KINGSVILLE — The Skidmore-Tynan Bobcats opened up their game with Santa Gertrudis Academy with 20 unanswered points, but then had to hang on late in the fourth quarter to emerge with Thursday’s win, 40-38, over the Lions.
The victory improves the Bobcats’ district record to 3-2 and keeps their playoff hopes alive. The ’Cats are 3-5 overall on the season.
“Last week’s game was our best offensive outing of the year. We scored on our first four offensive possessions,” said Bobcat head coach Russell Joy.
“Our offensive line had a great game. They continue to understand our blocking schemes better each week.”
The three S-T touchdowns in the first period were all runs. Donovan Encinia broke the scoreless game open with a three-yard burst into the end zone to give the Bobcats a 6-0 advantage. Kyle Nelson added the second TD, going eight yards, and then Encinia capped off the quarter with a 62-yard jaunt that gave the Bobcats a big 20-0 lead.
The Lions did get on the scoreboard in the wild first period to make it a 20-6 contest heading into the second quarter.
Both teams scored a TD in the second period. Nelson picked up his second touchdown on a one-yard blast to put the ’Cats up 26-6. The boys from Kingsville went back to work and recorded their second passing TD of the game to pull a little closer at 26-12 before the half came to an end.
The Lions went right back to their passing attack to record their third TD and first in the second half. The PAT try was no good, but the SG boys trailed by just eight at 26-18 with plenty of time left in the third quarter.
The Bobcats stuck with their ground game, and Encinia broke free for another long run (48 yard) for his second score. That gave the S-T squad a 32-18 lead heading into the final stanza.
The home team rallied in the fourth quarter with two touchdowns, helped by a couple of S-T fumbles. Both TDs came on running plays by the Lions. That tied things at 32-32.
The Bobcats rebounded and put together a short fourth quarter scoring drive after a blocked punt by TJ Amador. Encina capped off the drive with a one-yard plunge for his third score. Quarterback R.J. Estrada ran for the all-important two-point conversion to put the Bobcats in front 40-32 with time slowly becoming a factor. There were just two and a half minutes remaining.
The SG boys got a couple of more chances, thanks to Bobcat fumbles. S-T lost four loose balls on the night. The Lions failed to capitalize on these drives, but did score one final TD on another pass. The score was 40-38 with a two-point conversion attempt to come. The Lions tried to run for the tying two-pointer, but the Bobcat defense stopped them short to preserve a 40-38 lead and the win.
Encinia ran for 296 yards on 37 carries on the night with four TDs. Nelson finished the game with 61 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns. S-T rushed for a season high 339 yards and Estrada added 30 yards passing, hitting on two of five attempts. Both passes were caught by Nathan Magana.
The Lions rushed for 175 yards on the night but did a lot of damage through the air with 310 yards passing.
“Defensively, it was our worst outing of the year. We didn’t do a very job making plays when we needed,” Joy said.
“This week, we are going to have to do a much better job tackling.”
The Bobcats host Taft on Friday night.
“Taft is an athletic football team which likes to run a lot of misdirection and get their athletes in space. We are going to have to be disciplined on defense,” Joy said.
“Offensively, we are going to have to come off the ball and control the line of scrimmage.”
The turnovers are still a problem for the ’Cats, and Joy hopes to remedy that aspect of the game.
“Last week, we did a much better job of not shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties, but turnovers continue to be our Achilles heel. We have to do a better job of taking care of the football,” Joy said.
The kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.