LEXINGTON — The Bell County Bobcats showed their resiliency Friday as they overcame a late fumble return for a touchdown and the first half loss of quarterback Corey Oslonian to a knee injury to pull out a 32-31 overtime win at Bryan Station.
Bell won with their physical play up front. Ryan Collett and Jonathan Polly both had over 100 yards rushing and those two took over when the Bobcats needed them most in overtime. The Defenders got the ball to start overtime and took a 31-24 lead on a four-yard pass from Ora Johnson to Kenyon Hipps and the extra point from Anthony Lopez.
Collett went 10 yards for the answering touchdown on the Bobcats’ possession in the extra frame and coach Wayne Mills decided it was time to end the ballgame. He called Polly’s number on a two-point conversion try and the senior bulled his way in to the end zone along the right side and Bell came away with the win.
Bell dominated play in the early going as the shut down Byran Station’s passing attack and drove the ball at will. Two long marches resulted in a two-yard touchdown run from Collett with 8:49 to play in the first quarter and a six-yard TD run from sophomore Austin Caldwell with 10:20 showing in the second. Hayden Gilbert added both extra points and the Bobcats led 14-0.
The Defenders got back into the game by going to their running game out of the spread formation. Curtis Sellers, who ran for 137 yards on eleven carries, had a couple of nice runs and then scored on a six-yard pass from Johnson. With 6:18 to play in the first half the lead was 14-7.
Bell answered with another long drive that ate up the rest of the half, but Oslonian had to be helped off the field with a knee injury with about 1:30 to go. He wouldn’t return and was on crutches before the end of the game. Freshman Peyton Collett took over under center and Bell settled for Gilbert’s 28-yard field goal as the half ended.
Neither team scored in the third quarter and the Defenders got on the board again as Shamante Harrington scored on a six-yard touchdown run with 11:09 left in the game to make it 17-14.
Bell was again driving and eating up clock. They ran the ball 62 times in the game for 328 yards. But Peyton Collett lost a fumble and Michael Morton scooped it up for Bryan Station and took it 80 yards for a touchdown and the Defenders took their first lead of the game at 21-17 with 4:47 to play in regulation.
The lead would be short-lived, however, as Polly returned the ensuing kick off 92 yards for a touchdown and Gilbert’s crucial kick put the lead at three.
Johnson completed five passes on Bryan Station’s next drive and they got as far as the Bell 22 with 10 seconds on the clock. The Defender special teams hustled onto the field and Lopez drilled a 39-yard field goal to tie the game as time expired to force overtime.