Bobcats overcome challenges to beat Danville Hawks

The Phil Campbell Bobcats had to overcome a lot of challenges to put themselves in a position to make the Class 3A playoffs. After an outbreak of the Coronavirus among players and coaches, Phil Campbell was forced to forfeit the East Lawrence game two weeks ago. The Bobcats were given the go-ahead to play Friday night at Danville but with a severely-depleted squad because of players in quarantine.

Despite the thin roster, the Bobcats were able to squeak out a 28-21 win over Danville and put themselves in a position to earn a play-off bid if they beat Hackleburg this week.

“We are in a three-way tie right now,” said Phil Campbell Coach Kevin Barnwell. “We have to win Friday night.”

Barnwell said his Bobcats “just played Danville the old-fashioned way – three yards and a cloud of dust.”

“It wasn’t pretty, but it got us a win,” Barnwell said. “We went back to the old I-formation. In a way, I think it was our coaching staff’s best coaching effort. We had so many players out that we rely on. We only played 13 players and had five starters out.

“We just wanted to keep the ball on the ground and keep the clock moving and keep the defense off the field.”

Phil Campbell scored first with 1:51 to go in the first quarter on a three-yard run by Luke Barnwell. The point after by Ridge Raper gave the Bobcats a 7-0 lead.

The game went scoreless for much of the rest of the first half until a wild and crazy two minutes before halftime during which three touchdowns were scored.

Danville tied the game with two minutes to go in the second quarter on 16-yard touchdown pass.

The Bobcats responded immediately with a 77-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Bryant Hyde. Phil Campbell went for two and converted on a pass from Barnwell to Blaine Goodson to give the Bobcats a 15-7 lead.

Danville then scored on an 11-yard run with 41 seconds to go in the first half to tie the game 15-15.

Phil Campbell regained the lead with 2:24 to go in the third quarter on a two-yard run by Barnwell. Raper’s point after was good, giving the Bobcats a 22-15 lead.

Deanville scored with 3:53 to go in the game on a two-yard run. The Hawks went for two, and the conversion attempt failed, leaving Phil Campbell with a 22-21 lead.

The Bobcats added their final score with 1:07 to go in the game on a 27-yard run by Hyde.

Barnwell ran for two touchdowns and passed for one. Hyde ran for a touchdown and had the kickoff return for a score.

Phil Campbell will travel to Hackleburg Thursday night for the long-running rivalry game that could mean a play-off spot for the Bobcats.