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franklin county times

Bobcats shutout Wildcats in rain-shortened season opener

The Wildcats struggled in their first game of the season but new Coach Kevin Lacey remains optimistic.
The Wildcats struggled in their first game of the season but new Coach Kevin Lacey remains optimistic.

By Bart Moss

For the FCT

Phil Campbell got off to a sluggish start in the opener against the Tharptown Wildcats Friday night but recovered to open up a 21-0 halftime lead. It turns out that was all the Bobcats would need, as lightning forced the game to be canceled at halftime.

“We would have loved to get this game in,” said Phil Campbell Coach Ryan Swinney.  “We made some mistakes we need to get corrected immediately. We have a tough stretch of games coming up, and we can’t put the football on the ground and shoot ourselves in the foot with penalties.”

The Bobcats had a balanced offensive attack, rushing for 173 yards and throwing for 90. Phil Campbell’s defense held Tharptown to 73 total yards.

Phil Campbell scored on its second possession, putting together a long drive that was capped off by quarterback Peyton Thomas’ two-yard keeper. The extra point was no good, and Phil Campbell led 6-0 with 5:20 to go in the first quarter.

The Bobcats extended their lead to 14-0 in the second quarter on Joe Hardy’s six-yard touchdown run and Thomas’ run for the two-point conversion.

Phil Campbell added to its lead late in the first half. Thomas had a 24-yard pass completion to Austin Riner to put the Bobcats in scoring position. Thomas later scored on a one-yard keeper, and Daniel Smith kicked the extra point to make it 21-0.

The teams never got back onto the field after halftime because of the lightning, and the decision was made to call the game.

Hardy had 60 yards on five carries to lead Phil Campbell. Tharptown, which was playing its first game under new Head Coach Kevin Lacey, was led by Mikey Rosson with 53 yards rushing on nine carries.

“I thought we did some things well early,” said Lacey, who was facing his alma mater. “We have a lot we need to improve on, obviously, but we are going to keep working hard. We have another tough opponent next week at Red Bay, and we can’t lick our wounds. We have to get ready to play a very good team.”