Bobcats tame Tigers to end win streak

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By The Staff

With a full moon shining bright in the October sky, the Oliver Springs Bobcats’ offensive line was the only thing to fear on this cool football Friday night in Sunbright as they defeated the Tigers by a score of 51-18.

For the second week in a row, the Bobcats came to play and with 6:06 left in the first quarter, Oliver Springs had a 9-0 lead that started with a blocked punt for a safety and a returned kickoff inside the 10 yard line.

OS won the toss and chose to receive but after one first down would have to punt. The Tigers return team decided to let the ball go by and was downed at their own 3 yard line. The Bobcat defense stood strong and on fourth-and-6, the Tigers unsuccessfully tried to draw the Cats offsides, but it didn’t work and they were forced to punt. Bailey Russell got a hand on the punt and the ball went through the end zone for a safety forcing the Tigers to have to kick off from their own 20 yard line.

“We watched film and really thought we could go after the punt and we were successful,” Oliver Springs head coach Larry Green said. “Our defense did a good job to set the tone of the game in the first quarter with two blocks.”

Mason Hill returned the kick to the Tigers 7-yard line and after a couple of tries, the OS offensive line pushed just enough for Blake Crass to get the ball across the line and give the Bobcats a 9-0 lead.

Zack Brooks who kicked the PAT, sent the kickoff through the end zone giving Sunbright the ball on their own 20. Dillon Woodard and Levi Daniel had gains of three and eight yards for a first down, but a fumble, an incomplete pass and a false start penalty once again forced Hunter Bunch to punt.

Lane Lee broke through the line for the second blocked punt of the night and gave the Bobcats the ball on the Tigers 9-yard line. Sean Ross outran the Tiger defense around the corner for the touchdown and Brooks added the PAT to give the Cats a 16-0 lead with 3:42 to go in the first quarter.

Thomas Hall returned the kickoff to his own 20, but after completing a pass to Wesley Bohanon, Hall fumbled on the option and Gavin Hill recovered for the Bobcats on the Tiger 28 yard line.

The second quarter started with the Cats driving and Crass throwing to Ross in the end zone, but it was just out of reach for the wide-open receiver. Mason Hill then broke free for a huge gain, but as he was fighting for extra yards, the ball popped loose and Sunbright recovered on their own 4 yard line.

After Woodard gained nine, Thomas Hall bounced off the line to scramble 84 yards to the 3yard line before Mason Hill brought him down. The Bobcats forced a third down, but Hall broke the plane and scored the Tigers’ first touchdown of the night, trimming the score to 16-6 as the 2-point conversion was no good.

Mason Hill once again had a good return on the kick off to the Tiger 29. Landen Everett and Michael Crawford combined for a quick scoring drive with Crawford bringing it in for the TD on an 11-yard run. Brooks added the PAT, putting Oliver Springs up 23-6.

The Tigers were able to get a couple of first downs with respectable runs by Woodard and Hall, but Scotty Brown made a big stop on the option and Sunbright was forced to punt with 2:59 to go in the half.

With good field position, the Cats ran a combination of pass and run plays but a pick-six interception by Sunbright’s Hunter Bunch cut the lead to 23-12.

OS took the ensuing kickoff and went three-and-out before punting with only a few seconds left in the half. Thomas Hall dazzled the Sunbright crowd as he returned the punt and broke tackles before he fumbled in the end zone. The Tigers recovered for the TD as time ran out, bringing the score to 23-18 as the 2-point conversion failed.

While the Tigers were able make it a close game in the first half, they were forced to battle the whole way.

“They came out and just bullied us,” Sunbright’s acting head coach Joe Kent said. “Their offensive line controlled the game and we could not find our rhythm outside of capitalizing on those three plays that we scored on.”

Sunbright took the second half kick, but quickly went three-and-out and had to punt. Everett and Ross combined on the OS drive for 40-yards with Crawford contributing 16 before Everett could get across the goal line with the help of his offensive line and increase the score to 30-18.

Impressive kick offs the entire night by Zach Brooks kept the Tigers deep in their own territory and once again the Bobcat defense stepped up and got Sunbright to turn over on downs in good field position.

Sunbright was tagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, moving the ball half the distance of the goal. Crass ran around the corner for a decent gain and the Tigers once again flagged for a late hit penalty, moving the ball to the 5 yard line when Ross swept around the corner and reached the ball out across the plane for six. Brooks’ PAT put the score at 37-18.

Sunbright was able to get the ball back on an attempted onside kick with Hall getting a first down before Landon White recovered a fumble for the Cats on the 10 yard line. Michael Crawford rushed in for the score, increasing the lead to 44-18.

After returning the ball to the 34 yard line, Hall went for 26 yards on the QB keeper, but was injured on the play. Levi Daniel took over at QB and threw an incomplete pass to Josh Langley, but the Cats were flagged for pass interference. Daniel and Bunch made good runs for another first down, but the Bobcat defense stood strong and the Tigers turned the ball over on downs.

The Oliver Springs offensive line took over and Michael Crawford went 65-yards on three runs, while Landen Everett had 25-yards including the touchdown to give the Bobcats a 51-18 lead.

Sunbright fumbled on foruth-and-one to end the game, giving the Oliver Springs Bobcats their second win in a row and breaking the Tigers three-game winning streak.

“Oliver Springs played good, they controlled the line of scrimmage and they deserved to win,” Kent said.

The Tigers swapped places with the Bobcats in the regional standings with the loss and will need to defeat the Midway Green Wave this week to hold onto fourth place and keep their playoff hopes alive.