Lumpkin County Tames The Bobcats To Move To 6-1 On The Year

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The Lumpkin County Indians are Back in the Win Column with their 31-28 Victory over the Gilmer County Bobcats


By: Noah Johnson


The 5-1 Lumpkin County Indians headed to Ellijay to take on the 5-1 Gilmer County Bobcats in a regional matchup. The Indians were looking to bounce back after their first loss of the season last week to the Wesleyan Wolves and the Bobcats looked to build on the momentum of their blowout victory against West Hall. The first quarter of the contest seemed to be evenly matched as both teams were able to force turnovers, as well as score two touchdowns a piece. The offense would slow down in the second quarter as the Indians were only able to score a field goal and the Bobcats had one successful drive for a touchdown. The two sides would go to halftime with the Indians trailing the Bobcats 21-17. The Indians would receive the ball to begin the second half ready to retake the lead in the game. The Indians were unsuccessful and the ball was intercepted to set up another scoring drive for the Bobcats. The Bobcats were able to convert on 4th down for a touchdown making the score 28-17. The Indians would do the same against the Bobcats as they were able to convert on 4th down and then score to put them within 4 points of the Bobcats. The Indians headed to the 4th quarter trailing the Bobcats 28-24. The 4th quarter brought all the drama as both teams experienced several flags and fumbles. The game was coming down to the wire, and in the final minute of the game, the Indians were able to score, giving them the lead for the first time in the game. The Bobcats would get one more shot at the end zone but could not make it as the clock and the Indian defense were against them. The clock winded down and the Indians were back in the win column, beating the Bobcats 31-28. 


The contest between the two regional opponents began with the Bobcats receiving the ball. The offense came out strong on the ground, quickly finding themselves within the Indian’s 30-yard line. The Indian’s defense would not let the Bobcats any further as they forced a 4th down. The Bobcats elected to kick an unsuccessful field goal, turning the ball over on downs. The Indians looked to take advantage of the Bobcat turnover by relying on the player of the week #32 Mason Sullens to drive the ball down the field. The Indian series was going well as they recorded back-to-back first downs. #18 Cooper Scott took a hard hit in the backfield and was slow to get up. Scott came out of the game on the next play, and #1 Cal Faulkner was slotted in at quarterback. After a holding call on the Indians, Faulkner was sacked behind the line to set up 3rd and long. After catching his breath, Scott came back into the game looking to give his offense the first down. Scott would throw a deep pass, but it fell incomplete forcing the Indians to bring on the punting unit. The Bobcats took the punt and did not take long to score. #4 Issac Rellinger pitched the ball to #7 Hunter Watkins at midfield and Watkins took it all the way down for a touchdown, making the score 7-0 Bobcats. The Indians would waste no time in scoring on their next drive, as their offense got down the field, setting up a 20-yard rushing touchdown by Sullens to tie the game at 7 a piece. With less than a minute left, no one expected a score change, let alone two. The Bobcats ran an option play after receiving the kick that they were able to score on thanks to #10 Will Kiker who racked up 62 yards on the play. The Indians received the kick and Sullens was able to bring it back within the Bobcat’s 35-yard line. With 8 seconds remaining in the quarter, Scott found Faulkner in the corner of the endzone for a touchdown. The game would be tied 14-14 as the first quarter came to a close. 

The Bobcats began the second quarter with the ball and again wasted no time responding to the score by the Indians. Watkins found a hole and was able to rush from the Bobcat’s 35-yard line all the way down for a touchdown, making the score 21-14 Bobcats. The Indians began the next drive poised to score, as #30 AJ Scott returned the kick into Bobcat territory. The Indians were unable to score but found themselves within field goal range. The Indians would make the field goal, making the score 21-17. With 5 minutes left in the first half, the Bobcats would retain possession, looking to go up two scores before heading to the locker room. It would be a frustrating series for the Bobcats as they had two personal fouls against them and could not make it past midfield and were forced to punt. The Indians would play it safe with less than a minute, as they did not want to turn the ball over considering they would begin the second half on offense. The first half would come to a close with the Indians trailing the Bobcats 21-17. 


The Indians received the ball to begin the 3rd quarter and would start from their 39-yard line after the kick. The Bobcat defense was able to force a quick 4th down, but with only one yard to go, the Indians elected to go for it. Sullens powered through to the 50-yard line giving the Indians a fresh set of downs. After back-to-back incomplete passes by the Indians, the punting unit came onto the field on 4th and 6. However, before the punt a flag was thrown onto the field as the Bobcats had an extra man on the field, giving the Indians 5 yards. Now with 4th and 1, the Indian’s offense came back onto the field and Sullens again rushed for the 1st down. On the next play, Scott passed the ball downfield but was intercepted by Kiker who ran the ball back to the Indian’s 30-yard line. The Bobcats were met with a strong Indian defense after the interception, #22 Will Wood got to the quarterback for a sack that set up 3rd and 11. The Bobcats would then find themselves on 4th down in the red zone. Rather than kick a field goal, the Bobcats would go for the first down. The gamble would work as they got the first down and then the touchdown making the score 28-17. The Indians got the ball back and needed to score to stay within striking distance of the Bobcats. The Indian offense carried by Sullens, who rushed for 70+ yards in the series, found themselves in a scoring position. Several flags against the Indian offense forced them into a 4th and 18 situation in Bobcat territory. The Indians kept the offense on the field on 4th down and Scott was able to make a scrambling throw to Faulkner to give the Indians a first down on the 7-yard line. On the next play, Scott handed the ball off to Sullens who ran it in for the touchdown. The score would now be 28-24 Bobcats on top with one minute left in the quarter. The Bobcats would get two plays off before the final seconds of the quarter, setting up 3rd and 1. 

The final quarter began and the Bobcats were in the driver’s seat with the lead and the ball on their 40-yard line. The Bobcats were able to convert the 3rd down and gave themself another set of downs to work with. The Indian defense would force a 4th and 1 on the next set of plays, but the Bobcats would convert to set up another scoring drive. The Indians would get to the quarterback for a sack to set up 3rd and long that would be followed by an incomplete pass forcing the Bobcats into another 4th down scenario. The Bobcats elected to punt the ball with 7 minutes left in the game. Faulkner was slotted in at quarterback for Scott, who looked to be nursing a knee injury on the sidelines. After receiving the punt and a Sullens 1st down run, the Indians would find themselves at midfield. On the next play, the Indians fumbled the ball which was picked up by the Bobcats for a turnover. The Bobcats came into the series looking to keep the ball on the ground to not only wind down the clock but also avoid a turnover. However, the Indians would immediately force a fumble that would be picked up by #25 Cam Stringer and spotted at the Bobcat’s 41-yard line. The Indians pushed the ball further into Bobcat territory and found themselves on 4th and 1, 16 yards away from the endzone. Faulkner handed the ball off to Sullens who muscled through for the 16-yard touchdown making the score 31-28 with 27 seconds left in the contest. The Indians would squib the kickoff as they hoped to knock time off of the clock and prevent a runback. The Bobcats attempted two deep passes that fell incomplete, setting up 3rd and 10 with 4 seconds to play. The Bobcats opted for the short pass and the receiver was able to miss a couple of tackles before he was eventually brought down and the game clock ran out. The Indians come back and hold on to beat the Bobcats 31-28. 


After the game, Indians head coach Heath Webb was asked about how the Indians won the game and he said “Just keep battling, just keep battling, that’s a good football team over there (Gilmer). Gotta compete your tail off, we talked about it all week long, you gotta play 48 minutes, maybe more against a good football team like that and weather the storm.” The Indians certainly did weather the storm as they moved to 6-1 on the season and 2-1 in their region. The Indians will have a bye this Friday but will be back on the road as they go to Cleveland to take on another regional opponent the White County Warriors. 

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