Tigers take down Bobcats, 32-18
The Luverne Tigers used a “take what they give” offense and a “bend but don't break” defense to stop the 4A Opp Bobcats in their opening game of the season, 32-18.
The Bobcats received the opening kick off and started at their 32-yard line.
On the first play Donald Jones tried to circle left end and was hit by a host of Tigers and lost the handle on the ball. Josh Kilpatrick recovered it for the Tigers on the Bobcat 34-yard line.
On first down, quarterback Chad Free dropped back and hit Payton McGhee with a 34-yard touchdown pass.
On the next kick off, Dansbay Edwards took the ball in at the Opp 5 and was only able to return it to their 10-yard line.
But this time on first down, Chris Carlton took a hand off from Cody Hall and burst through the left side of the Tiger defense and ran 90 yards to tie the score at 6-6.
The PAT was no good and it remained 6-6.
The Bobcat kickoff went into the end zone and the Tigers started at their 20-yard line.
After picking up one first down on an 18-yard run by Fred Hawkins, the Tigers were forced to punt.
Chase Free boomed a 42-yarder that was downed at the Bobcat 19-yard line.
The Bobcats picked up on first down also, and they were forced to punt by a suffering Tiger defense.
Both defenses stiffened and forced punts.
The Tigers were able to push the Bobcats back to their 6-yard line toward the end of the first quarter.
On their first down, Edwards was hit for a one-yard loss and on second down, Hall dropped back in his end zone to pass where he was hit by Justin Ray.
Ray caused Hall to drop the ball and then recovered it in the end zone for another Tiger touchdown.
Again the PAT failed and with 1:58 left in the first quarter, the Tigers led 12-6.
Each team scored twice in the second quarter.
The Tigers scored first on a 1-yard run by QB Free after a 76-yard drive.
The next two scores were by the Bobcats.
Their first score was a return of a blocked punt of 27 yards by Kleint Short.
Their next touchdown came on a one yard run by Donald Jones.
This was at the end of a 3-yard drive after the Tigers turned the ball over at the Opp 3-yard line.
Both PAT's failed.
The final touchdown of the first half by the Tigers came on a 25-yard pass from QB Free to Fred Hawkins; again the PAT failed.
Neither team could muster a score in the third quarter.
The final Tiger score came on a 21 yard run by Fred Hawkins that capped off a 67-yard Tiger drive.
Hawkins added the PAT to give the Tigers their final margin of victory 32-18.
“It wasn't very pretty, but we'll take a win anytime,” Luverne head coach Brad Waggoner said.
Opp came into Tiger land with high hopes which were quickly stuffed by the young crew from Luverne.
“Our offense and our defense played well at times, but we have to work hard and become more fundamentally sound this week,” Waggoner said.
Offensively, The Tigers were led by workhorse Fred Hawkins who had 21 carries for 194 yards and one touchdown; while Narvais Cole chipped in 100 yards rushing on 16 carries.
On defense, Josh Kilpatrick led the charge with 8 tackles while Marco Jones added 6 tackles and 1 sack.
“Statistically, we did a great job,” said Waggoner. “Our offense totaled 386 yards while our defense held the Bobcats to 245 total yards. If it hadn't been for our five turnovers, we'd have put more points one the board. Twelve of Opp's points came directly from turnovers.”
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