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Bobcats use 4Q surge to top Bears

The Bogue Chitto Bobcats sewed up second place in Region 7-2A and a home playoff game with a 55-30 win over West Lincoln Friday night on Perry Miller Field.

The game was much closer than the final score indicates and was a tit-for-tat affair until the fourth quarter when Bogue Chitto outscored the Bears 25-0.

The game was tied 8-8 after one quarter, 16-16 at halftime, and 30-30 at the start of the fourth quarter.

West Lincoln took their first lead of the game on the first drive of the second half when Enrico Price found Chris Freeman on a 38-yard halfback pass. Price ran in the two-point conversion to put the Bears up 24-16.

Bogue Chitto took the lead back for good on a 53-yard Bryce Langley touchdown run that came with 10:21 remaining in the game. Langley also caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Shaw King in the second quarter.

Langley said his long touchdown run around the right side of the line was all about following his blockers.

“I try to hit the hole as fast as I can,” said Langley. “My line did a great job of opening things up and I put my head back and ran as hard as I could.”

It’s not a stretch to compare the feel of the game to a tennis match. Both teams traded touchdowns in a serve and volley pattern. It felt inevitable that the team to break serve and get a defensive stop would be the one who would win the game.

That’s what happened when West Lincoln had two consecutive fourth quarter drives stall at midfield. The first one — which preceded the Langley touchdown run — saw West Lincoln punt. The next stalled drive called for a fourth down conversion attempt by the Bears. What looked like a first-down conversion failed on a dropped pass to turn possesion back over to BC.

The next drive would see Bogue Chitto score from 10 yards out on an Owen Anderson touchdown run to put the Bobcats up 42-30. Anderson scored from 38 yards in the third quarter to tie the game at 30-30.

“Not picking up that fourth down conversion was huge,” said West Lincoln coach BJ Smithhart.

Bogue Chitto would add two late score, one an 8-yard Shaw King run and the other a Jermaine Black pick-six, that gave the Bobcats the large margin of the final score.

King put the Bobcats on the board in the first quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run which was answered on the first West Lincoln drive by a Michael Brothern two-yard touchdown run. Brothern lined up at quarterback in a jumbo package called “Bulldozer” and pushed his way into the end zone for the tying score.

Price tied the game at 16-16 for the Bears with an electric 51-yard touchdown run that came four minutes before half. The freshman speedster took the handoff from quarterback Ashtin Autttonberry and made a move to the left side of the line. He was met there by a wall of seven white-shirted Bobcat defenders. Price reversed field and outsprinted the entire Bogue Chitto defense for the long TD run that brought life to the home side of the stadium.

Price put West Lincoln up 30-24 in the third quarter with a 22-yard TD run. That score was preceded by a one-yard Bogue Chitto scoring run by Bobcat senior Darius Porter on the previous drive.

Porter usually plays offensive line and linebacker. Porter also wears a heavy wrap on an injured arm that looks like a club, but that didn’t hinder him from taking the handoff as a fullback and plunging ahead for the score.

Porter and the Bobcat defense played their best in the fourth quarter as they slowed down Brothern and Price when their team needed stops to get the lead back.

“Our defense bowed up in the fourth quarter and won the game for us,” said Bogue Chitto coach Gareth Sartin. “We challenged our seniors at halftime to play better in the second half. Hosting a playoff game was a goal for them and I’m proud of our kids for achieving it.”

Bogue Chitto closes their regular season at Enterprise on Friday while the Bears travel to Loyd Star.

Story by Cliff Furr