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Thayer BobcatAva, Mo. — The Thayer Bobcats seemed to struggle and fell behind almost two touchdowns early on against the Ava Bears but bolstered up their defense and offense and beat the Bears at their home field 35-20.
This victory gives the Bobcats a 6-1 record and sets them up for their next home game against the Willow Springs Bears, who lost their game to Houston Friday 29-22. Willow Springs is now 1-6. Thayer previously defeated Houston 64-7.
The Ava Bears with their quarterback Caleb Johnson came out in the first quarter, confused the Bobcat defense and started scoring.
Ava BearsOn their first possession of the game the Ava Bears used personal fouls by the Bobcats to get into the red zone and scored on a touchdown run by Nate Bray to make the score 6-0 with a missed PAT.
The Bobcats managed to answer with a 38-yard pass from Ayden Henry to Braydon Pender, then they rode a personal foul penalty against Ava to the 14 yard line; William Tillman took it in for the touchdown to make the score 7-6. This put the Bobcats ahead until the next Bear possession when they launched Nate Bray on a 79-yard run to the 1 yard line and Caleb McFarland made the touchdown; then they missed the two point conversion to make the score 12-7.
After spending time in punt out city the Bobcats’ Ayden Henry at the end of the second quarter drove his team down to the 9 yard line and Tucker Hargrove made a 9-yard touchdown run to make the score 13-12. They missed the PAT.
At the end of the half the Bobcats held onto an uncomfortable one-point lead and the Bears would open the second half.
They did but to no avail. Thayer defense tightened up and kept the Ava Bears in punt out, no score city until the last minutes of the game.
Bobcat offense with their right-on quarterback Ayden Henry went to work, and in the third quarter hit Tucker Hargrove with a 20-yard touchdown pass; William Tillman made the two-point conversion to make the score 21-12. At the end of the third quarter the Bobcats passed their way to the red zone, picked up a pass interference penalty against the Bears, and Matt Griffith took the ball in from the 10 yard line for a touchdown and with a good PAT. The score was 28-12.
As the fourth quarter was winding down the Bobcats Ayden Henry completed a 16-yard pass to Bo Kafka, and then Braydon Pender took off with a 36-yard touchdown run to make the score with a good PAT 35-12.
Bears quarterback Caleb Johnson, with about three minutes left in the game, pulled his team out of punt out no score city and with a 12-yard pass and a recovered fumble sent Nate Bray to the 17 yard line; he then sent Stephen Copeland a special delivery across the goal line to make the final score 35-20.
Bobcats let the game clock run out and took the victory.
The Bears next play Cabool at Ava. The Liberty Eagles defeated the Bulldogs 46-8 Friday at Cabool.
After the Willow Springs game, the Bobcats travel to Mountain Grove to meet the Panthers. The Panthers are 6-1 and defeated Salem, Mo., 20-14 Friday. Then, on Oct. 30, the Bobcats play Sarcoxie in Thayer.
Elsewhere in Missouri, the West Plains Zizzers lost 42-21 to Kickapoo in Springfield, their first loss of the season. The Poplar Bluff Mules defeated Maplewood-Richmond Heights 13-0.
C.L.

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