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Big second quarter lifts Bobcats over Panthers

The Phil Campbell Bobcats dominated their neighbors to the south, the Hackleburg Panthers, winning 36-8 in the season opener.

The Bobcats, powered by a strong run game and opportunistic passing game, overcame an early score by their rival and 16 penalties for 160 yards.

Phil Campbell and Hackleburg is an intense rivalry that dates back to 1927 and has been played every year since 1949.

Phil Campbell ran the ball 45 times for 334 yards. The Bobcats had 469 total yards compared to the Panthers’ 176 yards.

Senior quarterback Kyle Pace had a huge night for the Bobcats, accounting for four touchdowns. Pace completed six of seven passes for 135 yards and three touchdowns while running the ball nine times for 96 yards and a touchdown.

Hackleburg scored first with 2:52 to go in the first quarter to take an 8-0 lead. The Panthers wouldn’t score again.

Phil Campbell scored 36 unanswered points, starting with a Pace touchdown run for 17 yards. His twopoint conversion run was good to tie the game 8-8 with 11:50 to go in the second quarter.

The Bobcats scored again two and a half minutes later on a 43-yard pass from Pace to Bryant Hyde. Noah Raper’s two-point conversion run was good, giving the Bobcats a 16-8 lead with 9:32 to go in the half.

Pace and Hyde connected again, this time for 47 yards, to extend Phil Campbell’s lead to 22-8 at halftime.

Phil Campbell added two scores in the second half, a 10-yard run by Raper to make the score 28-8 and a Pace 15-yard completion to Robbie Robinson.

Raper led the Bobcats in rushing with 15 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown.

Hyde led receiving with four catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

Phil Campbell travels to Lamar County Friday night.

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