Bobcats win kicking game, CC Shootout 17-15

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

GREEN FOREST -- A huge overflow crowd that filled bleachers and lined the field three deep on three sides got their money's worth last Friday at the Carroll County Shootout, won by the Berryville Bobcats, 17-15.

Turnovers were the difference again this year as the Green Forest Tigers turned it over four times via two fumbles and two interceptions.

The game went down to the final 42 seconds, when Tiger Robbie Ness caught an 11-yard pass to bring Green Forest back within two points, 17-15.

The Tigers had to go for a two-point conversion to tie, but quarterback Austin McCullough found no receivers open on the snap and lost footing while trying to avoid Bobcat Jeremy Salazar and others and slipped down to end the try.

An onside kick was the Tigers' last hope, but Bobcat Treven Butler grabbed the pigskin and wrapped around it, and one snap later it was a 17-15 win for the Bobcats, their first this season.

GAME ACTION

Berryville led early, 10-0, after a touchdown by Nick Marlowe and a 36-yard field goal by Jorge Gil, but the Tigers came back with a 26-yard field goal from Luis Castillo to make it 10-3 at the half.

Berryville scored first in the third quarter after Ellis Cook blocked a Tiger punt, setting the Bobcats up at the Green Forest 39 yard line.

Berryville drove, then quarterback Matt Trulove kept for a first down at the 4-yard line on fourth-and-one, and Travis McBryde finished the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

Gil kicked the extra point and it was 17-3, Bobcats, but the Tigers came back. Austin McCullough fired a pass to Abel Reyes on their first play after the kickoff return to their 27, and Reyes took the pass all the way to the Bobcat 24.

But Berryville's Shane Kesler stepped in front of a McCullough pass at the 8-yard line with 0:54 to go in the third to stop that drive.

The Tiger defense held to start the fourth quarter, then the team marched from their own 44 with 9:36 to play in the game.

Robbie Ness caught a pass at the Bobcat 14, then Reyes carried for six from the six with 7:12 to play to make it 17-9 after Castillo's extra point kick was blocked.

The Tiger defense stopped the Bobcats again on downs and got the ball back with just more than three minutes to play.

The Tigers got a first down on fourth-and-two from Reyes, than passed to Ness at the Berryville 25 with 1:57 to go.

McCullough connected with Ness for a touchdown with 0:42 to play to make it 17-15, but the extra point failed and Berryville had bragging rights until next year.

COACHES QUOTES

Bobcat coach Bobby Bishop said, "It was a huge win for the kids, and the staff as well. Any time you beat Green Forest it's a huge win. We started out the season with two losses, but played a more complete game.

"I thought our defense played outstanding, won the game for us. We won the kicking game. We didn't have a lot of offense, but still, 17 points is good.

"I thought our guys up front played well -- Sam Bennett, Jeremy Salazar, Ellis Cook, Chris Davis, and our linebackers did a nice job. Justin Doss and Nick Marlowe on the outside, and Bryce Hostetler and Travis McBryde in the middle were flying around.

"Shane Kesler's interception at the eight was huge. That was a momentum shifter, allowed us to run some time off the clock, which was our main focus.

"And Nick Marlowe made a nice catch on his touchdown, in between two defenders, then a great effort to get across the goal line. The kids stepped up and made plays, lots made big plays.

"The kids had a lot of fight in them. It's one the seniors will always remember," Bishop said.

Tiger coach Bill Gotto said, "We didn't move the ball on the ground very well, but Austin McCullough stood in their, threw the ball. That was our best means of moving it.

"We had two touchdowns in the last quarter, but failed on that 2-point conversion.

"On defense, Gary Smith, a 160-lb. defensive tackle, showed a lot of quickness and hustle. He had a big game, made plays behind the line of scrimmage.

"Robbie Ness had six catches for 90 yards, which is a pretty good night. He was our leading receiver. We pass blocked better than we run blocked.

"When we were down 17-3 we still had to establish the running game, but mixed passes to get down the field. Austin McCullough got us back in the game.

"On that last extra point, we tried a mis-direction pass, but Austin tripped. There was less room to operate, but we didn't execute. Berryville did a good job defensively."

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