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Bobcats top Panthers 72-61; face Zephyr in playoffs

By Tim McGrath BCC Contributor

2016 District Champion Medina Bobcats: (Bottom row kneeling) Dock Faglie (8), JuJu Esquivel (2), Devon Lysle (46), Gavin Waiters (6), Devon Burger (3), J.R. Gonzalez (32), Austen Jankoski (21), Zachary Read (13), Cameron Rambin (10), and Matthew Heinen (7). (Back row standing) Ass’t Coach Bubba Jones, Head Coach Josh Faglie, Garrett Baker (47), Jose Ortiz (34), Chance Dressen (24), Bryan Keese (4), Brady Clark (5), Andrew Ayala (22), Zach Simons (80), Jacob Hinds (9), Greg Selement (48), Justin Hartley (43), Koby Burks (36), Ass’t Coach Cody Taylor and Ass’t Coach Art DeLaGarza. Not in photo: Justin Dale, Jason Vandewater.

The District 9-1A-DI Champion Medina Bobcats extended their winning streak to five games and closed out their regular season schedule with a 72-61 victory over the Nueces Canyon Panthers in 6-man football action played on Friday, November 4 at Camp Wood. With the victory, the Bobcats improved their overall season record to 6-4 while finishing district play with a perfect 3-0 mark.
The District Champion Bobcats now advance to the post-season State Championship Tournament and will take on the powerful Zephyr Bulldogs (8-2) in the bi-district round of the playoffs this Friday, Nov. 11 at Fredericksburg High School with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. The 2015 State semi-finalist Bulldogs have their sights on the State Championship this year after losing only two players from last year’s semi-finalist team. Medina Athletic Director and Head Coach Josh Faglie spoke highly of the Bulldogs while expressing optimism for his Bobcats to rise to the occasion on Friday night. “They’ll be the best team we have faced all year. They are really well coached and are just two starters short of last year’s State semi-finalist team. They are big and they run the ball really, really well. They have a big power running back (6-0, 230) and their line has size and block really well. They are primarily a running team but can throw the ball when they have to,” Faglie explained.
Although the Bulldogs may be heavy favorites in this first-round matchup against the Bobcats because of an advantage in size and experience, Faglie indicated that the Bobcats are more than ready to take on the Bulldogs and are looking forward to their encounter with enthusiasm and optimism. “The team is all excited about this one,” Faglie said. “We’re going to practice at Tivy Field this week and that will be a good experience for our kids in preparing for Zephyr. Our offensive objective is to create some mismatches with our speed against their size and get someone out in space where we can make some big plays. We also need to show them some things they have not seen before. Other than that, we are going to stick with the things that got us this far,” Faglie remarked. The District 10-1A-DI Bulldogs concluded their district season with a more-than-impressive 72-13 halftime victory over the Blanket Tigers last Friday night while the Bobcats posted some big numbers offensively in their 72-61 win at Nueces Canyon.
J.R. Gonzalez again led the Bobcat offensive effort against the Panthers with 372 total yards that included 200 yards and 3 touchdowns rushing, 154 yards and 2 TD’s passing and 18 yards and a touchdown on two receptions. Cameron Rambin added a pair of Bobcat touchdowns rushing while totaling 117 yards on 15 carries. The Bobcat passing game produced five touchdowns as Gonzalez completed 7 of 10 for 154 yards and two touchdowns while Andrew Ayala hit on 4 of 9 passes for 46 yards and three more scores. Center Greg Selement led Bobcat receivers with 66 yards and two touchdowns of 18 and 31 yards respectively while Gonzalez (2-18-TD), Bryan Keese (2-21-TD) and Zach Simons (1-10-TD) also lit up the scoreboard with touchdown receptions. Justin Dale (2-75) and Brady Clark (1-10) also contributed to the Bobcat receiving effort against the Panthers. Gonzalez also hit on 6 of 9 PAT attempts to round out the Bobcat scoring for the night. The Bobcat defensive effort was led by Simons and Austen Jankoski with 14 total tackles each while Ayala (12), Clark (12) and JuJu Esquivel (12-Int) also contributed to the Bobcat defensive performance at Nueces Canyon.