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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Bobcats keep winning streak alive

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thayer's varsity Bobcats headed up Highway 63 on Friday, Oct. 12, to Polanski Field in Willow Springs, home of SCA foe's the Bears.

Thayer won the defensive battle, 7-0.

The Bobcat's first series was a three-and-out, and Willow's first offensive series was a four and out. So went the entire first quarter. More defense than offense, and lots of punts kept the game between the twenty yard lines for all of the first frame.

When Thayer runs moved the ball, behind its big offensive line, it was plagued by the Texas Two Step. The Cats would move the ball (2 steps) forward, but penalties moved the ball (2 steps) back.

The Bobcat defense made plenty of good stops, holding Willow Springs' running game to a minimum, and the first quarter ended with no score.

The Bobcats finally moved the ball across mid field, with their ground game and quick, short passes to the outside. With 9:44 to go in the second quarter, the Bobcats faced a big third and fourteen. Quarterback Mitch Webber took the hike from center Steven Joy, rolled out to his right and launched a pass over a Willow Springs defender, to Levi Hargrove in the end zone for a Bobcat touchdown. Landon Tyler's extra point kick was good. There were points on the scoreboard, and they favored Thayer, 7-0.

Willow advanced into Bobcat territory and were marching, until they hit a fourth and eight situation. On came junior field goal kicker Simon Self, who booted the ball 32 yards and through the uprights, putting three points on the board for Willow Springs, with 5:34 remaining in the second quarter.

Mammoth Spring then responded. Barton picked up tough yards for the Bobcats, with carries up the middle, Alford scooted outside for six and Webber dove ahead for a Bobcat first down to keep the Bobcats on the move. Mitch Webber's completed pass to Jacob Foley for twenty three, moved the Bobcats near the fifty yard marker and kept momentum rolling. As the last two seconds ticked off the clock, the Bobcats ran a tight end screen. Webber's pass to Hargrove was good, Thayer's tight end Peyton Risner made block on a Bear defender, but Hargrove was dragged down, just short of the goal line. The horn sounded to end the first half with the Bobcats on top of Willow Springs 7-3

The second half remained a defensive struggle. Even though the Bobcats and the Bears moved the ball a little at a time and advanced, neither team could get a big play to put more points on the board.

For the second week in a row, the Bobcat defense came up huge. Willow Springs moved the ball inside the Bobcat ten yard line, and had a first down and goal to go. The plan was to pound their big fullback into the teeth of the Bobcat line. On first and second downs, the Bears inched ahead. On third down and three, the Bobcats stopped the runner for only a yard gain. As time became a factor, Willow attempted a push on forth down and goal from the one. Just like last week, Thayer's defense held the pile, stopped the advance and took over possession on downs, at the one-half foot spot in front of the goal.

The Bobcats were able to keep possession of the ball, take a delay of game penalty for clock management purposes and run the clock down as far as they could, before punting the ball back to Willow, with under thirty seconds remaining in the game. The Bobcat defensive secondary knocked down pass attempts and the "D"line and line backers stopped the Bears cold.

The Bobcats escaped with a 7-3 win, and suddenly have a four game win streak going, as they prepare for their final regular season game against Mountain Grove at home on Friday, Oct. 19.

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