SAN ANGELO, TX — Coming off a tough loss to the Odessa Permian Panthers last week, the San Angelo Central Bobcats hosted the Midland Legacy Rebels tonight, Oct. 29, at 7 pm, at San Angelo Stadium. Although the Bobcats struck early against an incredibly talented team in the Legacy Rebels, ultimately, the Division 1 Prospect Makhilyn Young and a stellar performance by the Rebels’ defense proved to be too much for the ‘Cats and they fell 69-28.
After winning the coin toss, the Bobcats elected to receive. Tyler Hill led the ‘Cats offense out and hoped to score points early. On the game’s first offensive play, Hill found WR Jacob English, who beat the defense and launched the ball deep. English caught the ball, broke away from the would-be tackler, and scampered 82 yards to the house. The Bobcats struck first on an unbelievable play, 7-0.
Legacy’s first offensive possession looked just like their season has gone so far. Division 1 prospect RB Makhilyn Young exploded onto the field. Producing 65 yards on his first three carries, he put Legacy in the position to answer the Bobcats’ opening touchdown. With the ball just outside the goal line at the 5-yard line, the Rebels moved into the Wildcat formation with WR Addison Akbar taking the snap. The ‘Cats managed to keep the Rebels out of the endzone for two plays in a row, but on the third, Akbar kept the ball himself for one yard and a touchdown. It did not take long, and Legacy tied the ballgame, 7-7.
A touchback gave the ball back to the ‘Cats at the 25-yard line. Hill connected with WR Jaedyn Gipson on a 14-yard pass to the Bobcat 39-yard line. Two straight incompletions and a sack led to the Bobcats’ first punt of the night. A short punt left the Rebels with the ball at their own 42-yard line.
The ‘Cats defense needed to find a way to put the brakes on Young, but that proved difficult. He snapped off two gashing runs to start the drive for 22 yards to put the Rebels into Bobcat territory. Three plays and two completions later, QB Davila connected with his receiver in the endzone for 24 yards and another touchdown. Legacy took the lead, 14-7.
Central’s offense took over at the 25-yard line following the Legacy touchdown. The Bobcats failed to recreate that first drive chemistry, however, and the drive stalled. Faced with 3rd down and 15 yards to go, Hill launched up a prayer deep down the field that was picked off at the Legacy 25-yard line.
The Bobcats’ defense showed up massively following the pick. The ‘Cats defensive front corralled Young on three straight plays and kept him from gaining a first down. Midland Legacy decided to go for it on 4th down at their own 34-yard line. The defensive front broke the line and stopped Young cold for a turnover on downs.
With a chance to tie the game, Hill took a shot on first down into the endzone. An excellent play by the defender batted the ball away and into the lap of another. Tyler Hill threw his second interception of the game, and Legacy took over at the 1-yard line.
The defense now had to make two stops in a row after practically no rest. With the ball at the 1-yard line, the ‘Cats needed to be aggressive. The linebackers pinned their ears back and attacked the line of scrimmage, stopping Young cold for little to no gain. The ‘Cats got their offense the back-to-back stops they needed.
A long punt put the Bobcats back on their side of the field at the 40-yard line. Legacy’s defense flew around the field starting at the Bobats’ first possession of the drive, immediately putting pressure on Hill as he tried to deliver the ball to his receivers. After three failed passing attempts, the Bobcats punted the ball away again.
Legacy’s high octane offense could not be contained for long, and faced with a 92-yard field in front of them, they went to work. Davila started things off with an 8-yard completion to give the Rebels some breathing room. WR Donny Bishop took a jet sweep for 72-yards a play later. He dipped and dodged every Bobcat defender in his path before finally being run out of bounds at the Bobcats’ 12-yard line. One play later, Davila connected with his receiver on a fade route in the corner of the endzone to extend the Rebel lead, 21-7.
The Bobcats had to get another score before the game got out of hand. Starting their next drive at the Central 29-yard line, the ‘Cats came back out onto the field. Hill hooked up with English again for 9 yards, and Floyd got his first carry of the night for five more. After that first down, however, the Bobcats failed to produce. A short run by Floyd and two incompletions brought out the punt team again.
A solid punt pinned the Rebels deep in their own territory, and the defense came out onto the field needing another stop. Although the Bobcats played solid defense much of the time, the Big Play Bug bit them time and time again. First, the ‘Cats had the Rebels down with a 3rd and 5 at the 30-yard line. A swing pass to Young for 56 yards converted the first down. Then, the ‘Cats had Legacy held to a 3rd and 9 at the Central 21-yard line, but once again, a catch and run for 17 yards put the ball at the 3-yard line. On the next play, WR Chris Brazzel caught his second touchdown pass of the night to make the score 28-7.
With the game quickly getting out of hand with halftime approaching, the Bobcats had to score. Cayden Box made his first reception of the night for 5 yards. Navarrette carried for three more to make it 3rd and short. However, a missed opportunity in the form of an errant pass to a wide-open Navarrette forced the Bobcats to punt the ball away again.
The Legacy Rebels started to pour it on the Bobcats after the ensuing punt. With the ball at the 31-yard line, it took the Rebels six plays to go 69 yards and another touchdown. Young had another fantastic run for 23 yards on the drive, and Brazzel caught his 3rd touchdown of the night. Legacy led with time winding down in the first half, 35-7.
The Bobcats managed one first down on the next drive, but injuries began to pile up for the ‘Cats. The absence of open receivers and injuries to the offensive line left Hill with less and less time to get rid of the ball. The Bobcats punted the ball away again, and Legacy took over at the 49-yard line. Two plays later, Legacy scored again on a 20-yard run by Young. Legacy led, 42-7.
With less than three minutes to go in the half, the Bobcats’ offense finally came alive again. Hill connected with Jacob English on three separate occasions to push the ball down the field. The first was a pass for 12 yards to convert a 3rd down, and the second was a 36-yard bomb to put the Bobcats on the verge of another score. Finally, the third catch by English gave the Bobcats a 13-yard touchdown and gave English his second touchdown of the night. The Bobcats pulled closer, but Legacy still led 42-14.
A nightmare scenario appeared for the ‘Cats on the ensuing kickoff. After finally capturing back some momentum, Donny Bishop took the kickoff 80 yards down the field, breaking several tackles in the process for an answering touchdown. The Bobcats walked back to the locker room down big at the half, 49-14.
Legacy received the second-half kickoff and began their first drive of the half at the Legacy 33-yard line. Young continued to dominate in the run game, racking up back to back 10+ yard runs to move the ball across the midfield stripe. After completing a screen pass for another first down, Legacy fed Young the ball again. He snapped off runs 15 yards, 8 yards, and finally five more yards for another touchdown. Legacy widened the gap again, 55-14.
The Bobcats looked to answer on the ensuing kickoff but failed to produce. After a short three-and-out, the Bobcats punted the ball away. The ‘Cats made the mistake of kicking to Donny Bishop again, however, and he punished the Bobcats by returning the ball 63-yards to the house. Legacy scored again, 62-14.
The Rebels added another touchdown by Young, making the score 69-14 before the Bobcats finally got their second-half offense going. On a methodical drive by the ‘Cats, Navarrette and Hill took turns running and passing the ball all the way down the field. Hill connected with backup quarterback turned receiver Ben Imler for a 13-yard touchdown. Bobcats scored their first of the half, 69-21.
With the game well into the 4th quarter, both teams’ 2nd string came into the game to wind this one up. The backups battled back and forth, and the Bobcats even managed to score another touchdown. In the end, however, the winner of this ball game had been decided long ago. The Midland Legacy Rebels run away with it, 68-28.
A piece of good news did come out of tonight, despite the loss. The Frenship Tigers defeated the Odessa High Bronchos 63-41 to guarantee a playoff berth for the San Angelo Central Bobcats. The Playoff-bound ‘Cats travel to Abilene to take on the Abilene High War Eagles next Thursday, Nov. 4, at 7 pm, at the historic Shotwell Stadium.