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'Cats battle Cougars

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By The Staff

By GOOSE LINDSAY

Roane Newspapers

The Oliver Springs Bobcats didn't win their first scrimmage of the fall at Campbell County Monday evening, but fourth year Bobcat head coach Wiley Brackett found plenty of positives to build on as his squad stood toe-to-toe with a Class 5A playoff team from 2008 in dropping a 14-7 decision.

“We've got a lot of work to do, but I was happy with our effort,” Brackett said following the scrimmage. “We're young in a lot of spots and we made some mistakes, but I thought we played pretty hard against a big school.”

Monday's scrimmage was a physical one as both teams were big up front and big plays were few and far between.

Offensively, the Bobcats' varsity offense had the ball six times and found the end zone once.

Oliver Springs' scoring drive came on their second possession as Coty Lively capped a 10-play, 70-yard drive with a six-yard run.

Austin Rice added the PAT to give the Bobcats an early 7-0 lead.

Oliver Springs had the ball in Cougar territory on two other occasions, but the Bobcats turned the ball over on downs on both trips. The second was the most costly as Oliver Springs dropped a 36-yard scoring pass on fourth-and-12.

“I thought we moved the ball pretty well against a bigger school,” Brackett said. “We only scored once, but we probably should have scored three times.”

The Bobcat varsity offense ended the day with 145 total yards on 40 snaps. Oliver Springs ran the ball 29 times for 82 yards while QB Garrett Miller completed three of 11 passes for 63 yards.

Cruise Smith led the Bobcat rushing attack with 40 yards on 11 carries while Lively added 24 yards on seven attempts.

Wesley Rather was Oliver Springs' leading receiver with one catch for 34 yards.

Oliver Springs' defense played well on Campbell County's first four possessions as the Cougars amassed just 68 yards in 31 plays, but the Bobcats seemed to wilt a bit under the hot August sun as Campbell County scored each of its last two possessions to pull out the 14-7 victory.

Campbell County's first scoring drive lasted six plays and covered 70 yards while the second drive was quick as a 68-yard run capped a three-play, 70-yard drive.

“We didn't get fancy on defense,” Brackett said. “We played our base defense and wanted to see how guys got to the football. For the most part we did a good job of having 11 guys getting to the football.”

Brandon Toomey had a sack for Oliver Springs.

Both teams scored a touchdown in junior varsity action with Oliver Springs' score coming on a 35-yard run from Ray Efferson.

Efferson led the junior varsity squad with 87 yards rushing on eight attempts and he caught a 41-yard pass from Brady Sweet.

Oliver Springs will spend the rest of the week preparing for a Friday scrimmage with Greenback.

“We're going to spend the rest of the week blocking and tackling,” Brackett said. “We'll just keep working on the basics everyday, but if we keep working hard good things will happen.”