CORBIN — Bell County’s running game was in mid-season form Thursday at the SEKC Gridorama. The Bobcats got touchdown runs of two and 11 yards from Austin Caldwell and short plunges from Nathan Collett and Josh Allen as they outscored Clay County 25-7 in their scrimmage.
“I felt like our line blocked pretty good up front and our backs blocked for each other. That bunch pulls for each other and when they’re blocking for each other it’s fun to watch. All of the backs did a super job,” Bobcat coach Wayne Mills said. “For the most part Peyton (Collett) did a nice job throwing the ball. He got good protection that allowed him time to complete a few.”
Bell opened the scrimmage, which consisted of two 20-minute halves, with a long 70-yard drive. Chase Woolum had a couple of nice runs and Collett completed a couple of passes to keep the chains moving. Nathan Collett capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown run up the middle.
Clay County broke a couple of big plays on their following drive and got down to the Bobcat 18 before turning the ball over on downs. Bell again ate up a large chunk of the clock by going 82 yards on 12 plays.
Caldwell had runs of 27 and 14 yards and Collett hooked up with Evan Brock for a 24-yard gain. Caldwell’s two-yard touchdown run and Dylan Cox’s kick made it 13-0 with 5:04 to go in the half.
“Austin looked good and I thought Chase Woolum really got us started with some big runs early,” Mills said. “Evan Brock came in as a change of pace back and did some good stuff for us. Corey Swanner got his several carries, we’re going with kind of a committee approach and all of those kids are good backs.”
Clay County’s Andrew Hubbard found a seam and got free for a 38-yard gain to get the next Tiger drive going. Quarterback Chance Smith eventually scored on seven-yard keeper to make it 13-7 with 1:56 to play in the half.
“Defensively we kind of got caught running around a couple of times. You know, it’s easy when you’re standing out there behind them in practice telling them what to do. This was their first time being out there on their own under the lights and they forget sometimes what they’re taught,” Mills said. “We got their attention, though. They know that defense wins championships and well clean that up next week and play better on that side of the ball.”
The Bobcats were able to score again before the end of the half. Woolum rumbled for 29 yards, Brock had runs of 11 and 10 yards and took a pass from Collett for another 11-yard gain to set up a first down at the Tiger 11. Caldwell scored from there, using a subtle cut to get outside and going into the end zone untouched to make it 19-7.
Both teams went with their younger players in the second half and Bell County scored again on a three-yard run from Josh Allen with 5:38 to play that set the final score at 25-7.
Bell County opens the regular season next Friday at South Pittsburg, Tenn.