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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bobcats eek out a conference victory over the Ava Bears

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Two SCA high school teams, with very similar styles of play, went head to head at Louis Bozeman football field for the Oct. 5 edition of "Friday night lights."

The home standing Thayer Bobcats took the opening kick off and marched down the field. Senior running back Jacob Alford followed his blocking and picked his way down the field to gain yardage and first downs. The Bobcats were faced with a fourth down and seven, in Ava territory, when Thayer junior quarterback Mitch Webber fired a thirty seven yard rocket to Levi Hargrove, who got behind the Ava defender and strolled in for a Bobcat TD. Landon Tyler's PAT kick was good for a seven-zero Thayer lead.

Ava then went back to work, banging out a couple of yards on the ground. Bear Senior running back Kyle Clinkingbeard found a seam on the right sideline and out sprinted the Bobcat defense, for a 79 yard Ava TD. A fake extra point kick ended up as a pass and reception for two points, giving the Ava Bears a one point lead, 8-7.

Thayer's offensive line then rolled up their sleeves and went to work. The Bobcats ran Alford, Hendrick and Hargrove over the left side, pushing the Ava defense and marching deep into the red zone. With everyone moving left, Webber handed off to Hargrove, who was in motion to the right. Shedding two Bear tacklers, Hargrove crossed the end-line, for six more Thayer points. A two point conversion attempt was not successful. With 1:11 left in the first quarter, the Bobcats were back in the lead 13-8.

In the second quarter, Ava Bears kept their ground game going. With 10:36 on the clock, Ava busted a sixty two yard run, and the PAT kick was good - allowing Ava to go back on top 14-13

Thayer got a good kick return by Jacob Alford to start its own offensive drive. Near the 40 yard line, Mitch Webber lined up in the shotgun formation, launched a pass to Hargrove, who made a diving catch good for another Bobcat first down. A reverse worked for first down yardage, but was called back because of a Bobcat flag, stalling Thayer's drive.

Thayer's punt by Levi Hargrove dropped dead at the Ava seven. The Bobcat defense gave up a couple of first downs, but finally forced an Ava punt. A Webber pass connected with tight end Payton Risner , who carried one Bear defender a couple of yards, shook free and rambled 30 yards, for a Thayer TD. Webber's two point conversion pass and reception to Hargrove was good, putting the Bobcats on top 21-15 at half.

Half way through the third quarter, Ava moved the ball across midfield to the Bobcat twenty, where it faced a fourth down and four. Thayer's defense stopped the Bear runner at the line of scrimmage, to return possession to the Bobcats. They went three and out, however, and Ava drove down for another score and PAT for a 22-21 Bear lead.

Jake Kenny gave Thayer good field position with his kick return, but Thayer's possession was short lived. Webber misfired a short, flat pass, that was picked off by an Ava Bear defender.

Fourth quarter crunch time arrived, and it was nail biting time. The Bears offense had moved down to the Bobcat one yard line. On third down, Thayer defenders stopped the run for no gain, and, on fourth down, they did it again -- giving their offense the ball and a tall order - travel 99 yards to their opponents end zone with the clock winding down.

In a surprise to everyone, including the Bear defense, Webber faked a hand off and rolled back in the end zone to launch a thirty yard pass to Hargrove, who wasn't caught until he had crossed mid field. Thayer continued to have success with Alford runs, and a pass reception to Shelby Barton for good yardage. With 4:40 left in the final quarter, the Bobcats were faced with a fourth and six, at the 19. With an empty backfield, Webber fumbled the snap, picked up the ball and somehow found an open lane, running all the way into the end zone. A two point conversion pass reception, Webber to Foley, put Thayer on top to stay. The final score in a hard fought game was 29 to 22,

Jacob Alford unofficially netted 116 yards rushing for the Bobcats. Thayer quarterback Mitch Webber completed six-of-14 passing, netting 177 yards in the Bobcat win.

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