Bobcats fail to hold on to lead against St. Joe

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By Ben Calhoun

Another humid night at Corry Field found the home-standing Bobcats of Robert F. Munroe falling to the visiting Fighting Flashes of St. Joseph Academy, 55-14.  

The Bobcats drew first blood as quarterback Dustin Watson connected with Dustin Blake for an 80-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter.  St. Joseph came right back and scored twice to take a 14-7 lead.  

Sophomore Daniel Meeks scored on a 2-yard run in the second quarter, but after that it was all St. Joseph as the Flashes scored at least twice in each of the remaining quarters.  Running back Scott Jones led the visitors with 157 yards on the ground and three touchdowns.

Kicker Cairo Santos connected on all of his PAT kicks and two field goal attempts, with a long of 55 yards.  Santos is being recruited by Georgia Tech and the senior kicker consistently put the ball through the end zone with his kickoffs.   

The Cats were led offensively by freshman Watson (20-35 for 207 yards passing, 1 TD and 2 INT) and senior receiver Dustin Blake (4 receptions for 83 yards and 1 TD).  Sophomores Fletcher Vaughn and Daniel Meeks chipped in with five receptions for 44 yards and a 2-yard touchdown run respectively.  

“Our quarterback gets a little better each week.  It’s a tough position for a freshman to have to learn on the job, but he’s a hard worker and committed to being the best he can be,” said Bobcat head coach Joe Striplin.  “He still has to learn when to throw the ball away and when to take the sack but it’s hard to fault him for trying to make a play.  Blake and Vaughn are getting more consistent and Meeks is working himself into a decent running back.”  

Striplin was also pleased with improved play along the offensive line.  

“We’ve still got some work to do, but the linemen are starting to play more consistently.  Senior Hunter Welborn had his best night blocking and we are looking for him to be the leader for this group.  As they go, so we go offensively,” the coach said.

Defensively, the Bobcats struggled to contain Flash running back Scott Jones.  Several of Jones’ runs were off-tackle and the youthful Bobcats had a difficult time corralling the speedy 190 pounder.  

“St. Joseph did a great job of blocking downfield and cutting off our linebackers,” said Striplin.  “We’ve got to get better at getting off of blocks and pursuing as a team.  When a back like Jones gets into the secondary, he is a matchup problem for a defensive back.  Of course, it all starts with keeping him contained and getting several tacklers on him.”  

Defensive back Fletcher Vaughn led the Bobcat defense with eight tackles.  

“Fletcher played hard defensively, but it’s tough when a DB is your leading tackler,” Striplin said.

The Bobcats fall to 0-4 on the season and travel to Niceville for a date with the 0-4 Knights of Rocky Bayou Christian this Friday.  Both teams look to end their early season doldrums and get the spark that will drive them for the remainder of the schedule.  

The game will be homecoming for the hosts and kickoff is set for 8 p.m.