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Cross-county rivals: Red Bay Tigers overpower Phil Campbell Bobcats

By Bart Moss / For the FCT

Kolby Bragwell passed for 147 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another as the Red Bay Tigers beat the Phil Campbell Bobcats 37-8 Friday night.

The Tigers scored 30 unanswered points in the win.

“I was very pleased with our effort,” said Red Bay coach Michael Jackson. “I think we had some young kids show up and play well, which will help us get more guys on the field. Our defense was solid, as was our run game. We also had one of our better passing games.”

Phil Campbell couldn’t get past self-imposed errors in the first half. A bad snap that sent the Bobcats back inside their own one-yard line on one drive; a fumble on a short fourth and one on another drive; and a fumbled punt snap on yet another drive all prevented the Bobcats from keeping the game within striking distance.

“Red Bay was what we expected,” said Phil Campbell coach Kevin Barnwell. “They were tough. They were physical, and they were strong. They are ahead of us in the weight room, and it showed. That is what we are working toward. It’s a process.

“We also made some critical errors when were down just 8-0, and it cost us. You can’t make those critical errors against good teams. We have to work on that.”

The Tigers mounted their first scoring drive after Phil Campbell quarterback Luke Barnwell pinned the Tigers inside their own two-yard line on a quick kick punt. Red Bay drove the ball the length of the field in 10 plays, the scoring play coming on a 12-yard touchdown run by Colin Humphres. Colbie King scored the two-point conversion to give Red Bay an 8-0 lead with 2:35 to go in the first quarter.

The Bobcats had a solid drive of their own late in the first quarter. Facing fourth and one at the Red Bay 34-yard line, the Bobcats went for it but fumbled the ball. Red Bay recovered, stopping Phil Campbell’s drive.

Red Bay scored again with 4:38 to go in the half on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Bragwell to Jalen Vinson. Humphres added the two-point conversion to give the Tigers a 16-0 lead.

The Bobcats struggled on their next drive. They threw an interception, but the play was called back because of a roughing the quarterback call. Phil Campbell retained possession but three plays later was forced to punt.

The Bobcats fumbled the punt snap, giving Red Bay the ball on the Phil Campbell 49-yard line with just 32 seconds to go in the half.

An unsportsmanlike conduct call eventually gave the Tigers the ball on the Bobcat 24-yard line. The Tigers took full advantage of the turnover and penalty scoring on a 24-yard pass from Bragwell to Cam McKinney as time expired in the first half. Red Bay took a 22-0 lead into the locker room.

The Tigers added to their lead with 3:28 to go in the third quarter on a one-yard run by Bragwell. The two-point conversion run by Hunter King was successful, giving the Tigers a 30-0 lead.

Phil Campbell got its lone score early in the fourth quarter on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Ridge Raper to Nate Owens. Raper added a two-point conversion run to make the score 30-8.

Red Bay scored its final touchdown with 5:47 to go in the game.

Red Bay had 362 total yards in the game while holding Phil Campbell to just 192 yards.

Red Bay improves to 2-0 and will play its first region game Friday night at Hatton. Phil Campbell opens the season 0-1 and travels to Lexington Friday for the region opener.

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