Bobcats lose a heartbreaker 36-33

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For the second week in a row, the Bobcats of Robert F. Munroe Day School roared out to a commanding first-half lead, only to see it slip away in the second half. 

The high scoring-affair with the rival Aucilla Christian Warriors, marked by big plays and turnovers, started with a bang as quarterback Will Harris faked a handoff to fullback Daniel Winburn and hit a streaking Jaylen Lewis up the visitor’s sideline for a 64-yard scoring strike (Cole Skipper Kick) and an early 7-0 lead. 

The visitors responded immediately after the kickoff with running back Bradley Holme breaking a tackle after seemingly being hemmed-up for a loss and scampering 36 yards untouched for the score (kick failed) to make it 7-6. A

After a three-and-out, the Bobcats would regain possession on a Cole Skipper interception and return to midfield. From there, the Bobcats would methodically march to the Warrior’s 8-yard line. 

Looking to score again, Munroe would turn the ball back over to Aucilla on a Myles Edwards fumble through the end zone, but the Bobcats would quickly get the ball back as Edwards, atoning for his earlier mistake, picked off Warrior quarterback Austin Bishop. 

Three plays and a punt gave Aucilla the ball at their own 35, where Skipper would intercept another Bishop pass and return it to the Warrior’s 22-yard line. The Bobcats would score on a Winburn 3-yard run (kick failed) to extend the lead to 13-6. 

Aucilla would again turn the ball over to Munroe, as Jacob Williams recovered a fumble. The Bobcats would strike quickly with Edwards rumbling 35 yards on a counter play (Edwards pass failed) for a 19-6 margin. 

Aucilla would waste little time, scoring on a 65-yard pass (pass failed) to close within a touchdown at 19-12. On the ensuing kickoff, Lewis would stretch the lead once more with a 65-yard return and touchdown (Edwards run) to make it 27-12. 

The Warriors threatened once more, but the Bobcats held on downs at their own 9-yard line. After losing a yard on a run, Harris hit Lewis on a hitch and the speedy receiver weaved his way through the Aucilla secondary for a 92-yard score (run failed). 

With time running out in the first half and a 33-12 lead, the Bobcats made a tactical error by stopping the clock on an incompletion. After a punt, Aucilla would quickly march 53 yards in three plays and close the gap to 33-18 at the midway point.

The second half was all Aucilla. The visitors from Jefferson County would score three more times despite multiple turnovers (Joey Sloan fumble recovery, Skipper and Lewis interceptions). They were aided by a Munroe fumble and five penalties (three off-sides and two pass interferences that clearly shifted momentum and kept several Warriors’ drives alive. The final Warrior score came on a Bishop broken play 34-yard run after being flushed from the pocket (run failed). 

The Bobcats, on the other hand, seemed to run out of steam. After relinquishing the lead with less than a minute to play, Munroe moved into Aucilla territory on a 29-yard Harris to wingback Bo Bailey connection. The Bobcats’ last chance ended on a fourth down incompletion and the Warriors would then take a knee to end the game. 

After totaling 312 yards in the first half, the Bobcats could only muster 64 and no points the rest of the way. For the night, Munroe finished with 376 total yards (215 passing, 161 rushing). Aucilla amassed 474 total yards (359 passing, 115 rushing), 266 in the second stanza. The loss gives Aucilla bragging rights and the Interstate 10 trophy for another year, while the 3-2 Bobcats are left to wonder what has happened in the second half the past two games. 

Munroe returns to Corry Field this Friday for a 7:30 kickoff against Oak Hall from Gainesville. The team will honor seniors Myles Edwards, Walt Kelleher, Jaylen Lewis and Jacob Williams.