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franklin county times
PHOTO BY BART MOSS / PC senior Peyton Thomas throws the last touchdown of his high school career to senior Brodie Nix.

Phil Campbell falls to rival Hackleburg

By Bart Moss / For the FCT

The Phil Campbell Bobcats fell to their longtime rival Hackleburg 30-16 Thursday night.

The Bobcats were in a tight battle with the Panthers until a kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half seemed to sap away their energy.

“I was proud of the way the guys played,” said Phil Campbell coach Ryan Swinney. “I think we probably played our most complete games of  the year the last two weeks. We were a very inexperienced team going into the season. I told the guys after the game that even though we struggled in the win-loss area, we didn’t have one guy who quit the team, and that says a lot about their character and desire. That is something we can definitely build on for next year.”

Phil Campbell’s Brandon Baker picked off a Hackleburg pass late in the first quarter, but the Bobcat offense couldn’t take advantage, leading to a scoreless quarter.

Hackleburg drove the ball into Phil Campbell territory midway into the second quarter, but a big stop by Brodie Nix forced a punt.

Hackleburg’s punt pinned the Bobcats inside their own two-yard line, but once again the offense couldn’t get any momentum. Phil Campbell had to punt the ball from the back of their own endzone.

Hackleburg was going to have good field position anyway, but Evan Crow returned the punt 28 yards to the Phil Campbell 10-yard line. Two plays later Stone Fincher scored Hackleburg’s first touchdown on a two-yard run to give the Panthers a 6-0 lead with 4:32 to go in the half.

Phil Campbell threatened to score late in the quarter, driving all the way to the Hackleburg 18-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs.

Hackleburg took the opening kickoff 70 yards to paydirt to build momentum in the second half, taking a 14-0 lead.

The Panthers would score again in the closing seconds of the third quarter to extend their lead to 22-0.

Phil Campbell got their first score early in the fourth quarter on a one-yard run by Peyton Thomas. A 38-yard pass from Thomas to Trey Leindecker set up the score for the Bobcats.

Phil Campbell converted the two-point conversion pass from Thomas to Seth Brindley to make the score 22-8.

Brandon Thomas intercepted a Hackleburg pass with 8:21 to go in the game at the Phil Campbell 32-yard line, but the Bobcats gave the ball right back two plays later.

Hackleburg converted the turnover to a touchdown, extending their lead to 30-8.

The Bobcats added one final score with 4:03 to go in the game when seniors Peyton Thomas and Nix connected on a 15-yard touchdown pass. The duo connected again on the two-point conversion to make the score 30-16.

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