New season, same result

Thursday, October 25, 2007


The order of things were reversed this year, but the result was the same.

Last year, the Thayer Bobcats opened Class 1 District 3 play by traveling to Greenfield, to scrap with the Wildcats.

At the time, Greenfield was a perfect 7-0 and ranked number four in Class 1, while Thayer came into the game hungry and unranked.

No matter.

The Bobcats took care of business by slamming Greenfield 54-35.

Fast forward one year.

This time it was the Wildcats who traveled to Thayer to open district play.

This time it was the Bobcats who were a perfect 7-0 and ranked number six in Class 1, and it was the Wildcats who were hungry and unranked.

Once again, no matter.

The Bobcats still took care of business, hammering Greenfield 54-0 Oct. 19 to improve their season mark to 8-0, but more importantly, 1-0 in the district.

This one was over early, as Thayer simply imposed its will on the young Wildcats on both sides of the football.

Thayer outrushed Greenfield 376-51 on the evening, while the Bobcat defense held the Wildcats to only two first downs in the one-sided contest.

The Cats got off on the fast track with a five-play, 58-yard touchdown drive that ended when Tyler Bonds crossed the goal line with a 10-yard blast up the middle of the field. Ethan Leisenring's point-after try was wide of the mark, but Thayer led 6-0 with 8:23 left in the first.

Thayer then used a 57-yard drive to move on top by two scores late in the first.

Michael Lowther (12 carries, 114 yards rushing) notched this touchdown with a 3-yard run on second-and-goal. Leisenring's PAT made it 13-0, Thayer.

Being down by two touchdowns after the first quarter was certainly no fun for Greenfield, but as it turns out, things got a whole lot worse for the Wildcats as Thayer slammed the door in the second quarter.

On the Wildcats' second possession of the second, Greenfield went for a fourth-down conversion near the midfield stripe, but the Bobcat defense held its ground, giving the ball back to Thayer on downs.

On the first play after getting the ball back, Lowther broke free for a 58-yard TD run to keep things rolling for the Cats. The PAT was no good, leaving Thayer in front 19-0.

Then the Thayer defense proved its worth once again.

Greenfield quarterback Jordan Bryant tried to set up a short screen pass on the Wildcats' next possession, but Ryan Tate had other plans and intercepted the ball, running it back 22 yards for a touchdown with 3:06 left until the half. Leisenring's extra-point gave Thayer a 26-zip advantage.

Not quite finished, the Thayer defense was opportunistic a couple of minutes later, as Luke Martin recovered a Wildcat fumble at the Greenfield 19-yard line.

Bonds turned this miscue into points for Thayer with a 1-yard TD run on third-and-goal with 48 ticks remaining until intermission. The PAT was wide, giving Thayer a commanding 32-0 lead at the half.

Thayer's defensive troops were so dominant during the first half of play, giving Greenfield just three yards of rushing and 28 yards of total offense during the first two quarters.

During that same time span, the Bobcats rolled out 187 yards on the ground.

This domination allowed the Bobcat starters on both sides of the ball to basically take off the second half, giving the junior varsity some valuable playing time.

But before Thayer's starting quarterback Jacob Eckman took off his shoulder pads for the second half, he scored a 40-yard touchdown on an option keeper early in the third quarter.

Eckman posted 110 yards rushing on eight totes.

Josh Huckabee finished the third quarter in fine fashion for Thayer with a 23-yard touchdown scamper near the end of the frame. Leisenring booted the point-after to extend the Bobcats' lead to 46-0 after three.

Justin Shipp picked off Greenfield quarterback Tyler Robey, who was on for an injured Bryant, late in the fourth to set up Thayer's last points of the blowout.

Cameron Carey ran for a 9-yard touchdown with a shade over three minutes left in the game for Thayer's eighth touchdown. Shipp carried the 2-point conversion in to complete the Bobcats' impressive 54-point rout of Greenfield.

Next week the stakes are ratcheted up a notch, as Thayer hits the long road to Marionville to scrap with the Comets Oct. 26, currently ranked number one in Class 1.

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