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OS tops Midway, 34-12

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By Brownie Rose

With Oliver Springs and Midway both struggling to find where they stand in the football world, Oliver Springs used an explosive fourth quarter to get past Midway Friday night, 34-12. 

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Oliver Springs entered Friday's contest on a two-game losing streak, including a tough 20-0 loss at Coalfield one week before. Midway leaves Friday's contest still searching for their first win.

“It was a good win for us, but we still need a lot of improvement on both sides of the ball,” Oliver Springs head coach Wiley Brackett said. 

Sophomores John Simms junior and Seth Morgan played exceptionally well for the Bobcats. 

“Simms is a first year player and had several crucial receptions and a touchdown reception,” Brackett said. “Morgan had two interceptions and a fumble recovery, so that was big  for us.”

Midway's defense gave the Green Waves the first opportunity for a score early the game. Oliver Springs QB Garrett Miller bobbled the long snap on the second play of the night and Midway's Larry Risner scooped up the ball, returning it to the Bobcat 12 yard line.

After two short runs, Midway QB Thomas Viar hit Dillon Davidson for a touchdown, but the play was called back on an ineligible receiver down field penalty. Viar hit Risner on the next play for a first-and-goal at the one.

Viar tried to sneak into the end  zone, but lost the ball and Sean Wright recovered in the end zone for a touchback.

After the close call, the Bobcats drove 80 yards in 13 plays to grab an early 6-0 lead.  

Miller did most of the damage through the air on the drive as he completed 5 of 7 passes for 69 yards. Simms was the main target, catching two passes for 37 yards.

Miller ended the drive with a seven-yard run.

With K Austin Rice out for the year, the Bobcats went for two and failed.

After a good return of the kickoff by Risner, Midway again turned the ball over  as Viar was intercepted by Morgan on the first play.

This time it was the Bobcats that were not able to get into the end zone after getting inside the five yard line. 

Starting as the Midway 48, Jordan Romero got things going with an 11-yard pickup then Miller hit Simms for 32 yards to the eight on the next play.

A fumbled pitch, however, helped kill the drive as Midway took over on downs.

After forcing a three-and-out, Oliver Springs again drove inside the five before turning the ball over on downs.

A 26-yard pass from Miller to Simms moved the ball to the five, but the Bobcats would not get closer than the two as the Green Waves defense came up big again.

The Waves were unable to push out of the hole and the Bobcats capitalized this time on the good field position as Miller hit Austin West for 36 yards and a touchdown on the first play after the punt.

Miller threw incomplete on the two-point try to leave the Bobcats up 12-0 with 5:55 left in the half.

Midway crossed midfield after the kickoff thanks to a 14-yard completion form Viar to Clay Clower, but they would have to punt at the Oliver Springs 43.

The Bobcats pushed out to the 31, but that's when Clower picked off Miller at the Bobcat 35.

The Green Waves took advantage of this turnover as Viar hit Clower for 11 on first down to the 24 then Viar found Davidson in the back of the end zone for the touchdown.

Risner's point after try was blocked to leave Oliver Springs in front 12-6 with 51 seconds left in the half.

Midway received the short second half kickoff and quickly tied the game thanks in large part to the running of Aaron Collins.

Starting from their own 43m Collins carried four times for 44 yards in the six-play, 57-yard scoring drive. Collins capped the drive with an 11-yard run that tied the score at 12-12 with 8:26 left in the third quarter.

Collins tried for the two-point conversion, but came up short.

The defenses then made plays as both teams exchanged punts before exchanging interceptions.

Davidson came up with Midway's pick then Morgan came up with his second interception for the Bobcats.

From the 22, the Bobcats were about to shift the momentum in their favor. Miller hit Nelson for a 61-yard pickup on the first play then Miller then scrambled for the final 17 on the next play and the touchdown. 

Miller hit West for the two-point conversion and a 20-12 lead with 3:29 left in the third quarter.

Midway wasn't ready to give in just yet as Risner returned the ensuing 52 yards to the Bobcat 18.

But the Bobcats defense stood strong as they took over on downs four plays later.

The Green Waves would get another chance to close the gap or tie the game very shortly as the Bobcats bobbled a punt snap and were downed at their own five.

However, Midway fumbled on the next play and Austin Woodall recovered for the Bobcats at the seven.

After an exchange of punts, the Bobcats grabbed a 26-12 lead thanks to two Romero runs. 

Romero gained 24 on the first play and after two incomplete passes, Romero took the next pitch and found the sideline clear for a 55-yard touchdown run. 

The two-point try was no good, leaving the Bobcats on top 26-12 with 6:22 left in the game.

Still trying to get back in the game the Green Waves drove deep after the kickoff  and came up empty again. 

A 40-yard pass Viar found Clower moved the ball to the seven, but the Waves would turn the ball over on downs at the 10.

Oliver Springs then put the game on ice when Haven Williams burst loose for a 68-yard touchdown run to cap a three-play, 90-yard drive. 

Miller hit Nelson for the two-point conversion pass to put the Bobcats in command, 34-12, with 1:35 left in the game.

The final statistics were lopsided in the Bobcats favor. Oliver Springs had 514 yards overall to Midway's 188. The Bobcats had 275 rushing and 239 passing. Midway had 49 yards rushing and 139 through the air.

Miller completed 13 of 27 passes for 239 yards while Romero added 149 yards rushing on 24 attempts. Simms was the leading receiver with four catches for 95 yards.

Viar was 8 of 23 for 139 yards with Clower (3-65) and Davidson (3-39) being his top targets. Collins led the ground game with 12 carries for 39 yards.

 Midway (0-5) hosts Greenback (4-2) Friday night while Oliver Springs (3-2) travels to Jellico (1-4).