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Bobcats lose in Bulldog battle

By Jonathan Grimes for the FCT

Coming into the game, the Phil Campbell Bobcats were looking to upset the Class 2A No. 9 Sheffield Bulldogs, but they ultimately fell 35-27.

The Bobcats won the coin toss and elected to take the ball. On their opening possession they strolled down the field, and in ten plays Peyton Thomas connected with Joe Hardy on a 42-yard touchdown pass. Daniel Smith’s point after was good, and the Bobcats led the Bulldogs 7-0 with 6:07 left in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs first possession took eight plays and that went 70 yards, ending with an 11-yard run, making the score 7-7 with 4:10 to play in the first quarter.

The next scoring drive came in the second quarter on a drive in which the Bobcats went 77 yards in 16 plays. The drive ended on a five-yard touchdown run by Colby Baker. The extra point was no good, making the score 13-7 in favor of the Bobcats with 6:37 left in the second quarter.

The next two Bulldog possessions were derailed by interceptions. The first interception was by Seth Brindley, and the second landed in the hands of Austin Riner. The Bobcats went on a three-and-out and punted to set up the Bulldogs 35 yards away from the end zone. The last play of the half, the Sheffield quarterback scrambled and ran into the end zone just as time was running out – a play that did not come without controversy, as it seemed to some that Smith stepped out of bounds at the 3.5 yard line with 0:00 left on the clock.

The score at halftime was 14-13 in favor of the Bulldogs.

The second half would play out much like the first half, with both teams relying on the running game for success. The Bulldogs’ third scoring drive went 78 yards in seven plays, ending with a 17-yard touchdown pass for 21-13 Bulldogs with 9:57 left in the third quarter. The Bobcats did not get in the end zone on their first possession of the half, but after another interception by Austin Riner in the end zone, the Bobcats mounted their third scoring drive to go 80 yards in nine plays. This scoring drive was ended by Hardy on a 14-yard run.

Hardy had to come off, and Hunter Hutcheson took his place. On the two-point conversion, Hutcheson came up big on a pass reception in the end zone for the two-point conversion.

This made the score a new ball game, 21-21 with 1:13 left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter the Bulldogs scored two more times and the Bobcats scored once more. The Bobcats’ final score was a three-yard run by Colby Baker, and with 3:34 left in the ball game, the score was 28-27. The Bulldogs took the football down the field for another score to give the Bobcats a final drive with 1:03 remaining in the game.

With 0:55 left, the Bobcats started their final drive on their own 18. The drive was sparked when Peyton Thomas connected with Austin Riner to get the Bobcats in Bulldog territory at the 34 with 0.06 left on the clock. Thomas threw a last pass toward the end zone, but it was intercepted as the last seconds clicked off the clock, making the final score 35-27 in favor of Sheffield.

The Bobcats fall to (1-3, 0-2). They will travel Friday to play Sulligent at 7 p.m.

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