LOG MOUNTAIN — Bell County took advantage of a couple of early turnovers and made a quick 21-0 lead stand up as the Bobcats beat Wayne County 21-7 Friday to get a leg up in District 4-3A.
Both defenses gave a strong performance with the Cardinals holding Bell to just 125 yards on 43 rushing attempts. They registered four sacks to account for negative 31 yards. Meanwhile the Bobcats forced four turnovers and held Wayne County to 89 rushing yards and 72 passing yards.
The defensive fireworks came early for Bell County as Hayden Gilbert intercepted the first Cardinal pass of the game, Dylan Cox recovered a muffed punt and Ben Collett recovered a fumble on a kick return, all in the first quarter.
Senior running back Jonathan Polly led the Bobcats with 104 yards on 18 carries and scored the first points of the night on a 12-yard pass from Peyton Collett. Gilbert booted the extra point and Bell led 7-0 at the 9:40 mark of the first quarter.
Ryan Collett cashed in the next turnover as he scored on a 13-yard run just over a minute later and it was 14-0 with 8:13 to play in the quarter.
Ryan Collett scored again later in the period on a 17-yard run. The touchdown was set up when Cox drew a pass interference penalty and the Bobcat lead was 21-0 with 2:33 still to go in the opening period. Collett finished with 49 yards on 17 carries.
Wayne County got on the board early in the second quarter as Junior Ruiz capped a short drive with a one-yard plunge. Ruiz added the point after to cut the lead to 21-7 with 9:19 remaining in the first half and neither team would score again the rest of the night.
Ruiz finished with 46 yards on nine carries while Cody Rhule added 45 yards on 12 rushes. Logan Gardner caught four passes for 54 yards in the game.
Gardner was 0-for-2 passing with the interception to Gilbert and Tyler Guffey didn’t fare much better in the early going as his first five passes were incomplete. Guffey finished 7-of-21 for 72 yards.
After the early touchdown and pass interference penalty, the Bell passing game was held in check with Peyton Collett finishing 3-of-10 for 37 yards with an interception. Brandon Spade’s 22-yard catch led the team.
The district race should come into pretty clear focus next week as Bell County (3-1, 1-0 in district play) travels to Casey County while Wayne County (5-1, 0-1) visits Corbin.
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Wayne County0700 — 7
Bell County21000 — 21
BC- Jonathan Polly 12 pass from Peyton Collett (Hayden Gilbert kick)
BC- Ryan Collett 13 run (Gilbert kick)
BC- RCollett 17 run (Gilbert kick)
WC- Junior Ruiz 1 run (Ruiz kick)
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Wayne County (29-89) — Junior Ruiz 9-46, Cody Rhule 12-45, Logan Gardner 3-4, Chris Clem 1-(-1), Tyler Guffey 2-(-9); Bell County (43-125) — Jonathan Polly 18-104, Ryan Collett 17-49, Shane Lawson 4-3, Peyton Collett 4-(-31).
Wayne County — Guffey 7-21-0-72, Gardner 0-2-1-0; Bell County — PCollett 3-10-1-37.
Wayne County — Gardner 4-54, Ruiz 1-6, Jason Perkins 1-6, Dagan Shelton 1-6; Bell County — Brandon Spade 1-22, Polly 1-12, Ben Collett 1-3.