Saturday, September 09, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Wildcats throw for win at Cabot

Leader sports editor

Just like in Week 1, the Cabot defense got a lot better in the second half, giving up just one score to El Dorado. The problem, though, in Week 2 one score was all El Dorado needed for a 28-24 victory at Panther Stadium.

The Wildcats led 21-17 at halftime, but Cabot took it back after an El Dorado turnover in the third quarter. The Wildcats then scored their only touchdown of the second half with 47 seconds left in the third to set the final margin.

Cabot missed a 30-yard field-goal attempt with 8:47 left in the game and had two more opportunities to score after the defense held the Wildcats on their final two possessions.

The first one ended with the Panthers failed to convert on fourth and 6 near midfield. Cabot had hit the tight end counter for big gains several times, but El Dorado finally snuffed it out on third and 5 for a 1-yard loss. Cabot ran it again on fourth down, but Ayden Shurley could only get 2yards and the Wildcats took over at their own 45 with 5:09 to play.

Cabot’s defense got it back after a sack by Isaiah Ogilvie forced a fourth down and 8. El Dorado went for it with 2:04 to go, but the pass fell incomplete giving Cabot the ball on its own 31 with 1:58 to play.

Cabot had to try to pass but couldn’t. After Brad Morales ran for 4 yards on first down, a roll-out pass on second down fell incomplete. Quarterback Tommy Oaks was forced to scramble on the next two plays, and only gained 2 yards each time, giving El Dorado the ball with no timeouts left.

All that was left was to kneel twice to end the game.

“We ran the heck out of that (tight end counter) and they finally figured it out,” said Cabot coach Mike Malham. “It’s one loss in a nonconference game. We’ll go back to work and get stronger.”

Cabot’s second half touchdown came on a 31-yard run by Shurley on the tight end counter. Its first touchdown of the game was also on that play to senior John Wiens.

Cabot got on the board first after stopping the Wildcats’ opening drive in three plays. Defensive tackle Dayonte Roberts got a piece of the El Dorado punt, setting Cabot’s offense up at the Wildcat 45. The Panthers got one first down but gained nothing on third and 4 at the 19-yard line.

Ben McCullough then nailed a 37-yard field goal with 7:36 left in the first quarter for a 3-0 Cabot lead.

It didn’t last long. El Dorado went 80 yards in four plays, including 79 in the last three. Shun Levingston got behind the Cabot defense for a 44-yard catch on second and 9. Sophomore tailback Richard Kesee then rumbled 13 yards for a first down to the 22. Levingston got the call again on the next play and made the catch in the corner of the end zone just 62 seconds after the field goal.

The Panthers answered with the help of some El Dorado penalties.

Quarterback Tommy Oaks got 11 yards to the 42-yard line on the drive’s first play. On third and 4, Oaks got the Wildcats to jump off sides for a first down. Adam Flores went 8 yards before another off-sides penalty made first down at the Wildcat 34.

Junior halfback T.J. Rogers took the option pitch 21 yards to the 13 and Wiens scored on the next play.

McCullough’s extra point put Cabot up 10-7 with 3:01 left in the first quarter.

El Dorado’s offense then drove 90 yards in nine plays, never facing a third down and overcoming two illegal procedure penalties. Quarterback Darius Holly completed passes of 14, 13, 9, 20 and 15 yards on the drive. The last one Levingston again, but the extra point was wide, leaving it 13-10 El Dorado with 11:28 left in the second quarter.

Penalties hampered Cabot’s next drive after a 38-yard run by Wiens set up first down at the Wildcat 12-yard line. Before the first-own snap, Cabot backed up 5 with an illegal procedure penalty. Cabot then set up a touchdown pass with a tight end release, but Oaks’ throw was too far. The Panthers then jumped again, setting up second and 20 from the 22. They tried a halfback pass, but Rogers’ throw floated and was short, allowing Bishop Foster to recover and intercept the ball in the end zone.

The Wildcats then drove 80 yards for another score, this time with the help of a penalty for a late hit out of bounds after a 19-yard scramble by Holly. That set up a short pass from Holly to Taliq Ellis for a touchdown with 4:28 left in the half.

Cabot then lined up off sides twice on the extra point, moving the ball inside the 1-yard line, and prompting Wildcat coach Scott Reed to go for two, which they converted easily for the 21-10 lead.

The Panthers got a needed touchdown before the half. A good return by Rogers made it a short field at the Cabot 43. Oaks, Wiens and Adam Flores runs got Cabot to the Wildcat 31. An option pitch to halfback Bradley Morales set up first and goal at the 9. After an El Dorado penalty for off sides, Rogers got the 4-yard run on the dive play to cut the deficit to 21-17 by halftime.

El Dorado rolled up 444 total yards of offense, including 291 through the air and 153 on the ground. Cabot had 341 total yards, all on the ground. The Panthers were 0 for 4 with one interception in the passing game.

Wiens led Cabot with five carries for 85 yards and a score. Rogers had 8 carries for 78 yards and one touchdown, while Shurley had 4 for 55 yards and a score.

Holly completed 17 of 23 pass attempts for 240 yards, while Hicks completed one halfback pass for 51 yards.

Levingston led Wildcat receivers with four catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Greene had seven receptions for 105 yards and a score.

Cabot (1-1) will host J.A. Fair next week while El Dorado (2-0) is back home against Magnolia.