Errors proved costly as two mistakes — one a pass interception and the second a blocked punt — led directly to Bobcat scores that the Colonels were unable to overcome.
Coach Rick Casko said Cass was able to come back after trailing early but the late mistakes were fatal.
“We did a nice job of working ourselves back into the game and got ourselves ahead, but there was a mistake in the punt block and we can’t make mistakes [and still win] games,” Casko said. “We’re not good enough to come back from that and just change the course of the game.”
He said Gilmer is more of a veteran team and was able to protect its second-half lead.
“[Gilmer] did a good job working the Wing T. They have a ball control offense and they just kept grinding and grinding. They did a nice job of holding the ball at the end.”
The Colonels last led early in the fourth quarter when they took a Bobcat kickoff and marched 59 yards in five plays — three by air and two by ground — as they surged to a 24-21 lead at the 9:35 mark of the final period.
Cass started that drive from its 41 after Kadeem Buford returned a Bobcat kickoff from the 23 to the Colonels’ 42. Brandon Etheridge tossed two quick passes to Kelin Wells for eight and 10 yards, and then hit Chris Morton for a 13-yarder that put the ball on the 29 of Gilmer. Running with authority, Deon Hardison plowed through the soft belly of the Bobcat line for 24 yards to give Cass a first-and-goal at the 5-yard line. Etheridge capped the drive the next play and his team was up 24-21 after Pablo Delores made the PAT.
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