Bobcats Unable to Capitalize on Wildcat Mistakes in Cowbell Game
A blocked extra-point and missed opportunities on offense led to the first Cowbell game loss for Giles County in five years, as the Bobcats fell 28-27 to Lawrence County Friday.
An opportunistic Bobcat defensive unit forced a season-high four turnovers with four fumble recoveries. The three takeaways led to 21 points for the GCHS offense, but the Bobcats struggled at times to move the football, despite another strong effort from senior running back Jordan Tucker. Tucker rushed for 167 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries, his third-straight 100-yard performance to open the season.
GCHS (0-3, 0-1) opened the game with a long return from Cliff Garner that set up the Bobcats in positive territory. LCHS forced a three-and-out on the opening drive, but the Bobcat offense and Jordan Tucker capitalized on a Wildcat fumble on the following possession. Tucker took the snap on 3rd and Goal out of the team’s “Bobcat” formation and rushed in for a 4-yard touchdown to take a 7-0 lead with 5:47 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Wildcats’ explosive offense tied the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter, but GCHS quarterback Alias Whitsett drove his team down the field and scored his first rushing touchdown of the season on a 7-yard scamper to the pylon to give his team a 14-7 lead. LCHS again turned to its rushing attack to tie the game 14-14 in the final minute of the first half.
The Wildcats seized momentum early in the third quarter with a 51-yard touchdown thanks to a successful bubble screen on third down. A botched snap on a GCHS punt the following drive led to a second-straight LCHS touchdown, this time courtesy of a 42-yard rushing touchdown out of the team’s flexbone offense. The extra point was good to give the Wildcats a 28-14 lead with 5:09 remaining in the third quarter.
The Bobcats had a final rally left, though, and turned to their work horse in the backfield for a 10-play, 68-yard touchdown drive to end the third quarter. Tucker rushed five times for 45 yards on the drive, and Whitsett found Hall for a 9-yard strike, the the duo’s first touchdown connection of the night, to pull within a touchdown at 28-21.
The GCHS defense forced its fourth fumble of the contest early in the fourth quarter, and Whitsett connected with Hall once again on 3rd and 17 for a 24-yard touchdown pass. However, the snap was low on the extra-point try, and the PAT was blocked to preserve a 28-27 lead for the Wildcats. LCHS received the ball and converted three first downs to run out the clock and recapture the Cowbell Trophy for the first since 2010.
GCHS is scheduled to return to Sam Davis Stadium for its next game Friday, Sept. 11 when the Bobcats host Lincoln County in a non-region contest.