COLLEGE STATION, TX — After a 0-2 start to the 2020 season, the San Angelo Central Bobcats sought their first win against a talented squad from A&M Consolidated on Oct. 9, 2020 in College Station. The 2-0 A&M Consolidated varsity squad was ranked #3 in the state on Maxpreps going into Friday night’s game. This was a tough opponent at an inopportune time. Sr Quarterback Malachi Brown and the rest of the ‘Cats desperately needed a better showing than the previous two weeks if they had any hope of carrying momentum into district play next week.
The Bobcats’ defense rocketed out of the gate with an impressive start in the form of a pick-six on the Tigers’ first drive. DE Monte’vious Dobbins intercepted QB Kyle Willis and returned the interception for the touchdown. The ‘Cats got on the board first, 7-0. Following another stop by the Central defense, the Bobcats’ offense did not get much else going early. Three negative plays and a partially blocked punt put A&M Consolidated in deep into San Angelo Central territory at the 31 yard line. The Tigers took advantage of the special teams’ mistake, making quick work of the short field. The Tigers tied the game up, behind a strong running game, with less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Unable to get anything going offensively for much of the second quarter, the Bobcats punted the football away on their two following drives. A&M Consolidated scored 12 unanswered points, all from big plays. Two monster runs by RB Jude Lake set up both Tiger touchdowns. A&M Consolidated threatened to run away with it early, up 19-7.
With five minutes left to go in the 2nd quarter, a switch flipped for the ‘Cats’ offense. Set up by two outstanding catches by WR Jalen Leifeste, one for 30 yards and another for 15 yards, QB Malachi Brown scampered ten yards into the endzone scoring the first Bobcat offensive touchdown in five quarters. The 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive narrowed the A&M Consolidated lead, 19-14.
With 1:44 left to play in the half, the Central defense, building to the offense’s momentum swing, also came with a big play. Following three straight stops, the Bobcats stuffed the Tigers’ 4th down attempt and handed the ball back to the offense with 40 seconds remaining. A 33-yard sprint from Malachi Brown set up a 20-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Hill. San Angelo Central ripped more momentum back from the Tigers and headed to the locker room with the lead, 21-19.
The second half started almost exactly like the first half with another ‘Cats defensive touchdown. Immediately following a punt by the offense, the Bobcats managed to strip the ball from QB Kyle Willis. DT Caesar Saldana snatched up the football, and the big man returned the fumble for a touchdown. The Bobcats extended their lead 28-19 and the momentum should have stayed with the ‘Cats.
Yet, back to back punts from the offense and two big plays surrendered by the defense led to another 15 unanswered points by A&M Consolidated. RB Jude Lake took over for the Tigers in the second half. Missed tackles and athleticism allowed Lake to run circles around the Bobcats on his way to two more touchdowns.
Down 34-28, but showing they had not quit the game, the Bobcats answered back finally. Another impressive catch from Jalen Leifeste reignited the Central offense at the end of the 3rd quarter. A designed quarterback draw gave Malachi Brown plenty of room for a 25-yard touchdown run on the next play. The ‘Cats retook the lead 35-34. The back and forth between these two teams officially became a shootout when, on the ensuing Tiger possession, a 76-yard bomb from Kyle Willis put A&M Consolidated back on top 40-35.
The deciding factor in this game came on the Bobcats’ last two possessions. First, the ‘Cats drove the ball more than 40 yards down the field, converting a 4th down along the way, but an ill-timed interception by Brown ended the Bobcats’ chances to take the lead. The Central defense gave the Bobcats one more opportunity after forcing the ball over on downs with two minutes to go. The offense could not convert a single first down and turned the ball over on downs.
At the end, the Bobcats lost a heart-breaker game 40-35 against a highly ranked team.
Video Shot Sheet:
Central 7, Consol 0
#10 Kyle Willis has possession and fumbles the ball at the 34. #47 Monte Dobbins recovers it at the 31 and carries the ball to the end zone for a touchdown. #35 Ethan Aguilar attempts the PAT from the 3.
Central 7, Consol 7
#10 Kyle Willis pitches the ball at the 6. #9 Sutton Lake runs it from the 6 into the end zone. #9 Sutton Lake attempts the PAT from the 3.
Central 7, Consol 13
#10 Kyle Willis runs the ball from the 7 into the end zone. #9 Sutton Lake attempts the PAT from the 3 but it’s blocked…ball declared dead at the 6.
Central 7, Consol 19
#10 Kyle Willis drops back to the 43 and throws a complete pass to #4 Jaylon Walter. Walter runs from the 18 and carries the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. #10 Kyle Willis drops back to the 6 for a 2-pt attempt and throws an incomplete pass.
Central 14, Consol 19
#8 Malachi Brown runs the ball from the 13 into the end zone. #35 Ethan Aguilar attempts the PAT.
Central 21, Consol 19
#8 Malachi Brown drops back to the 27 and throws a pass completion. #12 Tyler Hill carries the ball to the house. #35 Ethan Aguilar attempts the extra point.
In a shoot-out between two offenses scoring at will, one defensive stop to break the momentum decides the game. San Angelo Central had the opportunity late in the 4th to take the lead and confirm the win, but sadly, could not manage to get into the end zone. The Bobcats’ lone turnover tonight ended up sinking an otherwise outstanding performance by the offense.
Quarterback Malachi Brown demonstrated outstanding play. Rushing for more than 100 yards and adding another 186 through the air, Brown proved that he is an incredibly effective quarterback. Wide receiver Jalen Leifeste also had a monster game tonight. He had over 10 catches and added almost 100 yards receiving.
Although the ‘Cats defense gave up 40 points tonight, they made two big stops at the end of the game to give the offense two opportunities to win the game. Moreover, the fact that the defense created takeaways and scored two touchdowns forecasts great things for the rest of the season.
The three opponents the Bobcats have faced thus far are incredibly talented. The level of competition will do nothing but benefit the defense moving forward.
The San Angelo Central Bobcats begin district play when they take on the Abilene High War Eagles on Friday, October 16, at 7 p.m., at San Angelo Stadium.