Just a few weeks after the varsity Bobcats started the year off with a win over, 515 rival Fannin, the junior varsity squad looked for the same result as Gilmer JV’s hosted the Rebels on Thursday night. Gilmer would indeed come away victorious, taking the game 35-12.
Gilmer kicked off to start the game and the Rebels returned it to the Fannin 32-yard line. The Rebels found a little success early, but a penalty and two incomplete passes brought its drive to a halt. A bad snap sent the punter scrambling and the “Cats” were able to bring him down and get the ball with good field position.
With the ball in Rebel territory, Matthew Waddell got things started with a six yard carry. Ten yard carries by Kamron Engler and Gabe Tutton had the “Cats” inside the 10-yard line. Waddell had the first score of the game on the very next play, a seven yard run at the 4:27 mark in the first quarter. Rodrigo Casas came on to attempt the PAT and converted, giving Gilmer a 7-0 lead.
Fannin looked to get things going on its next drive, but found this to be a tough task against a stingy Gilmer defense. Josh White and Casey Dyer made big tackles to force a fourth and long that the Rebels decided to go for. The intended receiver was able to get open, but the ball was thrown behind him and the “Cats” took over at the Fannin 40-yard line.
Tyler Buntin ran a quarterback keeper for 12 yards, and then a personal foul call on the Rebels tacked on another 15 yards. The “Cats” again found itself seven yards from the end zone, and this time Engler answered the call with a touchdown run off the right tackle.
A bad snap on the PAT turned into a two-point conversion when Buntin improvised, ran right, and avoided Rebel defenders to get into the end zone; with nine seconds left in the first quarter, the Bobcats was ahead 15-0.
The Rebels finally moved the ball down the field on the next drive. The last play of the first quarter featured a screen play that ended up going all the way down to the Bobcat 18-yard line.
With the Rebels knocking on the door, Gilmer came up big, by recovering a Fannin fumble at the 8-yard line.
The Gilmer drive was an interesting one. After Waddell and Engler were able to move the ball down the field, two false start penalties backed the Cats up and their drive stalled. The first Gilmer punt of the evening came to a rest at about midfield.
A rebel defender decided to try and fall on the ball, but was unsuccessful. His attempt made the ball live, and the Gilmer defense pounced on the loose ball. It didn’t take long for the “Cats” to capitalize, for the offense scored again and Casas made the kick giving Gilmer a 22-0 lead.
Fannin looked to get another drive going, and did just that with a pass play that got the Rebels’ offense inside Gilmer’s 35-yard line. A Josh White tackle was the only thing that kept the Rebels from scoring on that play. The Rebels again went to the air on the next play and the ball was intercepted by the Bobcats.
With just 3:11 left in the half, Gilmer looked to add to its lead. A pass to Kris Reece along with runs from the usual guys had Gilmer in prime position to strike again. With just 24 ticks left on the clock, Waddell found the end zone. A Casas PAT gave Gilmer the halftime lead 29-0.
Gilmer started out the second half the same way it closed the first. Tutton, Waddell, and Engler carried the load, taking the “Cats” all the way down to the Rebel 2-yard line. Ryan Davis got the call and scored for Gilmer. The PAT was no good, but the lead was still 35-0.
Gilmer’s offense would not produce any more points on the night. A long 57-yard touchdown by the Rebels in the third quarter was the only time the starting defense would allow any points. The Rebels would score again near the end, but failed to convert the two-point conversion each time. The “Cats” would go on to win 35-12.