SKIDMORE – Sometimes all it takes to completely change the complexion of a game is one play.
That one play that changed everything for the Skidmore-Tynan Bobcats came less than a minute into the second half and it sparked a rally that led to the Bobcats improving to 2-0 on the year.
Kade Florence’s scoop-and-score fumble return touchdown was that play, and it started a run of 25 unanswered points that ultimately led to a 25-14 win over Robstown at Bobcat Stadium Friday night.
“That was a game-changer,” said Bobcat coach Stephen Silva about the play. “You could just tell that the momentum changed, just the whole attitude of our guys changed.”
The scoop-and-score got Skidmore on the board for the first time and jump-started a come-from-behind victory.
Robstown led 14-0 at the time on the strength of a pair of first-half rushing touchdowns.
The Pickers had the ball near midfield on the first drive of the second half when Joe Guerra came up to force a fumble.
Florence reached down and picked it up the loose ball at the Picker 49, then turned and raced to pay dirt.
“They were a little bit down because the first half didn’t go well,” Silva said. “We got that thing picked up and into the end zone and it was just a big change in momentum.
“You could feel the energy change for us.”
The Pickers’ next drive ended with a fumble as well, this time forced by Juan Rodriguez and recovered by Keegan Westmoreland.
“The interior actually made those two fumbles happen,” Silva said. “Once we picked them up, the momentum shifted and the offense started clicking a lot better as well.”
Eight plays later, Austyn Coronado scored an 11-yard TD run to get the Bobcats within a point and the rally was in full swing.
Coronado finished off the next Bobcat drive with a 10-yard TD run, giving Skidmore the lead, 19-14.
Another Picker fumble led to Skidmore’s fourth touchdown, a 23-yard rushing score by Marcus Gabriel.
That TD made it 25 straight points by the Bobcats, wiping out the memory of a rather dreadful first half.
“The first half, honestly, was pretty disappointing. I know that we could have played better. It just wasn’t happening,” said Silva. “But, at halftime, we talked about it and made a few adjustments. The kids just played better.
“The light switch flipped on.”
The 2-0 start, Silva said, is nice, but it can’t be the focus with the team.
“We’re trying to stay level-headed and have the kids understand that it doesn’t exactly matter that we’re 2-0,” he noted. “The whole idea is that we want to keep practicing to get better.
Every rep that we take in practices and games is to get us better and be prepared to play well at district time.
“As much as we appreciate the wins, we want to concentrate more on getting better.”
Coronado finished as the team’s leading rusher with 108 yards on 17 carries.
Michael Menchaca rushed for 65 yards on 11 carries, while Guerra had 40 yards on 12 tries. Gabriel finished with 37 yards on three carries.
The Bobcats are on the road this week to face Santa Gertrudis Academy in Kingsville. Kickoff is slated for 7 o’clock Friday night.