The People’s Tribune

Bobcats Bring Home Class 2 District 6 Title

By Brice J. Chandler / Editor

Bobcats Head Coach, Joe Chinn, hoists the district hardware as Bobcats and fans rush the field in elation after defeating the Hallsville Indians on their homefield for the Class 2 District 6 Championship game. 

In the last minutes of play during the Class 2 District 6 championship game and with three Bobcats sidelined from injuries, fans watched as a fumbled ball bounced away from a Bowling Green runner.

It might have been Hallsville’s only chance to cut down Bowling Green’s lead—a lead they held the entire game—but it wouldn’t happen.

The crowd erupted as the Bobcats jumped on the loose ball allowing quarterback Dylan Dalton, Charlie Bowen, Cooper Keil, and the rest of the Bobcats offensive line to continue doing what they do best, playing football and pushing their way down the field.

Students from Centralia, North Callaway, and more braved the cold to join the Bowling Green cheering section at Hallsville during the District Championship game. 

By the end of the night, Bowling Green claimed the win.

Not by luck—well, maybe a little—but by grit, determination, and playing a better game against a team ranked third in the state.

The Bobcats proved to any still in doubt, they were the better team that night as they controlled possession of the ball for the last minutes of the game and brought home the district championship hardware.

“It was a great feeling, this was something that we set out to do at the beginning of the year, so to accomplish that goal met a lot to us!” Head Football Coach, Joe Chinn, told the Tribune. “I could not be happier for our seniors, and how far they have brought our team. Their freshman year we were 4-6 and this year so far, we are 11-0. I was really happy with how our kids played.”

Bobcats Owen Niemeyer (26) and Cooper Kiel (9) go up to knock down a pass headed for Hallsville’s AJ Austene during Friday night’s championship game. 

The senior leadership had to bring everything to the game that night. Not only were they challenged by the Indians, but the weather itself fought to drain motivation.

It was a cold, blustery night in Hallsville with flurries drifting down during the District Championship game between the undefeated Bowling Green Bobcats and the undefeated Hallsville Indians.

Despite the weather and unfamiliar territory, the Bobcats set into the task of moving the ball downfield and seizing control of the game.

Bowling Green drew first blood in the offensive battle in the first 3 minutes of play in front of a cheering section made up of Bobcats fans and students from Centralia, North Callaway, and more.

Marcus Starks (1) rushes through a hole in the Indian’s defensive line during the 42-30 win against Hallsville for the Class 2 District 6 championship on Friday Nov. 12.  

After earning the extra two points, the Bobcats forced Hallsville to punt the ball out of their side of the field.

The move only delayed the inevitable for Bowling Green as Kiel made his way in for a follow-up touchdown putting the Bobcats ahead 14-0.

It was a lead they never gave up despite injuries that took three key players out of the game: Starks, Owen Niemeyer, and Gunner Bryant.

Niemeyer made an impressive leaping catch for a first down that kept Bowling Green surging forward but unfortunately led to an ankle injury.

Bowling Green’s Owen Niemeyer leaps to catch a pass from quarterback Dylan Dalton behind Indians defenders during the Class 2 District 6championship game.  

Hallsville’s quarterback Tyger Cobb proved a dangerous adversary for the Bobcats after slipping past the defense and gaining the Indians a much-needed first down. The move eventually allowed Hallsville to score late in the first quarter.

Coach Chinn acknowledged that Hallsville had earned their state ranking as a tough opponent.

“We knew going into it that Hallsville was going to be a good team,” Coach Chinn explained. “They were 10-0 and ranked 3rd in the state, so we knew that it was going to be a battle, and the game definitely lived up to the hype. Our kids did a great job responding anytime Hallsville got any momentum, we were able to respond and take it right back.”

Although Cobb rushed for 224 yards and a touchdown during the matchup, Bryant and the rest of the Bobcats defensive line made up for each yard he gained with multiple, punishing hits throughout the night.

Bobcats quarterback, Dylan Dalton holds on to the ball for a carry gaining valuable yardage for the team.

And, as Chinn said, the Bobcats responded for every Hallsville touchdown.

After the Indians put up their first points on the scoreboard, Bowling Green made a drive resulting in Dalton crossing the goal line with a quarterback carry only six seconds into the second quarter.

Hallsville answered with their touchdown four minutes later, however, the Bobcats forced the Indians to fumble the ball late in and eventually scored with 19 seconds left in the first half.

Despite not getting the two-point conversion, Bowling Green increased the gap between the tough opponent.

The night was far from over.

Bowling Green earned another touchdown with the extra two points with under five minutes left in the third quarter continued to distance themselves 36-16.

However, Hallsville fought back and three minutes later started bridging the gap with a touchdown.

“Going into the fourth, I knew we had a good lead but that we could not be satisfied,” Coach Chinn added. “Hallsville had come back in three previous 4th quarters, but our offense did exactly what we needed them to do. Our OL did a great job (Devin Rue, Ryan Bowen, Jackson Charlton, Seth Huber, and Harrison Hunt) and we ran behind our senior running backs, Cooper Kiel and Charlie Bowen. Also, I have to give a lot of credit to Dylan Dalton for the way he controlled the offense and led us going down the home stretch.”

The Indians might have underestimated the rest of the Bowling Green lines after Starks went out due to an injury.

Underestimating the versatile Bobcats would have been a grave mistake as Bowen made their final touchdown of the night three minutes into the final quarter.

“I also could not be prouder of how our players stepped up when we had several injuries. That is a true testament to this team and how they play,” Chinn said. “On the defensive side of the ball we were pretty banged up, but we had several players get in and make big plays for us like Brandon Gamm, and Bleyne Bryant.”

After Bowen’s touchdown, Hallsville answered with their own and came to within inches of recovering the fumbled Bowling Green ball in the final minutes, but the Bobcats held on.

Charlie Bowen looks to his coaches during the battle with Hallsville for the district championship on Friday, Nov. 12. 

Bowling Green rushed for 253 yards and put in six touchdowns to bring home the district hardware with a 42-22 victory.

“The 2021 team scored the most points in the BG season,” Chinn added. “And with his 154 yards on Friday, Marcus Starks has rushed for over 2,000 yards this season.”

They travel to face an 11-1 Lafayette County this Saturday at 1 p.m.    

“Saturday is going to be a very similar game to Friday,” Coach Chinn finished. “Lafayette County is going to be a big physical team and we have to be able to match that all afternoon.”

The People’s Tribune will continue to cover area football as the Bobcats move on to the sectional game.

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