Bell Middle downs Knox Central in opening round of state

After falling behind early, the Bell County middle school football team battled their way back and held off the Knox Central Panthers to win their opening round match-up of the state tournament. With Knox Central scoring a touchdown on their first drive of the game, the Bobcats found themselves trailing 6-0.

Midway through the second quarter, Bell County’s Daniel Thomas hit pay dirt on a 12-yard rushing touchdown to tie the game. Josh Cody came down with the 2-point conversion to give the Bobcats a permanent 8-6 lead.

The final two quarters were defensively gridlocked, with both teams limiting the other to minimal yardage through the air or on the ground. The Bobcats held the Panthers out of the end zone for the remainder of the game, securing an two-point victory.

“I’m very proud of them,” said Bell County coach Darrin Clark. “They have a ‘no quit’ mentality. Earlier in the season Knox Central had beaten us 30-8, but our guys put that out of their head and took care of business. I thought we played good defense and thought we did a good job of coming back after Knox scored on their opening possession. We’re going to get back to work and focus on the next game. I’m proud of these guys.”

With the victory, the Bobcats advanced to the second round of the state tournament and will face the Clay County Tigers on Saturday.