SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. — The Bell County Bobcats turned to good, ol’ fashioned Mountain football on Friday as they rolled up 300 rushing yards on the way to an impressive 35-7 road win over last year’s Tennessee Class 1A runners-up.
Instead of attacking an athletic South Pittsburg team on the edges the Bobcats pounded the ball up the middle. They sustained drives with a bunch of five and six yard gains and just wore the Pirates down in the trenches with 48 rushing attempts that let to 19 first downs.
Senior Austin Caldwell ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries to lead the way. Junior Chase Woolum provided a couple of big plays with a 21-yard touchdown catch from Peyton Collett and also scooped up a teammate’s fumble and took the ball 33 yards for another score.
South Pittsburg opened the game with a nice drive and scored the first points on Corbin Fitzgerald’s 13-yard touchdown run. Kitt Grider’s extra point made it 7-0 with 8:41 to play in the first quarter. But the Bobcats started to dominate from there.
Caldwell banged into the end zone from five yards out on the first play of the second quarter and Hayden Gilbert hit the first of his five extra points to tie the game.
Caldwell capped the next Bell drive with a six-yard touchdown run with 5:30 to play in the half.
Collett attempted just three passes in the game and completed two of them. One to senior Cole Frazier for a gain of 16 yards and the other to Woolum for that 21-yard touchdown that gave Bell County a 21-7 lead at halftime.
Woolum gathered in an Evan Brock fumble and took it 33-yards to cap the opening drive of the third quarter.
The Bobcat defense contained South Pittsburg from that opening drive on. They surrendered just seven first downs and 96 total yards in the game. Grider, the Pirate quarterback, was sacked three times and finished with minus-31 rushing yards on six carries. He also completed six of 11 passes for just 38 yards.
Bell was able to mix in some younger players on their final scoring drive and sophomore Treyton Humfleet ran for 24 yards on five carries, including a one-yard touchdown plunge to set the final at 35-7.
Brock finished with 64 rushing yards for the Bobcats along with Woolum’s 50 and Corey Swanner’s 38. Fitzgerald led the Pirates with 50 yards on eight carries.
South Pittsburg plays at Hixson next Friday while Bell County heads to Marion County for the Heart of Kentucky Pigskin Classic where they’ll meet Washington County next Saturday.
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SP — Corbin Fitzgerald 13 run (Kitt Grider kick)
BC — Austin Caldwell 5 run (Hayden Gilbert kick)
BC — Caldwell 6 run (Gilbert kick)
BC — Chase Woolum 21 pass from Peyton Collett (Gilbert kick)
BC — Woolum 33 fumble recovery (Gilbert kick)
BC — Treyton Humfleet 1 run (Gilbert kick)
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|RUSHING — Bell, Austin Caldwell 22-111, Evan Brock 8-64, Chase Woolum 6-50, Corey Swanner 5-38, Treyton Humfleet 5-24, Peyton Collett 1-10, Nathan Collett 1-3; South Pittsburg, Corbin Fitzgerald 8-50, Triston Adams 9-26, Kavin Pryor 1-10, Chase Blevins 4-6, Cade Kennemore 1-(-3), Kitt Grider 6-(-31).|
|PASSING — Bell, PCollett 2-3-0-37; South Pittsburg, Grider 6-11-0-38.|
|RECEIVING — Bell, Woolum 1-21, Cole Frazier 1-16; South Pittsburg, Blevins 2-20, Fitzgerald 2-13, Pryor 2-5.|