Turnovers cost Bobcats in loss to Gentry

Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Senior Jaeden Tanksley, pictured in a game earlier this season, scored one of Berryville’s two touchdowns in a 21-15 loss to Gentry last Friday. The Bobcats travel to Elkins this week.
Charles Chappell / CCImages.PhotoShelter.com

The Berryville Bobcats found their rhythm offensively in the second half last Friday at Gentry, but by then it was too late as the Pioneers held on for a 21-15 victory.

Gentry led 14-0 at halftime and extended that margin to 21-0 with a 49-yard touchdown run less than a minute into the second half.

“We had four turnovers that killed us,” Berryville coach Bryan Hutson said. “Three of them were inside their 20-yard line going in to score. We felt like we maybe let one slip away. That was one where we played well enough on both sides to win and we just made some mistakes. You can’t turn the ball over.”

Berryville’s offense finally broke through with a 3-yard touchdown run by senior Jaeden Tanksley early in the fourth quarter. The Bobcats’ two-point conversion cut Gentry’s lead 21-8, then senior Rob Boaz recovered an onside kick to give the football right back to Berryville at the Gentry 45. Tanksley broke free for a 30-yard run to the 15, but two plays later, the Pioneers intercepted a Berryville pass to end the drive.

Later in the fourth quarter, a partially blocked punt gave the Bobcats great field position at the Gentry 29, and Berryville cashed in with a 4-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Chris Hipps with 4:11 remaining in the game. The extra-point kick cut the Pioneers’ lead to 21-15.

Gentry held the ball the rest of the way, however, converting a third down with less than a minute remaining to clinch the victory.

Berryville’s record dropped to 1-4, but two of those losses have been frustratingly close for Hutson and the Bobcats. Berryville lost to Greenland 22-21 on Sept. 17 in a game marked by several questionable officiating calls.

“We’ve got to get over it,” Hutson said. “We’ve got a tough team coming in here Friday. But we’ve had two really heartbreaking close losses. We’ve got to find a way to put it behind us and move on.”

This week’s opponent — Elkins — will be very familiar to Hutson. He spent the past three seasons as the Elks’ head coach, leading them to a 20-13 record and three consecutive state playoff appearances.

“Elkins was off the week that we played Greenland and probably 20 of their players came and sat in the Berryville stands and really supported and cheered for our team,” Hutson said. “It’ll be neat to see those kids again.”

Elkins will bring in a 4-0 record, coming off a 34-14 victory over Huntsville. The Elks are averaging more than 41 points a game.

“I know what kind of ballplayers they were last year,” Hutson said. “And, you know, unfortunately, they’re pretty good. I don’t know if there’s any advantage — I definitely know their strengths and who’s good at what, but they’re all-around a pretty good football team.”

Kickoff time is 7 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium in Berryville.

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