Colonels mauled by Bobcats, head to Starkville Friday
By James Beasley
A week after experiencing the thrill of victory in beating Leake 43-38, the Copiah Academy Colonels suffered the agony of defeat as the Presbyterian Christian Bobcats overwhelmed them 42-14 in Hattiesburg last Friday night.
Things looked good as CA’s Ty Quick recovered a Bobcat fumble at midfield early in the opening period. But the Colonels couldn’t capitalize, and were forced to punt. A penalty on Presbyterian Christian moved the ball back inside the ten, but on the second play, Bobcats southpaw quarterback Brandon Sullivan connected with Blake Graves, who took it 91 yards for a touchdown. Troy Waites kicked the first of his 5 PAT’s, and Presbyterian Christian led 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
Moments later, Copiah’s Kelton Smith took a pitch around the right side for a 32-yard gain to his own 45. But once again, the drive stalled and the Colonels had to punt. Neither team could mount a drive until Presbyterian Christian took over at midfield early in the second period. On the first play, Graves ran left for 39 yards down to the Copiah 12. Three plays later, Sullivan scored from the two on a quarterback bootleg. Waites added the PAT, and the Bobcats led 14-0 with 9:25 left in the half.
On the ensuing offensive series, CA’s Kelton Smith had a 16-yard gain and then raced 51 yards for a touchdown. Brandon Baker kicked the PAT, and the Colonels had cut the deficit in half, 14-7, with 7 minutes remaining until halftime. Presbyterian Christian responded quickly as Sullivan passed deep to Hunter Hawkins for a 74-yard gain to the Copiah six. Graves scored on the next play, and the Bobcats led 21-7 with 5:50 left in the half.
Presbyterian Christian got the ball back and immediately scored on Sullivan’s 62-yard TD pass to Steven Jones. The Bobcats scored again in the final minute of the half when Sullivan passed over the middle to Jones, who made a fingertip catch and took it in the end zone for a 48-yard touchdown and a 35-7 halftime lead.
The Colonels fumbled the ball near midfield at the start of the third quarter, which led to Presbyterian Christian’s final TD of the night – a 2-yard plunge by Michael Griffin midway through the period. Zach Girod kicked the PAT, and Presbyterian Christian led 42-7.
Following the kickoff, Copiah moved the ball into Bobcat territory as quarterback Brandon Miller completed passes to Kelton Smith, Adam Pitts, and Dillon Martin. However, Chris Herring’s interception halted the drive and set up Waites’ 45-yard field goal attempt that fell short with 9:14 remaining in the game.
Copiah then went 80 yards in five plays, with Pitts scoring on a 17-yard TD pass from Miller. On the drive, the senior wide receiver also had catches for 14 yards and 31 yards, respectively. Baker kicked the PAT with 2:30 left to account for the final score.
Unofficial stats confirmed the Bobcats’ domination as they gained 420 total yards, including 365 in the first half. Sullivan completed 6 of 9 passes for 221 yards, while Presbyterian Christian picked up 183 yards on the ground. Meanwhile, Copiah was led by Kelton Smith, who rushed 17 times for 135 yards and one touchdown. Brandon Miller was 7 of 13 passing – with 5 of those completions to Adam Pitts for 76 yards and a TD. CA had 225 yards on total offense.
The Colonels are now 3-3 on the season, and will head north to Starkville Academy this Friday night, where they will take on the 5-1 Volunteers, who lost 23-0 to Jackson Prep last week. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM.