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Bowling Middle School Football Coach Tommy Tackett knew his team needed to play the perfect game for his team to win their opening game in the Kentucky Middle School State Playoffs.
Even though they played well, it was not enough. The Wildcats of Henry County knocked off the Rebels 26-6 Saturday evening at Patterson Field.
Following the game, Tackett told the team how proud he was of them. The coach reminded them of how far they had come during the regular season and told them to hold their heads high as they walked off the field.
He then dismissed the rest of the team so that he could speak to the eighth-graders.
During his chat, it was clear just how much the first group of eighth-graders he coached for two years meant to him. He encouraged them to keep working hard as they prepared for football next year at Owen County High School.
“They have given 110-percent on every play,” Tackett said. “They have done everything asked of them and more.”
Saturday night’s game was a rematch of an earlier season contest that saw Henry County defeat BMS 44-8.
Tackett said for his team to have a chance they could not allow the Wildcats to break any big plays. He also said the first quarter would be important.
Owen County suffered a setback early in the game when Brady Young was injured. He was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons and was later found to be OK. Young had scored five touchdowns on the season.
The game was scoreless until late in the quarter when it appeared the Henry County runner was going to be tackled for a loss. Instead, he broke free and ran down the sidelines for a touchdown to give the Wildcats a 6-0 lead.
While the BMS offense struggled to get things going in the first half, it seemed the defense had turned the momentum back on the side of the Rebels when they stopped Henry County on fourth down late in the second quarter.
The good feelings did not last long, for the Rebels fumbled the ball on their first play and it was recovered by Henry County and returned to the 12-yard line. A penalty moved the ball to the 6-yard line.
Three plays later, Henry County scored and added the 2-point conversion to take a 14-0 lead at halftime.
The Wildcats opened the second half by taking the opening kickoff and marching down the field to take a 20-0 lead.
To their credit, the Rebels did not quit but answered with a score on their next possession.
Carson Williams took the hand-off and carried defenders into the end zone from 4-yards out to cut the deficit to 20-6.
That was as close as the Rebels would get as the Wildcats added another score, making the final margin 26-6.
Despite the loss, the team finished the season with a 6-3 record and a positive outlook for the 2011 campaign.