SAN ANGELO, TX — Seeking their first district win of the season, the San Angelo Central Bobcats (2-3) (0-1) took on the Odessa High Bronchos at Ratliff Stadium tonight, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. A three-game skid had the Bobcats reeling, and the high octane offense of Odessa High left the ‘Cats with an almost insurmountable challenge. The Odessa High defense won the day, stonewalling the Bobcat offense for most of the night. An inability to stop the Odessa High offense created a lead the Bobcats could not overcome and San Angelo Central dropped their 4th game in a row, 41-14.
Receiving the opening kickoff, Adam Robles returned the ball to the Broncho’s 41-yard line. The Bobcats’ offense got off to a red-hot start moving the ball down the field. With a healthy mix of running and passing, the ‘Cats pushed the ball across midfield and towards the end zone. QB1 Tyler Hill converted a critical 3rd and eight pass to WR Jacob English for a first down at the Broncho 38-yard line. Hill took the ball himself on the next play, beating out would-be tacklers on his way to a 30-yard touchdown and the lead, 7-0. Watch as the Bobcats score first:
Following the touchdown, the Bobcats’ defense came onto the field with the hope of stopping a Broncho offense that had scored without difficulty for the majority of their season. However, starting the drive at the 25-yard line, the Odessa High Bronchos showed just how fast they could score when given a chance. Quick wide receiver screens and an alternating one-two punch from QB Cervantes and RB Delce had the Bronchos quickly gaining ground. A 25-yard touchdown run by Cervantes tied the game up, 7-7. Watch:
Although the Bobcats had great success on their opening drive, their second drive of the night did not produce the same results. A batted ball at the line on first down led to a bruising run by Darius Floyd for six yards on second down. Facing a 3rd and short, another incomplete pass resulted in the Bobcats’ first punt of the night.
With the ball at the Broncho 42-yard line, Cervantes again diced up the Bobcats defense for a twenty-yard chunk to the Central 41-yard line. Delce then took the ball an additional 41 yards to the end zone on the next play. Odessa High took the lead with time running down in the first quarter, 14-7.
A short kick return left the Bobcats at their own 11-yard line to begin their next drive. Hill handed the ball off to Navarrette on 1st down, and Navarrete wasted no time sprinting 54 yards before going down at the Broncho 35-yard line. Watch:
Hill then completed two straight passes to Cayden Box, first for three and then for 12 yards to the Bronchos’ 20-yard line. Penetration from Odessa High’s defensive front trapped Tyler Hill, and he went down for a considerable loss back at the Odessa High 32. Hill fumbled the ball on the sack but managed to recover the ball himself to prevent the turnover. Another sack on second down pushed the Bobcats even further back and, facing a 3rd and 27 at the 36-yard line, San Angelo had little chance of getting another first down. An incomplete pass on 3rd down led to another magnificent punt by Ty Casey that the Bobcats downed at the 1-yard line.
As the second quarter began, the Bronchos had their backs against the wall at the 1-yard line. However, this hardly slowed them down as two quick runs by the quarterback drove them out of harm’s way to the 20-yard line. Odessa High then completed back-to-back 12-yard passes to move the ball past midfield and into Central territory. The Bobcats’ defense finally slowed the Bronchos just inside the 25-yard line, who when faced with a 3rd and long, the QB completed a short pass on a crossing route and went for 24 yards to the end zone and another touchdown. The extra point made the score 21-7, Bronchos. Watch:
Odessa took over at the 18-yard line, and the Bobcats desperately needed a stop. The defense stepped up to the challenge. Aided by a holding penalty that pushed the Bronchos back, the ‘Cats forced a 3rd and five at the 23-yard line. Cervantes took the snap and attempted to take the ball himself to convert the first down. LB Bryson McNutt had other plans, however, and stuffed Cervantes in his tracks for no gain. For the first time this evening, the Bobcats forced a three-and-out.
A solid punt return by Box started the Bobcats at the Odessa 47-yard line. A holding penalty on first down pushed the Bobcats back into their own territory though. Then a potential disaster struck the Bobcats when a brutal hit on Tyler Hill that sent the Central quarterback on the sidelines. Backup quarterback Brock Miller took over. The holding penalty ended up costing the Bobcats points once again as Miller managed to get the penalty yardage back but failed to get a first down. Another outstanding punt by Ty Casey left the Bronchos with the ball at the 1-yard line again.
The ‘Cats’ defense stepped up for the second drive in a row, only allowing three yards and forcing the Bronchos to surrender the remaining time in the half. As a result, the Bobcats headed to the locker room, riding defensive momentum but trailing 21-7.
The 3rd quarter began with the Bobcats on defense. An onside kick attempt by the Bobcats failed to get them the ball, and Odessa High started their first drive of the second half at the 50-yard line. The Bobcats held fast for the first series, forcing a 3rd down. One play later, RB Delce took a toss to the outside and outran several bad angles from Bobcat defenders on his way to a 38-yard touchdown. Bronchos extend their lead 27-7. Watch:
Even with Hill back under center, the Bobcats’ offense continued their struggles on their first drive of the second half. Opening up the series with a sack, Box caught a pass from Hill on second down for 10 yards to give the Bobcats a 3rd and 3. But the drive failed to produce a score.
Beginning their second drive of the half with excellent field position at the Central 41-yard line, the Bronchos looked unstoppable. A 15-yard penalty from a face mask against Central pushed the Bronchos into scoring range early in the drive. With their backs against the wall, Jacoby Yates had a great pass breakup in the end zone but then interfered with the same receiver two plays later. A 1st and goal inside the 10-yard line resulted in a wide-open receiver in the back of the end zone for an easy touchdown. The Bronchos pulled even further away, 34-7. Watch:
Hill and the offense refused to give up and continued to fight. Starting at the 20-yard line, Hill took the first play of the drive himself for 10 yards. A play later, Hill completed a pass to Jaedyn Gipson for 15-more yards. RB Navarrette got involved next, adding another big run across midfield. Another penalty on the offense, this time linemen downfield, stopped the drive cold, however. Then, a pass interference call on Odessa High saved the drive on 4th down. Another nice catch by Navarrette pushed the ‘Cats even closer to the goal line at the 15-yard line. Yet another penalty on the offense forced the Bobcats into a 4th and five at the 10-yard line. Navarrette managed to catch the ball for a gain of four yards, but the Bronchos’ defense came up with another red zone stop.
The ‘Cats turned around and had a stop of their own as the Bronchos could not get anything going after taking over. Odessa High managed to get one first down, but they could not manage another yard after that. The Bobcat defense got off the field after only surrendering 15-yards forcing another punt.
With the ball at the Bobcat 40-yard line, Hill completed consecutive passes to Jacob English for 19 yards and Jaedyn Gipson for 20 yards. With the ball just outside of the 20-yard line, the ‘Cats’ offense shut down again. Three straight plays for little yardage and a failed 4th down conversion turned the ball over on downs.
After the failed 4th down conversion, the ‘Cats defense had to come back onto the field. A short gain on first down led to a sack by Darius Floyd, who played both sides the entire night. A late hit on 3rd down saved the drive for the Bronchos, and a frustrated Central defense had to stay on the field. Kente Nichols forced 4th down of his own on a textbook pass coverage. A deflection at the last second forced the ball to the turf. Despite forcing 4th down, Odessa High went for it on 4th down and converted on a quarterback sneak. On the next play, RB Delce broke off another long run to the Bobcats’ 30-yard line. Then, QB Cervantes took advantage of a broken coverage and found a wide-open receiver in the end zone. The Bronchos blew the game wide open, and out of reach for the Bobcats, driving the score up to 41-7.
The game was well out of hand at this point, but the Bobcat offense continued to fight. Hill completed a pass to English on first down for 24 yards. In the following play, Navarrette took the ball an additional 22 yards on the ground to the Odessa 29-yard line. Two plays later, Darius Floyd ran over several Broncho players on his way to an outstanding 29-yard touchdown. Bobcats finally finished and scored on their first drive since the first quarter, 41-14. Watch:
With 4:59 remaining in the game, Odessa High’s offense came back onto the field, looking to drain the clock and put an end to this game. The ‘Cats defense had other ideas, however, forcing another three and out. The Bronchos punted the ball away to Cayden Box, who called for a fair catch at the Central 35-yard line. With little time remaining in the game, and Central unable to put together another drive, the clock ran out on the ‘Cats, and they lost their 4th in a row, 41-14.
The San Angelo Central Bobcats (2-4) (0-2) take on the Midland High Bulldogs (2-3) (1-0) next Thursday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. at San Angelo Stadium.