SGC 5-0 after trouncing Bobcats 36-22
By Logan Watson
The Hornets earned their first Region win of the season Friday night, bowling over a talented McNairy Central team with their ground-and-pound style of offense. The Bobcats proved to be SGC’s toughest opponents yet, putting up one heck of a fight with an impressive passing game and imposing offensive line.
The Hornets took the lead early, dominating the first quarter with two big touchdown runs from Dustin Moore: a huge 37-yard end zone run and a two-yard goal-line crash. Two successful PAT’s from kicker Zach Sellers gave South Gibson a 14-0 lead.
After forcing a punt on the Bobcats’ next drive, the Hornets’ special teams unit thrilled/terrified the fans when punt returner Calem Rich ran into some resistance from MCHS. Three defenders converged on Rich, who then tossed the ball over his head to a waiting Dre McAllister. The unexpected move bought McAllister almost ten yards on the return, which set SGC up for another march to the end zone. Moore spread the ball around to the Hornets’ running backs and hit McAllister with a nice pass before punching the ball up the middle on a three-yard keeper for his third TD of the game.
Hornet wrecking ball C.J. Sharp penetrated the Bobcats’ goal line defense before the end of the half on a short touchdown run and, along with Sellers’ PAT, pushed South Gibson’s lead to 27-0.
Not content to lie down and be skinned, the Bobcats mounted an offensive in the final seconds of the first half, connecting for multiple passes and keeping the SGC secondary on its toes. Bobcat QB Dylan Crabb connected with an 11-yard pass that finally put McNairy Central on the board with seven seconds left before the break. The half ended with mixed emotions for the Hornets after the horn sounded in the middle of what could have been a 78-yard touchdown return by Rudy Jenkins, who was brought down just inches away from the goal line.
The Bobcats’ OL did a good job of protecting their QB, allowing no sacks and only two tackles for loss against the aggressive Hornets defense. Crabb is definitely a threat in the pocket, connecting for 227 passing yards and three TD’s. Even though this was the first pass-heavy offense that the Hornets had faced this season, the Big Orange Wall held together, limiting MCHS to only 20 completions out of 44 attempts.
The Bobcats managed to stifle the typically explosive South Gibson running game, but the boys in orange made up for it with hard running, bouncing off of the defense and breaking tackles for additional yardage on a number of plays. The Hornets clocked 254 rushing yards on the night, led by QB Dustin Moore, who forced his way downfield for 95 big yards on 13 carries. Dre McAllister logged 89 yards on 5 carries, and CJ Sharp pounded out 56 yards on 17 carries, proving that you might be able to wrap the Hornets up, but they will never stop coming at you.
Two drives into the second half, the Hornets fought their way into field goal range, opting for an easy three points instead of a possible turnover on downs. Sellers threaded the uprights, pushing the score to 30-7 in favor of SGC.
Central caught the Hornets off guard on their next possession, hitting a wide-open receiver in the end zone with a 39-yard pass and completing a successful two point conversion, cutting South Gibson’s lead in half.
The teams swapped TD’s in the fourth quarter, with McAllister bouncing off of two Bobcats in the backfield for a 14-yard dash across the goal line and Crabb connecting for his third TD pass of the night, but the Hornets dictated the pace as the minutes ticked away. Crabb lobbed bomb after bomb downfield in an effort to milk the clock, but a costly fumble just inches from the goal line was recovered by SGC to end the Bobcats’ last-chance drive. The Bobcats burned through their timeouts to keep SGC from eating too much of the clock and forced a punt, but Aalyc Walker came through with a huge interception to drive the final nail in the Bobcats’ two-game win streak.
“Overall, we played really well for a solid 26 minutes,” said Hornets Head Coach Scott Stidham. “They did a good job and made some great plays, but we were able to put a little pressure on their quarterback and break up some passes. They’re a very well-coached team.”
The Hornets will take a break this week to prepare for the second half of their season, five straight Region games, beginning with Homecoming against South Side on September 30. The Hornets will use this experience against McNairy’s arial assault to prepare for upcoming games against Milan and Liberty.
“We’re going to take this time to work on our coverage and better fits for the blitzes that we ran to get ready for some tough Region opponents,” said Coach Stidham.