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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tables turned on Cats

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's a safe bet to believe that the Mountain Grove Panthers had week two of the 2009 high school football season circled in bright red ink.

And for good reason.

After all, it was week two of last season when Mountain Grove traveled to Thayer and came away beaten, battered and bruised in a 21-13 loss to the Thayer Bobcats at Louis Bozman Stadium.

The way the Cats dominated that contest, the outcome was probably not as close as the final score would indicate.

So with that in mind, Mountain Grove, ranked number three in Class 3, welcomed the Thayer Bobcats to Panther Stadium Sept. 4 with a little bit of payback in mind.

Payback was just what the Panthers got, as Mountain Grove used a crushing ground game to knock off the Bobcats 35-9.

The loss to the Panthers was just the Bobcats second regular-season loss in almost three year's time.

The Cats' last regular season loss, also on the road to a South Central Association foe, was eerily similar to their setback to Mountain Grove this year.

The Liberty Eagles knocked the Bobcats off on a rainy, stormy night in week four last season and then-starting quarterback Jacob Eckman missed the second half after suffering a couple of hard hits in the first half of that game.

Against Mountain Grove, on a wet, rainy and sometimes-stormy evening, Thayer's dynamic running back Josh Huckabee was forced to miss the second half of action after suffering a couple of hard hits in the first half of play.

But Huckabee made the most of his time on the field at Panther Stadium, scoring the first touchdown of the game on an 8-yard run in the first quarter. The 2-point try was stopped, but Thayer held a 6-0 lead.

Then the Panthers turned to their dynamic running back, Evan Williams.

Williams broke off a big 79-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to get Mountain Grove on the board. Christian Matthews booted the PAT and the Panthers edged in front 7-6.

But not for long.

Ethan Leisenring drilled a 27-yard field goal to kick the Bobcats back on top 9-7.

Then the well dried up for Thayer, while Williams really switched things into high gear.

He shook free for a 5-yard TD run right before the half to stake Mountain Grove to a 14-9 lead at intermission.

For the game, Williams racked up 262 yards rushing, while scoring four touchdowns.

In the third quarter, Matthews hauled in a one-yard TD pass from Carter Courtney to extend the Panthers' advantage, while Williams also scored on a 68-yard touchdown run.

Williams then capped Mountain Grove's victory with a 60-yard touchdown in the final frame, giving the Panthers a 35-9 win over Thayer.

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