All of the state champion Bobcat cheerleaders were wearing knee socks andshorts with a pink bow painted on their cheek and pink bows in their hair.
It was almost a pink-out.
Regardless of the dominant color, the most dominant team on the field this night was the Cats, as they crushed Houston 50-19 in South Central Association play.
If this was a drag race, the Bobcats would have been at the checkered flag before the Houston Tigers even got off the starting line.
The Bobcats turned on the speed, with Connor Blair jetting around the ends for huge chunks of yardage, while Jeremy Cabrales carried, or ran over, defenders inside the tackles.
As the Houston defense prepared for what appeared to be a sweep to the right, Thayer quarterback Brandon Childers rolled right with Blair in tow for an option pitch. The option look was just a mask, as Childers came to a quick halt, turned to his left and lofted a pass just over the defense to a wide open Cabrales on a fullback-center screen, the play put the Bobcats on the board for a touchdown in the first quarter. The extra point attempt was pushed back five yards on a procedure penalty, but that did not hinder the Bobcats.
Childers avoided the Tiger defense and strode across the goal line for the 2-point conversion and an 8-zero Bobcat lead.
The Bobcat defense overpowered Houston's line and made piledriving hits in the Tiger back field.
Henry, Smith, Cabrales, Hargrove and Dennis, along with linebackers Barton and Martin, put up a curtain on every play, forcing the Tigers into a third down and long.
With excellent ball fakes, Houston's quarterback darted through a seam in the Bobcat defense and scampered 60 yards before being run down from behind by Eli Martin.
That lift of the Tiger sprits was short-lived. Houston was deep into Bobcat territory, but fumbled the handoff with Thayer recovering on the next play from scrimmage.
The Bobcats mixed up the run-pass attack with Cabrales and Blair on the ground and passes to Henry and Dennis through the air.
With the clock running down under 10 seconds, Thayer quarterback Mitch Webber scrambled away from the Tiger pressure in the middle. Rolling to his right and a little off balance, Webber tossed a less-than-perfect spiral that looked a little more like a wounded duck. As the pass came down, the Tiger defensive back had good position in front of Hargrove. With a high jump and arm extension, Hargrove jumped over the top of the defender, snatched the ball out of the defenders' hands, landed, turned and bolted the remaining 25 yards into the end zone for a Bobcat touchdown.
The swinging gate formation on the 2-point conversion confused the Tigers. Blair took the straight snap from center as Webber ran a short slant pattern across the goal line. Blair's pass was perfect to put the Bobcats on top 24-zip, as time expired in the first quarter.
Houston attempted a pass on their first offensive play of the second quarter. Hargrove extended high enough to pick the pass off, setting the Bobcats up with short yardage. The Bobcat line blocked all the Tiger defenders to the inside, as the pitch-out went to Blair. He turned on the jets and glided in for six more Bobcat points. The PAT fell incomplete, but the Cats held a commanding 30-0 advantage.
The Bobcat defense coverd every lane and closed every gap to force the Tigers to punt again. After eluding the first wave of defenders, Jacob Alford twice spun out of the arms of would-be tacklers, before being brought down for an outstanding runback past midfield, giving the Cats great field position.
Webber rolled to his left and fired a strike Cabrales. Shedding tacklers, Cabrales broke free.
One last defender stood at about the 2-yard line, between Cabrales and pay dirt. With a full head of steam, Cabrales lowered his shoulder pads and knocked the Tiger defender backward and about two yards deep into the end zone for six more Bobcat points. Cabrales lined up and kicked the pigskin through the uprights for the PAT, adding to the Bobcat lead.
Holding a commanding lead, Head Coach Billy Webber, along with assistant coaches Matt and Marc Pitts, were able to rest key starting team members, and get some much needed experience for secondary team and junior varsity players.
Houston was able to move the ball down field and get a quarterback option run in for six Tiger points. The PAT failed and Thayer led 37-6.
With the Tigers back on their heels, Cabrales broke through the middle of the line of scrimmage, and out ran all Tiger defenders to add six more to the Bobcat score total.
The Tigers recovered a Bobcat fumble deep in Thayer territory, but were not able to advance the ball which ended the half with the Bobcats holding a 44-6 advantage.
Aaron Honeycutt used his quickness to juke defenders and his speed to advance the second half kickoff to near midfield for the Bobcats.
A quick fumble was picked up by the Tigers and advanced to the 10, fumbled and recovered then advanced into the end zone for a Tiger touchdown.
The Bobcat defense held the Tigers for no positive yardage, forcing a straight-up and straight-down punt taken by Henry.
Almost breaking free, Henry advanced the ball to the Tiger 10. Back at the helm, Webber fired a strike to Hargrove in the end zone, putting the Bobcats on top 50-16 with 6:25 remaining in the third.
Thayer moved the ball with up-front blocks from Tucker, Risner, Tate, Brindley and Ary. Sophomore Jacob Foley did a good job of holding onto the ball and executing plays with sophomore running back Shelby Barton digging out tough yardage into the middle of the Tiger defense.
A Tiger pass reception slipped down the sideline and into the end zone past Bobcat defenders late in the game, for six more Tiger points, but that was too little too late to overcome the dominating Bobcat 50-19 win.
The Bobcats will play host to Hayti for their Homecoming game on Friday Oct. 14 at Louis Bosman field. The Homecoming parade will be in downtown Thayer at 2 p.m., with the formal Homecoming queen crowning to be held on the football field before the game at 6 p.m.
For more game highlight photos visit the Website at www.areawidenews.com.