Johnson earns first victory in Bobcats’ 14-6 win over Loachapoka

Published 12:15 am Saturday, August 24, 2019

BEULAH — The Beulah Bobcats got their season off to the worst start possible by giving up a touchdown on the opening kickoff, but some three hours later when the game ended the visiting Loachapoka Indians still had six points on the scoreboard. A combination of terrific defense and having just enough scoring to win the game had the Bobcats on top 14-6 at the end of a grueling, penalty-marred game on a hot night at Bobcat Stadium.

It wasn’t pretty, but it’s a win and there’s no better way to start the season than that. “It’s so good to get that first win,” said head coach Matt Johnson just before being dunked by the Gatorade bucket. “Our defense played great, but we had too many bad plays and mishandled snaps on the first plays of drives. We have work to do to get past that. We want to be fast and physical, but we have to eliminate the drive-killing plays. There were times when we didn’t keep our composure as well as we needed to, but we were good enough to win and that’s what matters. I’m proud of our guys for getting off to a winning start.”

The Bobcats will be looking to a good week of practice and to iron out those mistakes before taking on Elwood Christian next Friday at Bobcat Stadium.

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Beulah got off to a rough start when Loachapoka’s Demontre Moore returned the opening kickoff some 70 yards for a score. Though no one knew it at the time, that would be the only score the Indians would have for the entire game. A few minutes after 7 p.m. CDT they led 6-0 but a few minutes after 10 p.m. they were on the short end of a 14-6 loss. After that opening kickoff, Beulah played a great, great game on defense, They had to.

Being down 6-0 appeared to have wounded Beulah’s pride. They quickly set things straight by moving for a score on their first possession and taking the lead for good. Junior quarterback Kaleb Abney led them on a 55-yard drive and scored from in close on a quarterback sneak. Jaden Buffington’s PAT put the Bobcats ahead 7-6 with a little more than three minutes gone in the game.

Beulah got a break on the first play of the second quarter when the Indians gambled on a fourth-down play on their own 20-yard line. They faked a punt, but the Bobcats would have none of it, stopping the play at the line of scrimmage and taking over on the 20. It would take them only three plays to score. Running back Chris Person ran it on back-to-back plays to the one and from there, Abney sneaked in it for his second TD of the game. Huffington’s PAT mad it 14-6 only seconds into the second quarter.

As it would turn out that would be the final scoring of the game. Both teams missed numerous opportunities over the remainder of the half and throughout the second half. The big problem with both teams were poor execution on offense, unforced errors and way too many penalties. Those mistakes were driven killers for both teams, but as Coach Johnson said, a win is a win, and Beulah was glad to take it.