PC rally falls short

Hackleburg took advantage of some Phil Campbell miscues and generous field position to build a 22-0 halftime lead Thursday night, but the Bobcats would not go down without a fight, rallying with 20 points in the second half.

Unfortunately the rally fell short and the Panthers earned a hard-fought 34-20 victory.

Hackleburg (7-3, 5-2) stopped Phil Campbell’s opening drive of the game and took the lead with 7:06 remaining in the first quarter when John Adams scored on a 4-yard run to give the Panthers a 6-0 advantage.

Moments later Hackleburg forced another Phil Campbell punt and took the ensuing drive deep into Bobcat territory. Phil Campbell’s defense stiffened and forced a turnover at its own 5-yard line.

Two plays later, a bad snap landed in the end zone where Hackleburg’s Cory Jackson recovered the ball for a Panther touchdown. Hackleburg added a 2-point conversion to increase its lead to 14-0. Derek Bishop added a 12-yard touchdown run with 1:06 remaining in the first half.

Phil Campbell coach Bo Culver challenged his team at halftime to make the second half one to remember.

“I told them to just come out and get after it,” Culver said. “I asked them ‘What do we have to lose?’”

The Bobcats (2-8, 1-6) surprised Hackleburg with an onside kick to open the second half. Phil Campbell recovered, but the Panthers recovered a fumble on the first play of the drive.

Kristian James extended Hackleburg’s lead to 28-0 with a 23-yard touchdown run moments later.

Phil Campbell’s rally began to take shape on the following drive when Jamie Dorroh connected with Colton Vickery for a 37-yard touchdown pass on fourth down.

The Panthers answered with an 11-yard run by James with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Phil Campbell converted another fourth down play on the ensuing drive, and cut the deficit to 34-12 on a 27-yard scoring run by Dorroh.

The Bobcats attempted another onside kick and recovered. This time the drive was kept alive by several Hackleburg penalties. Dorroh found Vickery for another touchdown pass with 6:53 remaining in the game. Dorroh also converted the 2-point conversion on a run play to pull the Bobcats within 14 points.

The momentum seemed to be going Phil Campbell’s way as the defense forced a turnover on downs, but Hackleburg ended any hopes of a comeback when Colton Hallmark intercepted a pass in the closing minutes.

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