The Gilmer High School Bobcats football team traveled to Cass High School to take on the Colonels. Coming off of a bye week, Gilmer was ready to take the field and fight for a win. It was homecoming night for Cass, but the Colonels would fall to the strong option attack of the “Cats,” as Gilmer cruised to a 30-13 win.
Gilmer was set to receive the kickoff to start the game. After the whistle blew, the Colonels tried a sneak attack by attempting an onside kick. Gilmer was on its toes though and recovered the kick, setting up shop on the “Cats” own 40-yard line.
Tyler Bertolini got things started with a ten yard run up the middle. A pair of short runs by Bertolini and Victor Ramirez set up a short third down. Johnie Flakes took the ball up the right side, breaking multiple tackles on his way to an eighteen yard gain.
Flakes, Bertolini, and Ramirez carried the ball down to the 7-yard line before Flakes punched it in. Manny Lopez added on the PAT and the Cats were leading 7-0 with 7:26 to go in the first quarter.
Cass started its drive on its own 28-yard line. Cass’ running back had three tough runs for a hard earned first down. Austin Cole was in the quarterback’s face as he attempted a pass on the next play, and then a gang of Bobcats steamrolled the running back. The drive stalled for the Colonels and Cass was forced to punt.
Gilmer’s next drive was a short-lived three and out. Cass started on its own 47-yard line. The first play resulted in a fumble recovered by the “Cats,” but a false start killed the play.
After slowly marching down the field, the Colonels faced a fourth and short. The quarterback kept the ball and tried to get to the outside. He was hit by Flakes in the backfield though, and a slew of other Bobcats showed up to drive him to the ground.
The “Cats” again had a three and out and was forced to punt. The ball was fumbled by Cass, but a Colonel was able to jump back on the loose ball. A 5-yard penalty on the Colonels had the Cass offense looking at a first and fifteen from its 30-yard line.
Chad Watkins led the charge with a sack, and then a holding call had the Colonels in a second and 35 situation. The Colonels launched a long pass for 39 yards to pick up the first down. Another long play ended badly for the Colonels as due to a fumble recovered by the “Cats.” Watkins picked up the loose ball and returned it all the way into enemy territory.
Gilmer was able to start with a short field, and looked to take advantage of it. Flakes took the ball and broke a couple of tackles on his way to a fifteen yard gain. Bertolini, Ramirez, and Russell Cochran tried to move the ball forward, but were unsuccessful. The strong leg of Lopez came in to attempt the 29-yard field goal, which he converted. With 5:40 to go in the half, Gilmer was on top 10-0.
Trickery almost cost the Colonels on the kickoff as Cass tried to lateral. This pinned the offense deep, on the Cass 10 yard line. The big play burned the “Cats” again, as Cass picked up over 40 yards on another pass play. A penalty against Gilmer tacked on another 15 yards and Cass was in position to score. With just 0:34.4 on the clock, Cass punched it in and made the PAT. Gilmer was now leading 10-7.
The second half started with both teams changing possession back and forth. Neither team was able to get anything going in the third quarter, but once the fourth quarter began, the points began to pile on.
Gilmer started the fourth quarter in the same way it started the game, with a long drive that ate up some game clock. Flakes had some big runs, Cass committed two penalties, and Ramirez did his part to get the “Cats” down to the 4-yard line. Flakes took the ball again, and found the end zone for the second time. The PAT was missed, and the Cats led 16-7 with 7:14 to go in the game.
Cass had a big return on the kickoff, all the way into Bobcat territory. A fifteen yard penalty on the “Cats” set the Colonels up with a first down on the Gilmer 27-yard line. The Cass quarterback mishandled the snap on what looked to be a promising Colonels’ drive. The Bobcats pounced on the fumble, and with a Cass penalty, started the next drive on its 44-yard line.
The “Cats” picked up a few first downs. Cass committed a personal foul, then had an unsportsmanlike penalty and the “Cats” were knocking on the door, as the offense was sitting ten yards from the end zone. The next play featured a Flakes ten yard run for a touchdown, his third of the evening. The PAT was successful and GHS led Cass 23-7 with just 4:33 left in the game.
Cass made quick work of their next drive. Starting with good field position, the Colonels converted two long passes down to the Gilmer 9-yard line. Cass scored on a quick slant, and failed on a two-point conversion attempt. Gilmer was up 23-13 with 2:48 remaining.
A confusing onside kick that appeared to be recovered by the Colonels was deemed to be recovered by the Cats. Bertolini had three straight carries down to the Cass 16-yard line. And a timeout was taken by Cass with 1:21 to go.
Flakes continued his massive game with a scamper all the way to the end zone, scoring his fourth touchdown of the night. With Lopez connecting on the PAT, the Cats led 30-13 with 1:16 left in the game.
Garret Rigdon ended any hope that Cass had left when he intercepted a pass on the Gilmer 42. The “Cats’” offense entered the victory formation and kneeled the clock out.
Flakes led the Cats in rushing with 151 yards on 15 carries and four touchdowns. Bertolini finished with 78 yards on 16 carries.
Multiple Cats recorded several tackles each, with Nathan Bradley, Austin Cole, Jake Ingram, and Cody Richards each recording a sack.
Gilmer (5-1) plays host to Pickens (4-2) this Friday and looks to stay undefeated in sub-region play.