TAFT – When coaches talk about penalties, oftentimes, they aren’t talking about the number of penalties or the yardage lost from those penalties.
Most often, it’s about when the penalty happened that is the most important element.
Skidmore-Tynan coach Stephen Silva can attest to the fact.
His Bobcats weren’t flagged often in Week 9, but, when the yellow laundry did hit the field, it came at all the wrong times.
That’s what helped the Taft Greyhounds beat the Bobcats 28-13 in Skidmore’s District 16-3A Division I north zone debut last Thursday.
“I don’t think they necessarily were the better team,” Silva said after the loss, which dropped the Bobcats to 2-5 overall and 0-1 in zone play.
“We kind of killed ourselves with penalties.
“... For the most part, I thought we played pretty decent for the four quarters except for the penalties.”
Three critical moments provided the difference in the contest.
The first was when Skidmore was unable to punch the ball into the end zone late in the first half. The Bobcats had the ball inside the Greyhound 10 with less than a minute to play, but Taft held them out of the end zone and then the half ended with the ball at the 1 when Skidmore was flagged for a pre-snap penalty with the clock running. The resulting 10-second runoff sent the game to halftime with Taft leading 7-0.
The second came in the third quarter when Taft hit the Bobcats with a momentum-killing TD pass just two plays after the visitors had tied the contest on a 10-yard TD run by Gabriel Carabajal.
The third came in the fourth quarter when a bad snap prevented the Bobcats from kicking a game-tying PAT following a Michael Menchaca rushing TD.
The Bobcats forced a punt on Taft’s next possession, but penalties wrecked their drive and forced them to punt it back.
Taft scored with less than four minutes left to make it 20-13.
The Greyhounds had a chance to ice it after picking off a Kade Florence pass, but the Bobcat defense held at the 1.
On the first play of the next drive, Taft came up with a pick-six to seal the win.
The Bobcat offense produced a pair of 100-yard rushers in Florence and Joe Guerra. The former went for 113 yards on 12 carries and the latter went for 100 yards on 15 carries.
Florence also threw for 58 yards on 4-of-11 passing.
Carabajal finished with 56 yards on 12 carries, while Menchaca racked up 30 yards on nine carries.
“I think we did a decent job,” Silva said about the offense. “We moved the ball and had some good plays.
“It just seemed like every second or third down here and there penalties killed us.”
He was even happier with the defense.
“Shoot, we played pretty dadgum good,” he said. “I think we had four fourth-down holds. We allowed one touchdown early and then we had a couple of bonehead plays.
“But, for the most part, we played pretty good.”
The Bobcats face Odem this week in their final zone contest of the season. Kickoff for the game is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bobcat Stadium.
Skidmore will then play for one of the district’s playoff spots in the final week against a team yet to be determined from the district’s south zone.
“We’ve known since we went to zones that we’re going to have a chance,” Silva said about the team’s playoff chances. “... We don’t know who the opponent is going to be, but we know that if we win that game, we get into the playoffs.”