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Big Green swamps Greenwave

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

PLENTY OF AIR: Thayer quarterback Jared Foley lofts a pass to Josh Huckabee in the Bobcats' 29-12 win over the Malden Greenwave Sept. 11. Photo/Grant Martin
You can't put a price tag on victory.

Doesn't matter if its picture-perfect or mud-ugly, a victory is a victory.

And Thayer's 29-12 victory over the Malden Greenwave Sept. 11 at Louis Bozman Stadium probably fell somewhere in between perfect and ugly.

The perfect part certainly had to be the return of Josh Huckabee, after injury had forced the electric running back to sit out the second half of Thayer's loss to Mountain Grove the previous week.

Showing little signs of rust, Huckabee ripped the Malden defense for 146 yards on the ground, part of the Cats' 415 yards of total offense in the game.

Jeremy Cabrales ran for 60 yards, 57 of those coming on a big run that was the last play of the night.

The Bobcats' defense was stingy and stout as usual, holding the Greenwave (1-2) without a first down until just before halftime.

For the game, Thayer managed to keep the speedy Greenwave from running wild, giving up less than 100 total yards in the contest to the visitors from Malden.

Impressive stuff, considering the fact that the Bobcats (2-1) were working with a defensive unit that was assembled on the fly, thanks to injuries and suspensions.

The part that was not so pretty was the Bobcats' lapse of focus at times in the game, coupled with several starters sustaining bumps and bruises in the contest.

But the bottom line is, Thayer bounced back from its tough loss to the Mountain Grove Panthers with a much-needed victory over the Greenwave.

Thayer scored the only points of the opening quarter on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jared Foley to Cameron Carey (55 yards rushing) at the 5:47 mark of the first. Ethan Leisenring booted the extra-point and Thayer held a 7-0 lead.

Bryan Tate broke through and sacked Malden quarterback Travis Gregory on the Greenwave's next series, but Raymond Wilson stopped the Cats' next drive with an interception of Foley, leaving Thayer on top 7-0 after one.

The Bobcats looked a bit livelier in the second quarter, thanks in part to a 52-yard touchdown run by Huckabee to open the frame. Leisenring's PAT pushed Thayer on top 14-0.

Then after Thayer held Malden to three-and-out on the next series, Huckabee returned a punt from deep in Thayer territory all the way to the Greenwave 35-yard line.

On second-and-goal from the 1, Foley (22 yards rushing) wrapped up a nine-play drive with a quarterback keeper for the score with 5:37 left until the half.

Leisenring's extra-point made it 21-zip, Thayer.

That's the way things stood at intermission, with Jeremy Cabrales and Cody Gitzen teaming up to jar the ball free from Malden's Justin Rowe, with Brandon Martin falling on the football to end the first half.

Although they had a large lead and held the Greenwave to under 30 yards of offense in the first half, the game was anything but put away for the Bobcats.

Malden came out in the third quarter and held Thayer to just one first down, giving the Greenwave a bit of hope.

Leisenring was shaken up late in the quarter and the Bobcats were forced to punt from their own end zone with backup kicker Cabrales handling the chores.

Malden's Raymond Wilson managed to get a hand on Cabrales' kick, sending the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety and two points for the Greenwave.

But despite the sluggish third quarter, the Bobcats remained steady at the start of the final stanza.

At the 10:28 point of the fourth, Huckabee blasted his way into the end zone from 13 yards out on third down to give the Cats an insurance score. Carey ran the 2-point conversion in to push Thayer on top 29-2.

Malden got another safety and Rashawn Akins scored on an 18-yard touchdown run against the Bobcat JV team with 1:29 left in the game, but the Bobcats were able to post another W in the win column with a 29-12 win over Malden.

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