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OSMS falls in title game, 8-6

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By Brian Langley

What a difference two weeks can make. 

After suffering an embarrassing 48-8 loss at Oliver Springs two weeks ago, Sunbright got a rare opportunity to get revenge. The Tigers notched a defensive 8-6 victory over the Bobcats to capture the 2010 Clinch Valley Conference Small School Championship on D.J. Brittan Field Thursday night.

The Tigers (6-3) enjoyed a 42-point turnaround to capture the title after losing in the championship game to Norwood last season.

After a scoreless first half, Sunbright used a five-yard touchdown run by Skyler Bunch with 4:31 left in the game and he added the decisive two-point run to earn the 8-6 road win over the Bobcats.

Oliver Springs ends their season at 6-3 after going the entire season with a loss in district play.

Sunbright came out and set the tone on defense by forcing the Bobcats to punt the ball away after three plays, including a three-yard loss by Derek Tinker, who was stopped by Teddy Tinch.

The Tigers then proceeded to run 12 straight plays to run out the first quarter clock and end up at the OSMS 21 where the drive ended on downs.

The Bobcats showed some life on their next drive and used a 19-yard run by Brandon Taylor to get them going. Three plays later, Buck hit Taylor for a big pass play, but he was ran down from behind and stripped of the football by Bunch at the five yard line after a 51-yard play. Bunch recovered the football for the Tigers.

Neither team threatened the rest of the half in a 0-0 ball game.

Sunbright’s opening drive of the second half produced a fourth down conversion, but they failed on their second fourth down try with an incomplete pass.

Oliver Springs took over at their own 38 and Tinker went 42 yards on the very first play to ignite a five-play, 62-yard scoring, capped with a five-yard touchdown run by Tinker, who broke a couple of tackles and made a nice spin move into the end zone.

The two-point pass failed, but the Bobcats led 6-0 with 59 seconds left in the third quarter.

Sunbright attempted another fourth down on their next drive, but was stopped short.

Three plays later, Bunch intercepted a pass and returned it 37 yards to the OSMS 25 as Tinker made a touchdown saving tackle.

Three Bunch runs later and the Tigers tied the game on a five-yard run.

Bunch then added the two-point run to go ahead 8-6 with 4:13 left in the game.

The Tigers got a break on the ensuing kick when Tinch recovered an onside kick. Sunbright ran off nearly three minutes with eight rushing plays and converted another fourth down, but ended the drive on downs by half a football at the OSMS 30.

The Bobcats had the ball with 1:31 left and 70 yards to go. Oliver Springs did manage to convert a fourth-and-five with a face mask penalty against the Tigers, but on the very next play Tinker was dropped for an eight-yard loss by Tinch on the final play of the game as the Tigers escaped with a hard-earned 8-6 championship win over the Bobcats.

Oliver Springs won the battle of total yards 130-122, but the Tigers forced three turnovers and didn’t suffer a turnover.

Sunbright’s 122-yard rushing attack was led by Skyler Bunch (25-112, 1 TD).

 Oliver Springs was paced on offense by the rushing of Derek Tinker (10-50, 1 TD rushing). Brandon Buck was 3-5 for 19 yards and an interception through the air. Markus Miller was 1-1 for 51 yards passing. Brandon Taylor (2-56) was the top receiver.