PCHS downs CherokeePublished 11:46pm Friday, October 5, 2012
For the FCT
CHEROKEE — Two late defensive stands for Phil Campbell preserved the Bobcats’ first region win of the 2012 season, as Phil Campbell defeated the Cherokee Indians 28-21 on Friday, Oct. 5, in Cherokee.
The Bobcats’ win came without the services of star runningback Craig Saint, who was out for the game with an injury.
“What a huge win it was for us,” said Phil Campbell head coach Jason Hill. “For us to do this without Craig was so huge. All week, we told our kids to make something happen—to quit waiting for someone to give you an opportunity and take it. And we did that tonight.”
The Bobcats came out fast, stopping the Indians on three straight plays on Cherokee’s first possession.
Phil Campbell took over on its own five-yard line, but an encroachment penalty helped give the Bobcats some breathing room. Tough running set up a third-and-three at the 31, and quarterback Jacob Hamilton found receiver Jamie Dorroh, who evaded several Indian defenders en route to a 69-yard touchdown reception. The extra-point from Clayton Harris made the score 7-0.
Cherokee’s next possession saw the Indians drive deep into Bobcat territory, but a fumble on a first-down run gave the Bobcats’ possession on their own 29.
The Hamilton-to-Dorroh connection worked again, as a third-down pass went for 43 yards to the Indian 21, and another hook-up moved the ball to the five. Two plays later, Tristen Godsey plunged in from one-yard out to make the score 13-0.
The Indians responded with a big play of their own, as runningback Jeffrey Patrick sped past the Bobcat defenders for a 57-yard touchdown. The extra-point was no good, making the score 13-6.
Phil Campbell was forced to punt on its next possession, and Cherokee responded, with several big runs moving the ball deep into Bobcat territory.
However, the Bobcat defense held on four plays from inside the 10, taking possession at their own six.
Two plays later, however, Indian defender Jolly Benjamin got past the Bobcat front to force a safety, making the score 13-8. Cherokee tried a Hail Mary on the last play of the first half, but Colton Vickery intercepted the pass to end the threat.
The Bobcats took possession to begin the second half, and this time Dorroh used his running ability, as a 46-yard run moved the ball to the 15-yard line. Three plays later, Hamilton called his own number and raced in from 11 yards out. His two-point pass on a fake extra-point attempt found a wide-open Casey Galloway, making the score 21-8.
However, the Bobcats’ defense would commit three personal foul penalties on the next drive, and Cherokee took advantage, as Patrick scored on a 20-yard run to make the score 21-15.
The two teams exchanged punts, but on Cherokee’s punt, the Bobcat rush got in and blocked the punt, giving Phil Campbell excellent field position at the Indian 20.
Two plays later, however, the Bobcats fumbled and Indian Isaac Holloway returned the ball to the Bobcat 39.
Seven plays later, the Indians scored on a one-yard run from Dakota Blystone. On the extra-point, however, the Bobcats’ rush struck again, blocking the extra-point to keep the score tied at 21.
A huge return on the ensuing kickoff from Dorroh gave Phil Campbell the ball on the Cherokee 39. A six-yard run from Galloway and another six-yard run from Colby Sparks gave the Bobcats the ball on the 27.
On the next play, Hamilton found David Sparks in the middle of the Indian defense, and he did the rest, racing in from 27 yards out. Harris’ extra-point made the score 28-21.
The Indians had two drives left in them. The first one ended as Ty Sumerel raced up from his cornerback position to drill Patrick on a fourth-and-three run at the Bobcat 25.
The Indians’ last possession saw them reach the Bobcat 32, but a desperation heave was picked off by Cory Potter to seal the win for the Bobcats.
“Our guys never quit, even after they came back to tie it up,” said Hill. “We showed signs of resiliency against Phillips last week, but we just couldn’t make the stops. This week, we did.”
The Bobcats finished the game with 301 yards of total offense. Dorroh had 139 yards receiving on four receptions and 60 yards rushing on five carries. Hamilton finished the night six-of-12 for 185 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions.
The Bobcats allowed 301 yards of offense to the Indians, but did force three turnovers and had two fourth-down stops.
The Bobcats (2-4, 1-3 in 2A, Region 8 play) face Lexington next Friday night at Parrish Stadium.
“Coach (Jason) Lard does an excellent job there, and they’re a very physical team,” said Hill. “We’re going to have to be extra physical in practice this week to prepare for their physical onslaught.”