San Angelo Central Survives Late Montwood Heroics To Stay Undefeated


EL PASO, TX -- Out west in the sunny city of El Paso, the San Angelo Central Bobcats took on the Montwood Rams on Friday night at Socorro ISD Stadium. A shootout between two talented offenses and a lengthy lightning delay led to a back and forth scoring track meet. A defense that only showed up in the second half and an atypical performance from a historically pass-happy Bobcat squad saw the ‘Cats down the Montwood Rams, 34-29. 

The ‘Cats defense took the field first on Friday, looking to continue the dominance of the previous week. However, early pressure and the solid run defense forced a 3-and-out and the Rams’ first punt. The Bobcats offense did not fare much better on their first drive; however, after only getting one first down, their drive also stalled and punted the ball away.

Midway through the first, Montwoods' offense shook off the struggles of their first drive and started to move the ball. Quick throws to receivers on the outside showed potential cracks in the Bobcat secondary, and the Rams took advantage. A deep pass from QB Melendez connected to WR Oaxaca for a 59-yard touchdown. The Rams put up the first points of the night on a monster play, 7-0.  

Tyler Hill and the rest of the Bobcats took over at the 19-yard line following the score. The ‘Cats proceeded to grind out an arduous drive spanning more than ten plays. Tough running by Hill, Navarrette, and Floyd steadily pushed the offense down the field and into the red zone. Faced with a 4th and six at the 20-yard line, Hill converted a dart to Jaedyn Gipson on the sideline to keep the drive alive. Two plays later, Floyd burrowed his way through multiple defenders and into the endzone for a 6-yard score. The Bobcats even it up at the end of the 1st quarter 7-7.

On the field again at the start of the 2nd quarter, the Bobcat defense needed to tighten up and not allow another score. The secondary struggled to keep the Montwood receivers in check and gave up several catches, which helped push the Rams into Bobcat territory. Several penalties and more sloppy secondary play set up Montwood with a goal at the 6-yard line. An easy pitch and catch into the endzone and the Rams retook the lead 14-7.

A lightning delay with 10:45 left in the second quarter sent both teams to the locker rooms for over an hour. When the game finally resumed, the Bobcats began with the ball at the Central 25-yard line. The ‘Cats again churned out tough yards on the ground with Navarrette, Floyd, and Hill carries. A 4th and inches near midfield ended disastrously for the Rams when Tyler Hill took the ball and sprinted 53 yards down the field for the game-tying touchdown. However, the delay did not slow the duel between these two teams, as the Bobcats scored 14-14.  

Continued shoddy play by the Bobcats secondary plagued the ‘Cats once again. Missed tackles, blown coverages, and an inability to get lined up led to an almost simple four-play drive that ended with a 62-yard touchdown by Montwood. A missed extra point kept the game at 6, 20-14.

Pinned at the Central 7-yard line, the Bobcat offense took over after the quick touchdown. If Montewood seemed unstoppable through the air, the Bobcats continued to be unstoppable on the ground. The ‘Cats quickly moved the ball to midfield when the drive abruptly came to an end. Although perfect up to this point in the season, Tyler Hill finally made a mental mistake through the air. A short throw to a receiver in double coverage while under pressure gave Hill his first interception of the year. 

The Bobcat defense had Hill’s back after the interception, however, and forced a three and out. The ‘Cats offense took over at the Central 3-yard line. Determined to make up for his previous mistake, Hill loaded up and heaved a long ball deep, deep downfield. He connected with Jacob English for a 97-yard touchdown pass. A botched snap on the extra point kept the game tied 20-20.

The Central defense struggled to find a consistent answer when it came to stopping the Rams. This track meet kept going back and forth to the end of the first half. The ‘Cats secondary finally locked down the outside receivers and stopped the Rams just before halftime, and headed to the locker room tied, 20-20.

Tyler Hill became the Bobcat offense for most of the third quarter. On back-to-back drives, Hill had two different 50+ yard runs and had more than 200 rushing yards before the 4th quarter even began. The first drive of the second half started deep in Bobcat territory at the 25. The ‘Cats rammed the ball down the Rams' throats on another long drive that ended with a Navarette touchdown. San Angelo Central took their first lead of the day, 27-20. After a stalled possession by El Paso Montwood, it took only four plays for the Bobcats to score again. Another colossal run by Tyler Hill set up the Bobcats inside the Montwood 10-yard line, and three plays later, Darius Floyd got into the endzone to extend the ‘Cats lead, 34-20.

Never giving up, the Rams came back with their first extended drive of the day. Eleven plays and about 75 yards down the field led to a chip-shot field goal. Although the Central defense looked porous for the first 5 or 6 plays, they locked down inside the 10-yard line to force the field goal. Montwood still trailed, 34-23.

Another Bobcat turnover gave the ball right back to the Rams with time winding down in the 3rd quarter. However, the Central defense finally contained Montwood, looking like a completely different team than the first half. With the ball in Central territory, the ‘Cats had to come up with a stop. Back and forth the two teams went when finally, a sack on 3rd down by the defense forced the Rams to punt. The Bobcat offense rewarded their defense with a long rest as they continued to have success on the ground. The drive came to an end when the Bobcats turned the ball over yet again. Tyler Hill coughed up the ball after a short run, and the Rams took control.

Building momentum from back-to-back takeaways lit a fire under the Montwood offense as they marched down the field with ease. The Rams scored another quick touchdown but failed to score the two-point conversion, 34-29.

With time in the game running out, the Bobcats successfully gained two more first downs and could kneel out the remainder of the time on the clock. The game did not end pretty for the Bobcats, but they did exactly what they needed to win, 34-29.

Coach Kevin Crane

The San Angelo Central Bobcat's head football coach talks about the game.

The Bobcats take on the Austin Vandegrift Vipers at San Angelo Stadium next week, Friday, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m.

Subscribe to the LIVE! Daily

The LIVE! Daily is the "newspaper to your email" for San Angelo. Each content-packed edition has weather, the popular Top of the Email opinion and rumor mill column, news around the state of Texas, news around west Texas, the latest news stories from San Angelo LIVE!, events, and the most recent obituaries. The bottom of the email contains the most recent rants and comments. The LIVE! daily is emailed 5 days per week. On Sundays, subscribers receive the West Texas Real Estate LIVE! email.


Most Recent Videos

Post a comment to this article here:

X Close