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LOUISVILLE – The Collins football team may have added another weapon to its offensive arsenal last Friday night – Zach “Buck” Wilson.
Wilson, a senior defensive end, tipped a pass to himself and returned the interception for a touchdown to highlight the Titans’ 59-6 annihilation of Atherton in their Class AAAA, District 3 opener.
“He’s in consideration for a wideout position now,” Collins Coach Jerry Lucas said after the game. “Now we’ll have to deal with that.”
The Rebels (0-6, 0-1) simply couldn’t deal with the Titans (4-1, 1-0), the two-time defending district champs.
Collins outgained Atherton, 302-53, in total offense. All of the Rebels’ positive yardage came against the Titans’ reserves.
“I thought the boys came out and did what they needed to do,” Lucas said.
Added senior quarterback Lawson Page: “I thought we played good; we executed well. The best thing about it was nobody got hurt.”
Page threw five touchdown passes – including four in the first quarter – to lead Collins to a program-high point total.
His first, second and fourth TD tosses – of 64, 11 and 9 yards – were to Western Kentucky recruit Dre Farris. He also mixed in an 18-yard touchdown pass to Landon Forrest.
Senior running back Ryan Watkins scored the Titans’ fifth TD with a 16-yard run early in the second quarter. He finished with five carries for a season-high 109 yards, all in the first half.
Junior kicker Blanton Creque booted a 37-yard field goal on Collins’ sixth possession before Wilson made the play of the game on Atherton’s ensuing possession.
Trying to catch the Titans off guard the Rebels went to a “Lonesome Polecat-esque” formation, leaving only the center, two guards and the quarterback over the football. At first Wilson followed the rest of the Rebels’ offensive line to the right side of the field, but he quickly moved back, rushed the quarterback, batted his pass, grabbed it in mid-air and sprinted to the end zone.
“They jumped out in a funky formation, and our kids adjusted to it,” Lucas said. “He made a great play.”
It was the first touchdown of Wilson’s high school career and his first since “probably Puss Greenwell, when we played up at Daniel Field.”
“It felt amazing to get the first one of my career,” he said. “To get the interception then turn it into a touchdown, it felt amazing.”
Wilson’s touchdown and Creque’s ensuing PAT started the continuous clock – per Kentucky High School Athletic Association rules – with 5:08 to play in the first half.
In the second half, the Titans ran only one offensive play (a Page-to-Nathan-Sames touchdown pass), other than a couple of kneel-downs at the end of the game.
After Atherton’s touchdown, on the final play of the third quarter, sophomore Quintin “Pookie” Murphy returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for the final touchdown.
“I loved the level of our intensity and how we executed,” Lucas said. “We played really hard, but we’ve got a long way to go.”
Collins plays at Spencer County (2-3, 0-1), which lost its district-opener, 34-20, at North Oldham, Friday night.