “Next week’s game will, though,” he said. Wharton travels to Jesuit for what should be a real slobberknocker.