DIAMOND — The Diamond Wildcats made it a memorable debut under new head coach Mac Whitehead with a 16-0 Southwest Conference victory Friday night over the Ash Grove Pirates.
The Wildcats generated over 300 yards of total offense, had 77 total offensive plays compared to 37 for the Pirates, recorded a safety for the game’s first two points, and the Wildcats’ defense forced four turnovers, highlighted by three interceptions.
Diamond senior quarterback Leighton Bridgewater finished with 161 yards passing and one touchdown on 16 of 22 passing and he rushed for 48 yards on 26 carries.
The Wildcats ran the ball over 50 times in the contest, with Chad Stephens adding 59 yards on 14 carries and Cameron Addington 45 yards and one TD on 13 carries.
Freshman wide receiver Hunter Shallenburger finished with three catches for 28 yards and one score, while Kolbe Jones had a 28-yard catch.
The Wildcats had a pair of turnovers, both fumbles.
Shallenburger, Austin Behler, and Joey Hobbs each had interceptions for the Wildcats and Eli Smith recovered a fumble and made the tackle in the end zone for the safety.
Diamond, 1-0 overall and 1-0 SWC, travels to Pierce City to take on their old SRVC and current SWC rival. The Eagles rolled to a 36-12 win over Lockwood in their opener.