ABILENE, TX — The San Angelo Central Bobcats (1-3) traveled to Abilene on Friday, September 22, to face off with the Abilene Wylie Bulldogs. Miscues in the 1st quarter on offense handed Wylie an early lead that the Bulldogs never surrendered throughout the contest. The ‘Cats finally kickstarted their offense later in the first half, but Wylie proved too explosive across four quarters. The ‘Cats fell in this one 37-27.
The Bobcats received the opening kickoff and found early success through the air. Central quarterback Squeaky English found several open receivers as the Bobcats pushed the ball down the field. After a hold backed the ‘Cats out of field goal range, Central put the ball on the turf, and Wylie recovered it. The ‘Cats’ defense held Wylie to a field goal and trailed 3-0.
Central’s offense could not replicate the same success as its first drive and had to punt the ball away after only gaining one first down. Wylie would then take advantage of a broken coverage to score its first touchdown. Wylie led with time winding down in the 1st quarter 10-0.
Wylie added another touchdown before the ‘Cats finally fixed their issues on offense and got on the board. Faced with a 4th and 2 yards to go at the Central 30-yard line, English would call his own number, break a few tackles, and outrun everyone to the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown. Central trailed by 10 with just under ten minutes to play in the half, 17-7.
Wylie continued to move the ball at will on offense. Central would bottle up the Bulldogs on first and second down, but a big play or a penalty would help Wylie convert for a first down. Central forced a 4th down at the Bocbats’ 15-yard line, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave Wylie a first down at the five. Wylie would score a play later to lead 24-7.
Central had to do something on offense, or the game threatened to get out of hand before the first half even ended. After a late hit out of bounds gave the ‘Cats a great start at midfield, English continued to make the offense churn with a 29-yard run on the third play of the drive. Hard running by Brawlee and a pass complete to Kates set the ‘Cats up at Wylie’s 8-yard line. A play later, Colter Farmer scored from 8 yards out to narrow Wylie’s advantage back to 10. Central trailed at the break 24-14.
Wylie received the 2nd half kickoff and immediately went to work. The Bulldogs did most of their damage on the ground as they drove the ball slowly but steadily. Once again, the ‘Cats forced several 3rd downs, but penalties kept the Bulldogs on the field. Wylie took seven minutes off the 3rd quarter and scored a 10-yard touchdown on a fade to the back of the end zone to lead the Bobcats 30-14.
A sack on 3rd and long stopped Central in its tracks on the opening possession on offense. After a Central punt, the ‘Cats’ defense returned the favor with a 3-and-out. Central took over at the Bobcats’ 42-yard line.
Both teams traded two more 3-and-outs before the Bobcats broke the stalemate. Senior RB Tyree Brawlee put the offense on his back to push the ‘Cats from deep in their own territory across midfield. Faced with a 4th and 6 at the 36, it was do or die for the Bobcats. English and Hill delivered. The Bobcats ran a screen pass and, after Hill broke two tackles, sprinted into the end zone. After a failed 2-point conversion, they trailed 30-20.
The rest of the 4th quarter devolved into who could score faster. Wylie answered almost immediately with a touchdown, and then the Bobcats did the same. In the end, early mistakes in the first half doomed the Bobcats, and they could not catch up. Central fell in the end 37-27.
Watch the full game highlights below:
Head Coach Kevin Crane gave his thoughts on his team’s performance after the game. Watch the interview below:
The Central Bobcats (1-4) are off in Week 6. This young team finished its No district schedule with many positives and several growing pains. The ‘Cats can use this week to consolidate their gains and get better across the board. Central hosts the Midland High Bulldogs in San Angelo on October 6. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.