Hillbillies end Bobcats' season -- Defensive struggle goes to Ozark

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
The Bobcat defense played a solid game against the Ozark Hillbillies last Friday night, holding them to just two touchdowns during a 16-6 loss that knocked them out of the Class AAA state playoffs. Above, a sure tackle stopped an Ozark runner as the defense converged. Photo by Charlie Chappell

A strong defensive effort from the Berryville Bobcat team kept their state playoff game with the Ozark Hillbillies close last Friday night.

But the Berryville offense couldn't get into the end zone twice from in close and had to settle for two field goals, while two big plays by Ozark resulted in touchdowns and a 16-6 victory, ending Berryville's season at 7-4.

"We gave up a couple," Coach Doug Scheel said. "We fumbled our opening snap and they recovered and then scored, and later they broke a reverse for a touchdown."

It was just 7-0 at halftime, although Berryville drove to the Ozark four after a fumble recovery by Tim Snow and a 37-yard run by quarterback Tim Ellison. The Bobcats went for it and failed on fourth-and-short.

"We got down to the three in the second quarter and couldn't punch it in," Coach Scheel said. "We kicked one field goal (in the third quarter), then later kicked another and were down eight (6-14)."

Ozark's second big play was a 41-yard touchdown dash in the fourth quarter by the Hillbillies Michael Bowman on a reverse that made it 14-3 with 11:51 to play. Berryville would get a field goal, but no closer.

Jose Ramirez kicked a 32-yard field goal with 5:32 to play in the third quarter, then Ellison completed two passes, to Corey Roberts and Jonathan Powell later in the quarter, bringing the team to fourth-and four again at the Ozark four.

Scheel decided to kick again, and Ramirez kicked true, making it 6-14 with a 25-yard field goal. Ozark then put a clock-killing drive together and made it to the Berryville 1-yard line before fumbling.

"We made Ozark start at their three in the fourth, and I thought we could make them punt, but they drove," Scheel said. "We got a fumble near our one, but Joseph Boley was sacked in the end zone the next play."

"We were doing all we could to win, but we didn't have much offense left," Coach Scheel said. "After Steven Trulove went down with a knee injury, we had to gear the offense down."

Running back and linebacker Tim Ellison had to step into that spot, and Scheel had nothing but praise for the sophomore's efforts.

"Tim always gives 110 percent," Scheel said. "On offense, Corey Roberts had 49 yards rushing and 69 receiving, and on defense, Cory Smith played really well.

"Boley, Roberts and Jonathan Powell all had to play some man-up on defense and did a great job. Ozark just completed one pass (1/6). Justin Summers and Heath Neal were responsible for the pitch back on Ozark's option and they shut it down, and everybody else tackled the fullback.

"It was a good job by our defense," Scheel said. "I hate losing, especially to a former player, but I was proud of our kids. They went 3-4 after Trulove was hurt and made it to the playoffs. The seniors held it together and the kids handled it."

Berryville loses 15 seniors, but expects to move up more than 20 ninth-graders.

GRADUATING SENIORS

Heath Neal, Steven Trulove, Jose Ramirez, Cory Smith, Jonathan Powell, Joseph Boley, Corey Roberts, Casey Eastwood, John Ryan, Justin Summers, Jesse Parker, Josh Webb, Chance Robbins, Elliott Ginn, Nathan Keys.

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