In both teams opening game of SOC I play, the Green Bobcats defeated the East Tartans 16-8 in a hot and humid game in Franklin Furnace.
The sun started to creep behind the western hills in the distance at about the same time as the game’s first score when Green running back Alec Smith took the ball 94 yards to the house, giving the Bobcats the 8-0 lead with 7:21 left in the first quarter after Lonnie Smith successfully converted the two point conversion attempt. That long run came after the Tartans fumbled the ball on the one yard line in the opening drive of Friday night’s contest. Turnovers would be an issue throughout the night as the humidity made the ball slippery for both rushing oriented offenses.
“Just too many mistakes” said Tartans head coach Matt Miller following his team’s loss Friday night, “I think we ended up with four or five fumbles, fumbled twice at the one yard line. But I’m proud of the way they played. And I will take that effort every day and twice on Sundays. I’m just extremely proud of the way we played, scoreboard didn’t turn out our way, but that’s all I can ask for is that they give it their all.”
The Tartans would make the game very interesting coming down the stretch as running back Kyle Flannery scored East’s first offensive touchdown of the season on a one yard touchdown rush with 4:16 left in the third quarter. Flannery also converted the Tartans two point conversion attempt, tying the game at 8-8. The touchdown was set up by a Green fumble on the goal line with 4:58 left in the third.
After the changing of possession for both sides, the Bobcats would ultimately make their game winning drive halfway through the fourth quarter. Quarterback Trevor Darnell kept the ball on the Bobcats 4th and 1 conversion for a 17 yard rush with 6:40 left in Friday night’s contest. Substituted fullback Rickie Nash made a huge two yard pickup for Green on a 3rd and 1 at the 11 yard line to give the Bobcats another drive extending first down.
The very next play, Alec Smith once again found a hole in the Tartans defense and scampered in the end zone for the second time on the night, this time from nine yards out. “Their defense came out ready to play” said Smith following his two touchdown performance in their week two victory, 16-8, “I honestly didn’t expect them to come out and play like that. You could see in their defense that they really wanted to beat us. It was a tough battle for us, it was tough running the ball. I just had to keep my head up, and all thanks to my (offensive) line. I couldn’t have done it without them.” Smith converted their two point conversion attempt for the final score of the game, giving the Bobcats the 16-8 victory. Smith finished the game with fourteen carries, 170 yards, and two rushing touchdowns.
Green head coach Ted Newsome was very pleased with Smith’s performance against the Tartans. “He saved our rear ends” said Newsome, “He really did. He made the plays we had to have. He’s still not reached his full potential. He’s got some things he can continue to work on, and I think you’ll see a lot of improvement coming out of him.”
The Bobcats improve to 4-0 on the season and 1-0 to open up SOC I play. Green will host the Symmes Valley Vikings next Friday night in Franklin Furnace in another SOC I battle. For Newsome, his goal is to take each game one at a time and to instill that mindset in his players. “It’s a one game season for us” said Newsome, “But we need to kick it up a notch as coaches and make sure they understand that. It has to be all about Symmes Valley from this point on and we really have to make sure our preparation is flawless.”
The Tartans will travel to Manchester next week in search of their first victory of the 2018 season.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT