courtesy of Kelly Steedcourtesy of Kelly Steed

Bears’ efforts not enough to beat Bobcats

The Bears faced another challenge Friday night as they traveled to Thayer to take on the Bobcats.  Thayer, historically a strong football presence in the SCA, left no doubt that they are a program on the rise.
Thayer applied the gas early and didn’t let up, scoring on each possession of the first quarter, and their defense presented a formidable line of resistance. At each snap, the Bears were met by a wave of green jerseys, and they struggled to maintain status quo, let alone gain yardage.  Fumbles and interceptions plagued the Bears as the Bobcats kept up the pressure.  Aiden Stuart and Dylan Ferguson shared duties at quarterback through most of the game, trying to mix it up and make something happen.  The first quarter ended with Thayer leading 40-0.
In the second quarter with nothing to lose, the Bears were able to put together some plays and get on the scoreboard. A substantial kickoff return by sophomore Brandon Rottman, along with some bonus yardage from a Bobcat penalty, lit the fuse. Jordan Rutledge powered the ball to the Bobcat 33-yard line.  It was a fourth-and-three situation when Stuart slid in at QB, kept the ball on a fake handoff, and hot-footed into the end zone for the Bears’ first touchdown of the night.
The Bobcats kept coming, despite some good defensive plays by sophomores Tyler Shanks and Ethan Stephenson and junior Chandler McColgin.  Thayer began subbing in JV players early and the Bears kept battling.  Rutledge was the workhorse at running back, keeping the legs churning, and his efforts paid off in a late second quarter scamper for another Bear touchdown.  The score at halftime was 47-14, Thayer.
The Bobcats scored again on the first play of the second half which kicked the turbo clock into motion. The Bears kept grinding, but the Bobcats were just too much in speed, in size, in experience. Final score was Thayer 68, Willow 14.
The last game of the regular season will be Thursday night, October 19, as the Willow Springs Bears take on the undefeated Ava Bears at Palenske Field.
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