Three turnovers spelled doom for the Bell County Bobcats Friday as they opened the season with a 21-7 loss at Lexington Catholic.
“It was the turnover bug that got us again, just like last year (a 33-27 Lex Cath win),” said Bobcat coach Wayne Mills. “We outgained them. We had the ball inside the five-yard line twice and came away empty and we gave them one score from about ten yards out off a special teams mistake.
“They’ve got a heck of a football team, as good as anybody on our schedule. When you turn it over against a great team like that you just don’t give yourselves a chance.”
Knight quarterback Kyle Bolin, a Louisville commit, completed 17-of-31 passes for 213 yards and three touchdowns.
Early on the Bobcats held him in check. After giving up a first down on 13-yard pass, Bell held Bolin to two incompletions and then Dylan Cox intercepted him.
Bell drove down the field but lost a fumble on the five.
The Bobcats eventually took the lead as Ryan Collett scored on a 13-yard run with 8:26 to play in the second quarter. Hayen Gilbert’s extra point made it 7-0.
The Knights answered back as Bolin hit Sam Letton with a short pass that the freshman turned into a 46-yard touchdown. Bobby Jacoby’s kick tied the game at 7.
Bell County was able to keep the ball with their running game. Jonathan Polly finished with 79 yards on 17 carries and Collett ended up with 69 yards on 21 runs.
Quarterback Corey Oslonian had a pretty nice game throwing the ball himself. The senior completed 6-of-10 passes for 152 yards.
But the Bobcats just couldn’t turn the production into points.
Late in the first half, Bell’s Gilbert was tackled for a loss on a punt attempt and the Knights were set up with great field position. They capitalized quickly as Bolin hooked up with Braxton Couch on a 17-yard touchdown pass. Nathan Burke caught the conversion pass and Catholic took a 15-7 lead into halftime.
Bell County dominated the time of possession in the third quarter but lost another fumble deep in Knight territory and were stopped on fourth down at the 15.
“We had a chance to tie it up, but they defended a pass play,” Mills said.
The score remained 15-7 until David Bouvier scored on on a 7-yard pass from Bolin with 1:16 left in the game. Bouvier led Lexington Catholic with nine catches for 100 yards. The conversion pass failed and the final score was 21-7.
Mills was pleased with Bell’s defensive effort in holding the Knights to 21 points.
“We really did a good job defensively. We took away the run, but (Bolin) is as good as advertised. He made college throws tonight that we probably won’t see the rest of the year,” he said. “You can’t fault our effort, we just came up a little short.”
Bell County (0-1) will be back in Lextington next Friday to take on Bryan Station as part of the iHigh Football Frenzy, that game will kick off at 6 p.m.
Lexington Catholic (1-0) hosts Ensworth, Tenn., in the Bluegrass Bowl next Saturday night in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
— — —
Bell County 0 7 0 0— 7
Lexington Catholic 0 15 0 7—21
BC—Ryan Collett 13 run (Hayden Gilbert kick)
LC—Sam Letton 46 pass from Kyle Bolin (Bobby Jacoby kick)
LC—Braxton Couch 17 pass from Bolin (Nathan Burke pass from Bolin)
LC—David Bouvier 7 pass from Bolin. (Pass failed).