Phil Campbell cruises to homecoming win
By Bart Moss / For the FCT
Phil Campbell enjoyed an easy homecoming victory with a 47-2 win over the Vina Red Devils in the two teams’ first meeting in decades.
The Bobcats dominated the game from the very start, recovering a Vina fumble and running it into the end zone for a touchdown. Phil Campbell would never look back, scoring 40 more unanswered points before Vina scored on a late safety.
“I thought we played hard and had fun,” said Bobcat coach Kevin Barnwell. “You want your team and your fans to enjoy homecoming, and that can only happen if you play hard and win. I told our guys all week we need to control what we can control and focus on getting better, just like we have every week.”
Vina coach Jason Harris said he was proud of the way his guys fought, even in a lopsided loss.
“We didn’t give up and played to the very end,” said Harris. “It’s hard to compete, especially against a good team, when you have kids that never come out of the game. On a humid night like tonight, it takes its toll. I respect these guys with all my heart for the fight they have in them.”
Phil Campbell got on the board early when Vina fumbled their first snap of the game. The Bobcats’ Blaine Goodson scooped up the ball and scored less than two minutes into the game. Ridge Raper added the point after to give Phil Campbell a 7-0 lead.
The Bobcats scored again on their next possession on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Raper to Trey Leindecker with 8:27 to go in the first quarter. Raper added the PAT to give Phil Campbell a 14-0 lead.
Phil Campbell extended the lead to 21-0 with 4:05 to go in the first quarter on a six-yard run by Dakota Mansell. Raper’s point after was good.
Luke Barnwell threw his first touchdown pass since returning from an injury in the opening game of the season, and the four-yard strike to Nate Owens gave the Bobcats a 27-0 lead.
Phil Campbell tacked on one more score before halftime, a 25-yard pass from Raper to Owens with 2:18 to go to make it 34-0.
The Bobcats extended their lead to 40-0 with 7:46 to go in the third quarter on a nine-yard run by Mansell.
After an interception by Rowdy Elliott, Austen Baker sprinted 50 yards to the Vina four-yard line to set up another Phil Campbell touchdown. Braedon Smith sprinted to the corner of the end zone for a four-yard touchdown to give the Bobcats a 47-0 lead with 4:21 to go in the third quarter.
Vina threatened to score a touchdown late, but the Bobcats held on a fourth-and-two. The Red Devils did finally get on the board, however, with a late safety by Zack Davidson.
Vina turned the ball over four times in the loss. Both teams were penalized several times.
Maddie Riddle was crowned the 2018 Phil Campbell Homecoming Queen at halftime.
Phil Campbell (2-2) will stay out of region play, traveling just down the road to Bear Creek next week to take on the Phillips Bears. Vina (0-4) will have an open date.