LEBANON — The Bell County Bobcats ventured into Turtleman’s territory on Saturday and defensive linemen Dylan Cox and Devon Miller both found themselves in the middle of some “live action” with the ball in their hands.
Cox returned a blocked punt 53 yards for a touchdown and Miller intercepted a screen pass and took it back eight yards for a TD on the very next possession. Those second quarter scores put the game completely out of reach and the Bobcats went on to a 41-13 win over Washington County in the Heart of Kentucky Pigskin Classic at Marion County High School.
“Dylan and Devon are two outstanding football players, they’re the anchors of our defense. That was huge to get two scores off our defense like that,” Bobcat coach Wayne Mills said.
When they weren’t scoring touchdowns, Cox and Miller helped lead a dominant performance by the Bell defense. The starters didn’t allow a first down, let alone a point, as the Bobcats built a 41-0 lead by halftime.
Offensively, Bell County spread the wealth. Chase Woolum started the game with a 37-yard run and capped the opening drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Collett.
The next drive featured the power running of Austin Caldwell and Nathan Collett. The Bobcats converted two fourth downs with Collett busting an 11-yard run on fourth and short. The sophomore fullback finished off that drive with a one-yard TD run. Peyton Collett connected with tight end Cole Frazier for the two-point conversion and a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter.
The junior quarterback was just getting warmed up. In the second quarter he hit Evan Brock for a gain of 12 and then Woolum made a nice over the shoulder catch on a deep ball for a 35-yard gain inside the ten. Caldwell finished the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run, powering his way through a tackler at the goal line and it was 21-0 with 8:20 to go in the half.
“We wanted to come out and work on some things. We really didn’t know what to expect because we didn’t have a lot of film on them, but our kids executed pretty good in the first half. We did what we wanted to do, which is improve as a football team,” Mills said.
Washington County’s Colton Nolan broke free for a 57-yard return on the following kick, but Bobcat sophomore Treyton Humfleet intercepted a pass to keep the Commanders from advancing.
The teams traded punts, but Bell senior linebacker Justin Green got a paw up and blocked Washington County’s. Cox scooped up the bouncing ball about 15 yards downfield and found nothing but green grass in front of him as he went 53-yards untouched.
Miller then perfectly read a screen pass and jumped up to snatch the ball at the eight. He had to power his way through a tackle at the one to get ball into the end zone and his touchdown made it 34-0 with 2:26 to play in the second.
Bell County got the ball back with about a minute left in the half and went to the air once again. Collett hooked up with Frazier for 31 yards on a play-action rollout, then Hayden Gilbert made a sensational diving catch in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown. Gilbert added his third extra point and the Bobcats led 41-0 at the half.
“We spread them out a little bit and Peyton showed what he can do. Hayden made an unbelievable catch on the backside post, Cole made some catches. We’re not just one-dimensional, if you take something away we’ll be able to go to something else,” Mills added.
The Bobcats rested most of their starters with the clock running continuously in the second half. A fumbled punt gave the Commanders the ball deep in Bell territory late in the third quarter. John Floyd floated a 19-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Jason Anderson to get Washington County on the board early in the fourth quarter.
They added a 53-yard touchdown run from Garrett Floyd with 4:45 to play that set the final at 41-13.
Peyton Collett finished the game six of 11 passing for 134 yards and two touchdowns and was named MVP.
Caldwell ran for 61 yards and a touchdown, Woolum totaled 90 yards from scrimmage on two runs and two catches, Evan Brock added 31 rushing yards and Josh Allen 23.
Washington County (0-1) plays at Elizabethtown on Friday while Bell County (2-0) hosts Whitley County.
“It’s good to be 2-0 going into our first home game. A lot of our kids went down and watched Whitley (Friday) night and they definitely got our attention,” Mills said. “They’re a good football team and Coach (Jason) Chappell does a good job, he’s got them excited. We know we’ll have our hands full.”
— — —
BC — Chase Woolum 17 pass from Peyton Collett (kick fail)
BC — Nathan Collett 1 run (Cole Frazier pass from PCollett)
BC — Austin Caldwell 6 run (Hayden Gilbert kick)
BC — Dylan Cox 53 punt return (Gilbert kick)
BC — Devon Miller 8 interception return (kick fail)
BC — Gilbert 24 pass from PCollett (Gilbert kick)
WC — Jason Anderson 19 pass from John Floyd (kick fail)
WC — Garrett Floyd 53 run (Josh Thompson kick)
RUSHING — Bell, Austin Caldwell 11-61, Chase Woolum 2-38, Evan Brock 6-31, Josh Allen 8-23, Nathan Collett 2-12, Austin Asher 1-2, Steven North 1-(-3); Washington Co., Garrett Floyd 8-63, Jimmy Wheatley 6-12, John Floyd 2-10, Michael Wheatley 2-1, DJ Yocum 1-(-15).
PASSING — Bell, Peyton Collett 6-11-0-134; Washington Co., Yocum 4-9-2-6, JFloyd 3-3-0-32.
RECEIVING — Bell, Woolum 2-52, Cole Frazier 1-31, Hayden Gilbert 1-24, Asher 1-15, Brock 1-12; Washington Co., Nick Hagan 2-5, Josh Anderson 1-19, MWheatley 1-10, GFloyd 1-4, JWheatley 1-1, Colton Nolan 1-(-1).