Bobcats bite Lions 28-6
A week after posting their biggest win of the year over Earle, Manila Junior Lions got overpowered by a physical Corning Bobcat team in a 28-6 3A-3 conference loss Thursday night at Manila.
The two teams battled on even terms throughout the first quarter until Corning got on the board with 5:23 left in the opening half when Bobcat running back Russell Cox scored from eight yards out for a 6-0 lead.
Manila tied the score with just 23 seconds remaining in the first half on a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Sam Hubbard to Dylan Bogle. The two point conversion attempt failed, leaving the game knotted at 6-6.
Cox brought the visiting crowd to its feet on the ensuring kickoff, rambling 45 yards to the lion 30 yard line with just 13 seconds left before intermission. Following an incomplete pass, Bobcat quarterback Korey Smith hooked up with freshman Ty Prater, who made a sensational diving catch at the Lion two yard line with just two seconds left prior to intermission. The first down stopped the clock, allowing Corning to set up for one last play. Running back Daniel Crossen barreled in as the halftime horn sounded, giving the Bobcats a 12-6 lead. Cox's two point conversion run upped the margin to 14-6, as the two teams headed into the dressing room.
Corning opened the second half with another spectacular kickoff return, this time by Prater, who rambled 65 yards to the Lion 10 yard line, setting up a first and goal. Two plays later, Prater scooted in on a six yard run, and added the two point conversion, giving the Bobcats a 22-6 lead with 6:20 left in the third period.
The Bobcats tacked on one last score with just 1:13 left in the game when Smith scampered into the end zone from 11 yards out for a 28-6 Corning advantage.
Corning finished the night with 150 yards on the ground, as four different Bobcats crossed the goal line. Crossen led Corning with 10 rushes for 65 yards. Smith carried four times for 32 yards, Prater had eight rushes for 29 yards while Cox toted the ball five times for 22 yards. Smith completed two of four passes for 37 yards, as the Bobcats completed the night with 187 yards of total offense on 30 plays.
Manila gained 130 yards on 28 plays, including 107 yards on the ground. Bogle led Manila in rushing with eight carries for 44 yards while Jordan Brewer carried seven times for 27 yards. Hubbard had five rushes for 26 yards. The eighth grader completed three of six passes for 23 yards and a touchdown, along with two interceptions. Bogle caught one pass for 10 yards and a score while Colby Williams had one catch for 11 yards. Zach Reinhart caught one pass for two yards.
"I was very disappointed tonight after last week's big win," said Lion Coach Jason Durham. "We just didn't come out ready to play. The quality of opponent stepped up tonight and we didn't match their intensity. Corning is a real physical team. We talked about that all week, but we just didn't match their physicality. The kickoff return right before the first half was a backbreaker, and then they hit the big pass and got the last play off before the clock ran out. That gave them all the momentum going into halftime and we just never recovered."
Manila travels to Piggott Thursday night to take on the Mohawks. Kickoff is set for 7:00.