VALLEY — To paraphrase the great sports writer Grantland Rice, “Its’ not whether you win or lose, it’s that you got to play the game”. The Beulah Bobcats got to play a game tonight. After not being able to play their first three games of the season because of coronavirus concerns, the Bobcats got to open their season Friday night at home in Bobcat Stadium. The Bobcats took on the Trinity Presbyterian Wildcats from Montgomery. After waiting that long to play, it was almost poetic that the Bobcats scored on their first play from scrimmage. But the fairytale story would end there, as Trinity would go on to score the next 50 points and defeat the Bobcats 50-7.
“We were excited to be out here. I was so happy for the kids. This has been the longest summer camp we could have. One thing is for sure, we will never take for granted that we will be playing football in the fall again. It’s a privilege. We are so fortunate to finally get to play,” said interim head coach Thomas Hill. He was interim head coach, as head coach Matt Johnson and another Bobcat coach were having to quarantine.
Beulah took the field for the first time this year in all black uniforms, with their gold numbers and white headgear. The Bobcats ran onto the field carrying a number of American flags, fittingly on the 19th anniversary of 9/11. Stanley Washington received the opening kickoff and set up the Bobcats on their own 27-yard line. They were set up for their first offensive play of the year. It was a great one. Kaleb Abney took the snap, ran the option, faking to his back and kept the ball running around the left end. He broke loose down the sideline, then angled back across the field, just crossing the goal line as he was being tackled for the first score. It was a 73-yard run for Abney, who would end up with over 100 yards rushing for the game.
Trinity came right back on the next series behind the running of Mac McClinton. He picked up 36 yards on the drive, scoring on a 17-yard run to tie the game 7-7. The Wildcats took the lead on the next series, as a Beulah fumble was picked up for a scoop and score to make it 14-7. The Wildcats found the end zone again on their next possession to take a 21-7 lead.
Beulah started to make a comeback late in the first quarter. Starting on their own 27 yard line, Jacori Tarver broke loose for a thirty yard gain, getting to the outside and tight roping down the sideline until he fell out of bounds. The Bobcats picked up more yardage and another run by Abney had the Bobcats facing a fourth and one inside the Wildcat side of the field. On fourth down, the Bobcats were stopped for no gain. That play sent momentum all the way to the Trinity sideline. On the next play John-David Bonner completed a 63 yard pass to Jake Hufham, down to the 10 yard line. Only a great hustle play by the Bobcat secondary kept that from being a touchdown. But the Wildcat duo hooked up on the next play, a fade route for the score.
Then disaster struck, as the Bobcats fumbled the ensuing kickoff. One play later the Wildcats scored on another pass. What had been a tight 21-7 game had turned into a 36-7 game, in just under a minute. Another score right before the half made it 43-7. Beulah had moved the ball in the quarter with Abney and running back Stanley Washington, who had 36 yards rushing in the second quarter alone, they just couldn’t get the big play they needed and had too many mistakes.
“It was our first game of the season, and we had a lot of first game mistakes. We made too many little mistakes that costs us. Those two fumble hurt in the first half,” said Hill. Another one of those mistakes, a fumble late in the game led to the final score making the final 50-7.
Beulah will travel next week to take on Montgomery Catholic. Trinity Presbyterian will take on Pike County at home.
Score by Quarters
Trinity 21 22 0 7 — 50
Beulah 7 0 0 0 — 7
B: Abney 73 run (PAT good) 11:41
T: McClinton 17 run (PAT good)
T: Ellis 14 rumble recovery (PAT good) 8:23
T: Stanley 2 run (PAT good) 4:16
T: Hufham 10 pass Bonner ( 2 point) 10:33
T: Roberson 17 pass Bonner (PAT good) 10:19
T: Lerner 5 run (PAT good) 4:11
T: Walter McClinton 5 run (PAT good) 5:12
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