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Bogue Chitto Bobcats out-fight St. Patrick Irish for homecoming win

As has often been the case in the 18 years of Gareth Sartin being the head football coach at Bogue Chitto, Friday night his team was the grittiest group on the field.

The Bobcats (1-3) got their first win of the season in front of a big homecoming crowd 15-6 over St. Patrick Catholic (2-2).

The Bobcats were good in all phases as they ran the ball, passed when needed and tackled well all night in what was a more dominating effort than the final score showed.

The Bobcats were far from full strength as several key players were wearing blue jeans, boots and jerseys on the sideline.

Among that group was quarterback J.T. McCaffrey who suffered a scary blow to the head last week in an overtime loss to Puckett. Leading tacklers Colton Bales and Cameron Williams were also unavailable but for every missing Bobcat another man stepped into the gap to make plays.

“We had several guys out tonight and we had some younger players step up and make some crucial plays,” said Sartin. “We’ve been so close all year and tonight they played hard and we were able to stick it out at the end. I couldn’t be any prouder of this team.”

Sophomore quarterback Colton Frith showed guts and moxie all night as he looked as comfortable as a senior running the BC misdirection-heavy offensive attack.

On 4th-and-5 of the opening drive, Frith picked up a huge first down with his feet to keep the drive alive.

On the next play he hit Carson Price on a pass that was further helped by a penalty for a horse-collar tackle. That took the ball down to the St. Patrick 6-yard line.

Senior fullback Reid Smith punched it in from there and the Price PAT kick was good as BC jumped out to a 7-0 lead with 8:18 remaining in the first quarter.

St. Patrick had an offensive weapon the type of which BC most likely won’t see again this season in 6-foot-6 senior quarterback Jackson Kostmayer.

The Fighting Irish also converted a 4th-and-long on their opening drive that got them down to the BC 26-yard line late in the first quarter.

Sartin used his first timeout to light into his defense for being out of position on that gain. He told his defensive backs and linebackers that if they didn’t play assignment football then they’d have a long night.

The only real offense St. Pat got all night were on a few long scrambles by Kostmayer that caught the Bobcat defense dozing.

Bogue Chitto responded to that encouragement in the timeout by getting back-to-back tackles for a loss from Davis Hart and Hayden Fraizer.

Frith then made a tackle in the flats that caused a St. Patrick receiver to fumble the ball. Smith dove on the loose ball to kill the Irish scoring threat.

Troy Smith Field was surprising firm for a tract that that had been soaked by heavy rain late in the week. A steady mist fell through much of the night, but it didn’t bother the Bobcats who only had one turnover in the game.

Off the turnover, Frith found senior receiver Tristan Buffington for a long gain that took BC down to the St. Pat 10-yard line, but the Irish defense stiffened from there.

Price came on to notch a 22-yard field goal that put the Bobcats up 10-0 with just over two minutes remaining in the first half.

As a kicker, Price has a bag of tricks at his disposal when it comes to on-side attempts. The Bobcats kick it onside nearly every down and do so out of a sprinting huddle that catches the return team staring at the instead of looking for the ball.

After the made field goal Price kicked another onside that was recovered by BC. Buffington again caught a long pass that got the Bobcats deep into St. Pat territory.

The drive would stall out though as Price missed a 36-yarder at the halftime horn and BC led 10-0.

Early in the second quarter, the Bobcats got two more points when a punt snap by St. Patrick sailed out of the back of their endzone for a safety.

The Bobcats began to run the ball in the third quarter as they put in a jumbo set and handed the ball off to senior running back Owen Anderson, Smith and sophomore rusher Hunter Goebel to eat up clock.

The play of the night for BC was a 43-yard field goal by Price that made the score 15-0 with 10:26 remaining in the game.

Kicking towards the west endzone that sits in front of the concession stand, Price blasted a no-doubter that gave his team a little more breathing room.

That breathing room was needed as St. Patrick used a couple of big plays to march down and get their lone score of the night in less than two minutes.

Another St. Patrick scoring threat was stopped later in the quarter when Buffington went over the Irish receiver to grab his second interception of the night on the BC 1-yard line.

Backed up in the shadow of their own goalposts after the interception by Buffington and with two minutes remaining, disaster nearly struck as Frith dropped a water-slicked ball out of a shotgun snap.

Anderson reached down to pluck the ball up on the bounce and raced 40-yards for a first down that sealed the victory.

BC opens Region 7-2A play next week when they travel to Liberty to face the Amite County Trojans.