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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bearkatz return to winning ways

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Melbourne Bearkatz (3-2) have had an up and down season in the team's first year of varsity football. The Katz started the season 2-0 with wins over Palestine- Wheatley and Cave City before going on a two game skid. The skid ended on Sept. 28 with a 20-14 win over the Green Forest Tigers.

The game started out slow, with neither team able to gain much momentum early on. The Tigers took the opening kick but were forced to punt after three plays.

The Katz' first drive yielded more yards that the Tigers, but still no points. An eight-play drive ended on a failed fourth-down conversion attempt.

Melbourne's second drive started on it's own 36 yard line, with just over six minutes left in the first, after forcing a second straight three-and-out for the Tigers. A fourth-and-two conversion two minutes later got the ball inside the 10 yard line for the Bearkatz.However, the Katz were unable to take advantage, as the Tigers' defense held Melbourne for four plays inside the 10.

Another three and out for the Tigers got the Katz the ball back with 57.6 seconds left in the first half, but the first quarter ended with no score.

The defensive battle continued until the closing seconds of the first half.

With just over three and half minutes left in the half, Melbourne sophomore Conor Fogle perfectly placed a 35-yard punt, pinning the Tigers down on their own five yard line. Three plays later, the Tigers were faced with a tough decision on fourth and one; go for the first down and risk giving Melbourne the ball on the Tigers' 14, or punt. Green Forest chose the latter, and Melbourne took over on their own 48 with 1:26 left in the half.

Six plays later, the Katz had advanced to the Green Forest 26 and had 38 seconds to put points on the board. After a Melbourne time out, the Katz reached the end zone on a 26-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Kyler McGlaufflan to Fogle. After a failed two-point conversion attempt, Melbourne had a 6-0 lead at the half.

Momentum is a powerful thing, as these two teams found out. After nearly 23 minutes without a score, the Bearkatz broke the tie at the end of the first half and, on the first drive of the second, the Katz took the kickoff, and moved the ball down the field. In less than five minutes, senior running back Ben Cooper put the ball in the end zone. A failed two-point conversion attempt made the score 12-0.

On the ensuing kickoff, a hard hit led to a fumble by Green Forest. Melbourne recovered the fumble and took the ball at the Tigers' 32 with 7:32 left in the third quarter. Cooper then made his mark on the game again. He powered through several tacklers and made it to the five yard line, then took the ball five yards into the end zone on the next play, for his second score of the game. A successful two-point conversion made the score 20-0.

Here's the funny thing about momentum; it can shift. As if a switch had been flipped, a seemingly whole new Green Forest team took the field with just over five minutes left in the third quarter.

On fourth-and-10, Green Forest quarterback Trenton Anderson connected with Clayton Watson for a 21-yard touchdown pass, with 1:22 left in the quarter, making the score 20-7. The Tigers then recovered an onsides kick to give themselves the ball back at the Melbourne 46. The third quarter ended with Green Forest marching down the field with the score 20-7.

Three minutes later, Watson would catch his second touchdown pass of the game to bring the Tigers within one score of the Katz at 20-14.

Melbourne recovered another onsides kick at their own 47, but had little success moving the ball. The Katz were forced to punt with 7:41 left in the game.

The Tigers took the ball from their own 14 with 7:05 left in the game. Five minutes later, the Tigers were faced with a fourth-and-11, after a Melbourne junior Nick Miller broke up a third-down pass. In the clutch situation, the Tigers looked to Clayton Watson, who scored all of their points against the Katz. A wide open Watson dropped the pass that could've kept the drive, and Green Forest's hopes of winning, alive.

With time running out, the Katz needed one first down to ice the game, and they got it on the second play of the drive, assuring that they had beaten the Tigers and moved to 1-1 in conference play.

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