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Bobcats finish strong for 65-46 victory over Panthers

By Tim McGrath BCC Sports

The undefeated Medina Bobcats improved their season mark to a perfect 7-0 with a closely played 65-46 victory over the previously undefeated Abilene Christian Panthers in week 7 of 6-man football action played on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 14, at Eden. The game marked the end of the non-district schedule for both teams and the beginning of preparations for District play and the race for the postseason playoffs.
The Bobcats have a most welcome Bye this week and will use the extra time to heal some bumps and bruises while beginning preparation for their 2017 District 9-1A-DI opener against the Lometa Hornets to be played on Friday, Oct. 27, at Bobcat Stadium in Medina. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
The Bobcats got off to a fast start against Abilene Christian as Caleb McHaney broke loose for a pair of first quarter touchdowns on runs of 27 and 24 yards as the Bobcats took and early 14-0 lead. Cameron Rambin made it 22-0 later in the quarter with a 7-yard touchdown scamper, but the Panthers struck back with a 40-yard TD pass to bring the score to 22-8 at the end of the first period. The Panthers struck again early in the second quarter with a 35-yard TD pass to bring the score to 22-16. The Bobcats answered with a score to extend their lead to 28-16 before the Panthers scored on a 1-yard pass to close the gap to 28-24, Bobcats. The Bobcats then made it 36-24 on a J.R. Gonzalez 60-yard run for a touchdown before the Panthers scored again on a 12-yard pass to get within 4 points at 36-32 at halftime.
Both teams exchanged touchdowns twice in the third period with the Bobcats scoring first on a 3-yard TD pass from Bryan Keese to Greg Selement that put the Bobcats up 42-32. The Panthers answered with a 6-yard TD run to make it a 2-point game at 42-40. Gonzalez then sparked the Bobcats once again with a 45-yard touchdown run to put the Bobcats up 49-40 late in the third quarter. The Panthers struck again with a 10-yard TD pass and the scoreboard read Bobcats 49, Abilene Christian 46. In the fourth quarter, the Bobcat defense shut the Panther offense down while the Bobcats offense tacked on a pair of scores to secure the victory for the 7-0 Medina Bobcats. Gonzalez scored his third touchdown of the afternoon on a 50-yard run before Rambin took it in from 4 yards out to close out the scoring at 64-46.
Gonzalez led the Bobcats in rushing with 13 carries for 242 yards and 3 touchdowns while McHaney rushed 17 times for 142 yards and two scores. Rambin carried 5 times for 38 yards and two more Bobcat TD’s. Gonzalez also completed 3 of 5 passes for 54 yards while Keese finished 2 of 6 for 30 yards and a touchdown. Bobcat receivers included Austen Jankoski with one catch for 37 yards, Gonzalez (1-30), McHaney (2-17) and Selement (1-3-TD). The Bobcat defense was led by Brady Clark, Jose Ortiz and Jankoski. Clark and Ortiz finished with 13 total tackles each while Jankoski added 11 tackles and an interception to the Bobcat defensive effort. McHaney (6), Gonzalez (4), and Rambin (4) also contributed to the Bobcat defensive effort against the Panthers of Abilene Christian.
Medina Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Josh Faglie heaped the praise on the Bobcat team and shared the players excitement going into District play next week following the Bye this week. “They’re playing hard and we are getting a much-needed week off to let our bodies heal and prepare for District play and we couldn’t ask for a better start. The kids are excited and there’s a real feeling of confidence going on in the locker room,” Faglie said.
The Bobcats will begin their defense of their 2016 District 9-1A-D1 Championship next Friday night at home against Lometa. In week 2 of district play, the Bobcats will travel to Eden on Friday November 3 to take on the Bulldogs before returning home for the district finale against the Nueces Canyon Panthers on Friday November 10. Kickoffs for the district games will be at 7:30 p.m.