Bobcat's losing streak moves to three games

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Thayer Bobcats took the field at Louis Bozman stadium in Thayer Friday night, Sept. 14, to host SCA opponents, the class 3 Salem Tigers.

After receiving the opening kick off, Thayer was unable to advance the ball for a first down. The young Bobcat defense had not faced a wishbone offense before this season, and were unable to contain the Tiger's. Salem drove down the wet field and across the goal line for a touchdown and a good point after attempt, to lead 7-0 with 7:48 remaining in the first quarter.

Considering the football and the field were wet from a steady light rain, both teams did well maintaining ball control. The Bobcats did cough up the ball on a drive deep in Salem territory, which the Tigers recovered. The Bobcat defense stopped the Tiger run game, forcing Salem to return possession back to Thayer with a punt. Offense -- Defensive exchanges ended the first quarter with a seven nothing Salem lead.

The Bobcat's offensive line created just enough gaps for Jacob Alford to gain yardage up the middle, but the offense stalled out on a fourth down and three on the thirty six.

Bobcat defense pressure forced Salem's quarterback to scramble and toss incomplete passes for a three and out on Salem's next drive.

On a third down and long play, Thayer quarterback Mitch Webber rolled to his right, lofted a pass to split end Levi Hargrove, in traffic. Hargrove caught the pass over the top of the Salem defender and streaked into the end zone. A yellow penalty flag loomed at the point of reception, however, as the official called an offensive interference penalty, which negated the touchdown for the Bobcats.

A Webber to Hargrove pass reception for a first down and a Salem pass interference penalty moved the ball inside the red zone with eight seconds remaining before half. Webber's pass to the end zone was caught by Jacob Foley, but the reception was caught out of bounds, stopping the clock with point five seconds left.

With Thayer's Webber on the run, he passed into the end zone for a Salem interception. The horn sounded to end the half, with Salem maintaining their one touchdown advantage.

Salem took possession to start the second half and banged out difficult yards to drive deep into Bobcat territory. With a hard Bobcat tackle at the Salem line of scrimmage, the ball came squirting out to end the Tiger drive. Thayer recovered the Tiger fumble, at the ten yard line, with ninety yards to go.

The Bobcats were able to drive the ball across mid field with runs up the middle from Shelby Barton. But a quick pass in the flat from Webber was picked off by a Salem defender to turn possession back over to the Tigers.

Thayer's defensive pressure created a Salem fumble and Tiger recovery behind the line of scrimmage for a first and fifteen to end the third quarter.

Second play from scrimmage for the Tigers in the fourth, was a sweep option around the right side. Thayer's defense was left flat footed as Salem's senior quarterback Brady Floyd, rounded the corner and out ran everyone to the end-zone to put the Tigers up 14-0.

Even though the Bobcat defense was able to shut down the Tiger offense on a fourth down and long play, to get the ball back, the Bobcat's were unable to capitalize on their offensive series and were forced to rely on a strong Levi Hargrove punt.

Excellent blocking up front opened up a hole in the Bobcat defense which allowed Salem's sophomore running back Zayne Kyser to break free of Thayer's Hunter Ary to add six more points for the Tigers.

With time running out on the game clock, Thayer's QB Mitch Webber eluded pressure to loft a pass to the end zone. Hargrove had to extend full length over the Tiger defender, to make the catch for the Bobcats' first six points of the game, and their first points since the season opener. Thayer's point after kick was low and no good to finish out the SCA competition with Salem taking home the 21-6 win over the Bobcats.

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