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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Fourth-quarter letdown

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oh, my.

Things couldn't have been any more fast and furious than what they were during the last seven minutes of Cave City's season-opening clash with the Walnut Ridge Bobcats Sept. 5 at Caveman Field.

Taking advantage of three costly turnovers by Cave City, Walnut Ridge reeled off three touchdowns and 28 points in the last seven minutes of the game to come from behind and stun the Cavemen 47-36.

Cave City (0-1) had the game in hand, scoring three straight TDs to take a commanding 36-19 lead in the non-conference tilt.

But Walnut Ridge (1-0), a team that tasted victory just twice last year and didn't score over 21 points in a game in 2007, refused to pack it in despite the 17-point defect.

Bobcat quarterback Jared Blackwell hit wideout Bennett Dudley with a 52-yard scoring strike with 7:05 left in the game to start the Walnut Ridge trek toward victory. The 2-point attempt was no good, but the Bobcats had pulled within 11, down 36-25 on the play.

Then D.J. Wayne rose to the occasion for the Bobcat defense.

He notched the first of his three fumble recoveries at the 4:00 mark of the fourth, setting up the next Walnut Ridge score.

On first-and-goal from the 4, Blackwell went straight up the middle on a QB keeper. Tim Cummins kicked the PAT, and just like that, the Bobcats had edged within four, 36-32 with 2:19 showing on the clock.

One snap from scrimmage later and Walnut Ridge was in business again.

Wayne picked up his second fumble recovery of the fourth quarter to keep hope alive for the Bobcats.

This hope turned to reality as Blackwell eluded the Cave City defense long enough to hit Logan Gaither with a 24-yard TD pass on fourth-and-5 with 43 ticks left in the game. Blackwell hooked up with Gaither on the 2-point conversion to give Walnut Ridge a 40-32 lead.

But the Bobcats were not done.

On the next-to-last play of the game, Wayne struck again.

He picked up Cave City's third fumble of the fourth quarter and ran it back 52 yards to complete Walnut Ridge's amazing 47-36 comeback.

Walnut Ridge struck first in the game on an 11-play, 74-yard drive capped by Brian Archibald's 11-yard run at the 6:47 mark of the first quarter. The PAT was no good, leaving the Bobcats on top 6-0.

Cave City had a huge night running the football, racking up 380 yards on the ground, and a Chase Gorman 5-yard blast gave the Cavemen their first TD of the year with 4:30 left in the first. Gorman also took the 2-point conversion in to push Cave City on top 8-6. Gorman carried the football 20 times for 140 yards and three TDS in the game.

Cave City pulled in front 15-6 early in the second quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run from Jeremy Johnson on second-and-goal. William Boyd kicked the point-after for the Cavemen. Johnson logged 57 yards on nine carries in the contest.

Cave City's defense came up big on Walnut Ridge's next series, with Tyler Woods picking off Blackwell near the Caveman goal line with 8:22 left until the half.

But Walnut Ridge's defense had an answer.

On third-and-13 from the 10, Chris Dickson picked off Cave City QB Dalton Carpenter and scooted into the end zone to pull Walnut Ridge within two, 15-13.

The turnover problems for Cave City didn't end with that pick.

The Bobcats recovered a Caveman fumble one snap later and cashed that into a Blackwell touchdown with 38 seconds left before intermission. The PAT was no good, but Walnut Ridge led 19-15 at halftime.

Cave City quickly reclaimed the lead on a big 40-yard touchdown sprint from Gorman at the 8:57 mark of the third quarter. Boyd kicked the extra-point and the Cavemen stood in front 22-19.

Cave City tacked two more scores onto its lead in the fourth quarter.

The first came on Gorman's third TD of the evening, a 5-yard blast with 10:53 showing in the third. With Boyd's PAT added, Cave City stood tall with a 29-19 lead.

The Cavemen then squibbed the ensuing kickoff and Nick Townsend fell on it for Cave City, setting up a seven-play, 37-yard scoring drive for his team.

Tyler Engleman finished the drive off with a 1-yard TD run for Cave City's third un-answered touchdown of the second half. Boyd hit the PAT to stake the Cavemen to a 36-19 lead. Engleman had a fantastic game, rushing 161 yards on 17 totes.

Then came the string of costly miscues for Cave City, miscues that Walnut Ridge eagerly exchanged for 28 points and a big 47-32 win.

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