Phil Campbell drops to Hackleburg
By Bart Moss
For the FCT
The Phil Campbell Bobcats gave the eighth-ranked Hackleburg Panthers all they wanted in the first half of their annual rivalry last Thursday night.
The Panthers, however, surged out of the locker room in the second half to quickly assert control over the Bobcats and win 34-19.
Neither team could punch the ball into the endzone in a first quarter defensive battle, but the Bobcats finally broke through early in the second quarter.
Phil Campbell capped off a 12-play, 64-yard drive on a one-yard touchdown run by Peyton Thomas. Joe Hardy added the point after attempt to give the Bobcats an early 7-0 lead with 8:19 remaining in the first half.
For the second consecutive week, the Bobcats, after scoring, gave up a long kickoff return for a touchdown. The Panthers returned the kickoff 84 yards for the score but missed the two point conversion giving Phil Campbell a 7-6 lead.
Both teams slugged it out for the remainder of the first half without scoring and the Bobcats took their 7-6 lead into the locker room.
Hackleburg exploded at the opening of the second half rolling off 22 unanswered points to take a 34-7 lead with 7:49 to go in the game.
Phil Campbell added two late scores to narrow the gap. Peyton Thomas hit Tristan Godsey for two touchdown passes, a three-yard scoring pass and a 46-yard scoring pass, to make the final score 34-19.
Thomas was 10 of 15 passing with 157 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bobcats (4-6) will travel this week to face Ranburne in their first playoff appearance since 2005.
“We are excited to return the playoffs,” Bobcat head coach Ryan Swinney said.
“This game didn’t go well in the second half but I liked the effort we gave. We didn’t quit. That has been the hallmark of the team this year. They never quit. We may be going to Ranburne an underdog but we are going to go fight and try to win. If we play mistake-free football and play hard I think we can compete.”