The Bell County Bobcats wrapped up the top seed in District 4-3A Friday night as they rolled to a 34-0 win at Corbin.
It was all Bobcats from the beginning as Hayden Gilbert got Bell off to a fast start by returning the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown. His extra point put the Bobcats up 7-0 just 12 seconds into the game and they never looked back. The victory ensures the Bobcats of home playoff games as long as they win all the way through to the state championship game, which will be held in Bowling Green.
“Our kids came out wanting to win that district title,” Bell coach Wayne Mills said. “I’m happy for our team, our coaches prepared them well and I’m happy for the whole community. We took a big crowd up there and anytime you can go into Corbin and win it’s good.”
Senior running back Jonathan Polly ran for 217 yards on just nine carries, including touchdowns of 5 and 93 yards in the first quarter as Bell built a commanding 20-0 lead after one.
The Bobcats rolled up nearly 380 yards on the ground with senior Ryan Collett adding 74 yards on seven carries and sophomore Austin Caldwell gaining 86 yards on five runs.
Bell’s defense held the Redhounds to 230 yards of total offense and just ten passing yards. Junior defensive back Justin Warwick had a big night with three interceptions, including two in the end zone.
“Justin is an unselfish kid who just comes to practice every day and works hard,” Mills said. “A lot of times he was on their best player and he was just able to go up get those two in the end zone. It couldn’t happen to a better kid and I’m proud of him.”
Warwick’s second pick came in the end zone to end a Corbin drive late in the first half and the Bobcats carried that 20-0 lead into the locker room.
The Bobcats continued to pull away in the third quarter as Collett scored on a 32-yard run at the 9:53 mark and added a six-yard rushing score with 6:23 left in the period to push the lead to 34-0. From there Bell focused mostly on keeping the clock moving to close out the win.
“We got our ground game going and I really feel like we’re starting to jell,” Mills added.
Bell County (7-1, 3-0) will host McCreary Central Thursday at 7 p.m. for Senior Night while Corbin (3-5, 1-2) visits Casey County Friday.
“It’s all about our seniors this Thursday. We want to honor those kids and their parents. Those seniors have had a heck of a career here, this is their football team and we want to make sure they are well-represented,” Mills said. “This game doesn’t mean anything as far as the district goes, the main thing in a game like this is we want to come out healthy.”