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franklin county times

Bobcats succumb to Panthers

By Jonathan Grimes for the FCT


The Phil Campbell Bobcats traveled to Hackleburg Friday to face off against the Panthers in the Bobcats’ final game of the season. This night the Panthers worked hard and came up with the win against the Bobcats 35-19.

Hackleburg started the game with the ball on a first drive that ended in a punt, but the Bobcats quickly turned the ball over on the next play after a fumble on their own 30-yard line. This set the Panthers up with a short field to work with. After a few plays, the Panthers found the end zone for the first score of the night. The extra point was no good after a Bobcat got a paw on the ball, leaving the score 6-0. The next score came on a 4-yard TD run by the Panthers, and after the 2-point conversion the score was 14-0.

The Bobcats struggled to score in the 2nd quarter and finally broke the scoring drought with 1:57 left in the first half. The scoring drive started after an interception by Brody Nix set up the Bobcats on their own 35. The Bobcats drove down the field, mainly running the ball, and scored on a 4-yard TD pass from Peyton Thomas to Hunter Hutcheson. The extra point by Daniel Smith brought the score to 14-7 with 1:57. The ensuing kickoff was fumbled and picked up by the Bobcats, giving the Bobcats a short field and a chance to tie the game before halftime, but on the first play of the drive, the ball was intercepted to give the Panthers a last chance drive before the half. The Panthers drove the ball down the field but fell just three yards short as time expired, making the score at half time 14-7 in favor of the Panthers.

The Bobcats started the second half with the ball, and as they were moving the ball down the field, tragedy struck the Bobcats as Hutcheson went down with a bad knee injury. The play after Hutcheson went down, the Bobcats scored on a 24-yard pass from Thomas to Colby Baker. The Daniel Smith point after was no good, bringing the score to 14-13 midway through the third quarter. The Panthers took their next possession in for a touchdown to bring the score 21-13.

The Bobcats’ next possession lasted the rest of the third quarter, and starting the fourth quarter, they were driving down the field, but eventually the drive stalled on the Panther 20. The Panthers took advantage and went down the field for another score to make it 28-13 with six minutes left in the game.

The Bobcats did not give up although trailing by two scores with a short time left in the game. Phil Campbell took the ball down the field again, this time scoring on a 9-yard Thomas run into the endzone to bring the score to 28-19 with 3:51 left in the game. The Bobcats’ onside kick got recovered by the Panthers and set them up with a short field and a final scoring opportunity of the night.

Hutcheson’s injury is still not certain as to what all is wrong, but right now it looks like he tore something in his knee. All Phil Campbell’s thoughts and prayers go out to the Hutcheson family, and everyone hopes for a quick recovery from this injury.

This year the Bobcats’ record is (2-8, 0-6).