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Bobcat defense rocks, offense rolls

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Using a stifling defense to go along with a potent offensive attack, the Munroe Bobcats opened the regular season in grand fashion Friday with a shutout of St. Joseph Academy in St. 

Augustine. 

Bobcat defenders kept the pressure on flash quarterback Thompson Hinman, sacking him three times, one each by ends Walt Kelleher and Max Baroody and tackle Joey Fallis, and forcing an interception and two intentional grounding penalties. Munroe also caused and recovered three fumbles.

After holding St. Joseph’s on their first two possessions, the Bobcats struck quickly on a 58-yard pass from quarterback Will Harris to receiver Jaylen Lewis and never looked back. Munroe would trade turnovers on the next two possessions, but after taking over with 7:30 remaining in the second quarter, the Bobcats methodically marched from their 36 to score on a 2-yard run by fullback Daniel Winburn. Wingback Bo Bailey converted the 2-point attempt to make the score 14-0. The Bobcats would get one final first-half possession deep in St. Joseph’s territory after recovering a fumbled punt. On second down from the 12-yard line, Harris found Bailey on a corner route in the end zone (kick failed). The half ended with Munroe ahead 20-0.

The second half started for the Bobcats like it ended with Bailey, who finished with 196 all-purpose yards, returning the opening kick 64 yards to the Flash 19. Two holding penalties pushed the ball back to the 32. From there, Harris would connect with receiver Cole Skipper on a vertical route for a touchdown (Skipper’s kick pushed the lead to 27-0). Munroe quickly regained possession at their own 31 after safety Nolan Haire’s interception of a Hinman pass. From there, the Bobcats would mount a nine-play drive and score on a short quarterback keep (kick failed) for the final margin of 33-0.

“I’m very pleased with the play of our linemen,” said Bobcat Coach Danny Hood. “They’re opening holes for the backs and providing excellent protection right now. We looked like we’re maybe a little ahead of schedule for a Week One game. I’m also very pleased with our effort and intensity defensively. A shutout is a big deal.” 

Indeed, the Bobcat interior was very efficient in their execution as they paved the way for 244 rushing yards, 89 by Winburn, 87 by Bailey and 70 by Lewis. They also provided plenty of time for Harris to find his receivers, as the Bobcats amassed 267 yards through the air and 511 total yards of offense.

Munroe returns to Corry Field this Friday for a 7:30 p.m. kick-off with Seven Rivers Christian from Lecanto.