In a hard fought NWL matchup, the short handed Bobcats defeated the visiting Vernonia Loggers 38-27.
It was one of those nights with lots of flags, turnovers, an ejection of a coach, and multiple incomplete passes, so the game went until after 10pm!
The Bobcats took the opening kickoff, and proceeded to get stripped of the ball which Vernonia scooped and scored. 10 seconds into the game, Bobcats down 7-0.
The first Nestucca possession saw the Cats march down the field courtesy of some hard running by Cody Hagerty, who really showed a burst during the game tonight. Jaysson Swirtz converted a 3rd and 4 to set up a Hagerty 12 yard run, and then Swirtz scored the 2 point conversion to make it 8-7.
The rest of the quarter saw punts back and forth, multiple holding calls ruined a Bobcat drive, and a second quarter Vernonia interception ended another. Aiden Sifford ruined another Vernonia drive with a 10 yard tackle for loss. The Loggers decided to go for it on a 4th and 10 from their own 35 but threw an incomplete pass, giving the Cats great field position. Unfortunately 3 more holding calls stalled the drive.
The Bobcat defense played solid all night, with Zach Collins, Swirtz and Sifford all getting multiple tackles. Miguel Pimienta broke up multiple passes, as did Hagerty. Midway through the second quarter, Hagerty broke free for a 45 yard TD run, picking holes and using his speed to outrun logger defenders. No 2 point conversion so 14-7 Bobcats.
Vernonia drove to the Nestucca 10, but fumbled. Hagerty’s 45 yard run helped get the Cats out of the hole, but an unsportsmanlike flag and another holding call stalled the Cats.
The Bobcat D forced a Vernonia punt to the 47. Sophomore QB Zac Collins, who did a great job all night filling in for the injured Skyler Wallace, tossed a 53 yard TD pass to Jaysson Swirtz with a minute left in the half. Hagerty scored the 2 point run to make it 22-7 at the break.
The second half started with the scoreboard conking out for a time. The Loggers passing game started to click with 4 long completions in a row, and #30 scored a 2 yard TD to draw to 22-14. Nestucca answered right away, with Hagerty and Swirtz doing the running and Collins getting good yardage on a couple of keepers, with Hagerty scoring his 3rd TD on a 8 yard run. The 2 point pass from Swirtz to Hagerty made the score 30-14.
With 11 minutes left Vernonia threw an 11 yard TD pass with the 2 point attempt failing, 30-20. Again the Bobcats offense rose to the challenge and only took a minute to score on a Swirtz 51 yard run, and when made the 2 point run it looked out of reach at 38-20. The Nestucca offensive line opened holes all night for the backs- Leif Marsh, Chris Ehly, Diego Ponce, Dylan Prock and ends Jared Straessle and Andres Sandoval got a consistent push all night.
Someone forgot to tell the Loggers that the game was over, as they scored again with 46 seconds left to make the score 38-27, which was the final.
The win puts the Cats at 4-1 with one game to go against league leader Gaston, and still in contention for a State Playoff berth. Next week is Homecoming!