The Gilmer High School Bobcats football team officially opened the season hosting long-time rival, the Rebels of Fannin County High School. The Bobcats did not a miss a beat, coming in on the heels of last year’s state tournament berth, as the Bobcats beat the Rebels soundly, giving up only one score in a 41-7 sound victory.
The route of the Rebels began early with a 70 yard interception return by Garrett Rigdon that gave Gilmer a 7-0 lead with 9:25 left in the first quarter. The Rebels quickly tied the game after a botched Bobcats’ punt attempt gave the Rebels a 15 yard field.
The Bobcats answered with a two play 77 yard drive. Quarterback, Chris James, opened the drive with a 25 yard scamper that gave Gilmer first and 10 on the Fannin 42 yard line. On the very next play, Russell Cochran ripped off a 42 yard touchdown run, his first of four on the day that put the Bobcats up 13-7 with 4:50 left in the first. The extra point was missed.
The Bobcats allowed only one first down on the Rebels next offensive drive, thanks in part to a big time pass break up by Thaddeus Bowers on third and six on the Fannin 44.
The Bobcats then marched 78 yards on the legs of Cochran, James, and finished the drive with a six yard Cochran touchdown run, that put the “Cats” up 20-7 at the start of the second quarter. The score remained the same throughout the rest of the half.
The second half saw the Gilmer defense force a Fannin punt on the first possession of the third, giving Gilmer’s offense possession on its own 16 yard line. Cochran opened with a 22 yard carry that put the Bobcats on the Gilmer 38.
Three plays later, on third and four from the Bobcats’ 45 yard line, James raced 55 yards to the end zone, giving Gilmer a 27-7 lead with 7:04 left in the third quarter, a lead that would remain the same going into the fourth quarter.
With just over eight minutes left in the game, Bowers third and 10 interception and return put gave Gilmer a first and 10 on the Fannin 23. On first play of the Bobcats’ possession, Cochran went 23 yard to the end zone, using a Barry Sandersesque shake move in route to putting the “Cats” up 34-7 with 8:05 left in the game.
Cochran scored one last touchdown, a 30 yard scamper to close the scoring and secure the 41-7 victory. The Bobcats next travel to Dawson County to tangle with the Tigers on Friday September 5th.
After the game Gilmer head coach, Wesley Tankersley, spoke briefly to FYN.
Don't forget to check out what coach, "Tank" has to say about the game live Thursday night at 7:00pm on "Tank Talk" on FetchTV.