Bobcats hope to get back on winning track
by Jay Compton Sports Editor
The Bell County Bobcats will be looking to get back on the winning track this evening as they host Casey County in a Class 3A, District 4 match-up.
Bell failed to take advantage of some early opportunities in last week’s game at Wayne County and the Cardinals made them pay as they rolled to a 41-6 win. Point-wise, it was the worst loss the Bobcats have suffered in many years.
“We started the game out well and had a chance to go up 14-0, but laid it on the field and had turnovers early. (Wayne County) kind of got hot and it shell-shocked us, really. We got down 21-0 and our kids kind of gave up on themselves,” Bobcat coach Wayne Mills said. “Wayne County has a solid football team, but I don’t think they’re really that much better than us. When you take a young football team and they get down on themselves like that, it just steamrolls. We just flat gave up and it got ugly.”
Bell twice had the ball down around the Cardinal 10-yard line early in the first quarter. First they were stopped on downs, then after getting an interceptions, the Bobcats lost a fumble. Soon after Wayne County hit a big 91-yard pass for a touchdown. They later recovered an onside kick after going up 14-0 and the lead snowballed from there.
Mills said he saw signs that last week might not go well.
“Looking back, we had a terrible week of practice. Our quarterback didn’t take a snap all week long, we had kids we thought were going to get to play but didn’t get released. I knew Wayne County had a good football team. They had never beat Bell and when they smelled blood in the water they just poured it on and they were going to make us like it,” he said.
He also said that he doesn’t’expect his team to have any trouble putting the loss behind them.
“I don’t think it will be a problem. This is a prideful bunch of boys and I think we’ll come out and play inspired football,” said Mills. “There’s a lot of football left to be played and it starts (tonight) for us. We want to go and try to win our fans back and let them know that we’re still a good football team.”
Bell County (3-3, 0-1) hosts a Casey County (1-4, 1-0) team coming off their first win of the season. The Cardinals blasted McCreary Central 61-6 last week in their district opener. Earlier in the season they suffered a one-point loss to Taylor County and lost in more lopsided fashion to Garrard County, Russell County and Lincoln County.
“Casey is not a bad football team, they’re probably better than they were last year. They’ve played some teams close early, but they’re young and just not strong enough yet to finish,” Mills said.
The coach added that the Bobcats haven’t been worried about who their opponent is, they’re just trying to improve the areas they need to improve on.
“Our only focus this week has been about the Bobcats. I don’t care whether we’re playing the Dallas Cowboys or we’re playing the K-2 league, our focus is on us,” Mills said. “We owe it to ourselves to play a complete ballgame on offense, defense and special teams. I’ve challenged our kids to show me just how good we can play.”
Bell County has gotten some better news on the injury front this week. Junior safety/receiver/kicker Hayden Gilbert is fully recovered from his concussion and is a full go for tonight. Junior tight end/defensive Dylan Cox may play some, but is still limited with a shoulder injury. Sophomore quarterback Peyton Collett is close to 100-percent after playing through the last two games with a knee sprain.
“Peyton was about 75 percent last week and he really showed a lot of toughness just to play in that ballgame. He’s a lot better this week,” Mills said. “We’ve just got to go and get this ole nasty feeling out of our gut and go win a ballgame.”
Tonight’s game kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
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