Bell rolls Rockcastle 39-6, improves to 6-0
With six different Bobcats finding the end zone on Friday night, Bell County defeated Rockcastle County 39-6, improving to 6-0 on the season.
“(Rockcastle) is a very well coached team, a very hard hitting team. They really got after us and hit us in the mouth,” said Bell County coach Dudley Hilton. “That’s what we knew we were in for when we play Rockcastle County. This is a good game for us because we have been tested. They’ve only lost to three teams, two if which are undefeated. They gave us a lot of different looks and I think we adjusted well.”
Quarterback London Stephney played a very efficient game, completing 10-of-15 passes for 158 yards, two touchdowns with no interceptions. Four different Bobcats ran in touchdowns individually. Stephney had 10 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Baker paced the Bobcats with 14 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown. Dawson Woolum had five carries for 33 yards and a touchdown and Will Dean had six carries for 17 yards and a touchdown.
In addition to a strong running game, Bell County found quite a bit of success through the air. Three different receivers had catches in the winning effort. Cameron Burnett caught four passes leading the Bobcats with 72 yards and a touchdown. Jason Jones also had four catches, good for 54 yards and a touchdown. Brant Hoskins had two big grabs for 32 yards.
The Bell County defense limited Rockcastle County to only 177 total yards and six points. Hunter Bailey, Tyson Thomas and Dawson Widener seemed to be in on every tackle for the Bobcats during the game as they paced the defense.
Bailey led Bell County in total tackles with 11. Thomas had nine tackles, including three tackles for loss. Widener added nine tackles as well, including two for loss. On the night, Bell County racked up seven total tackles for a loss.
“It feels good to be playing back at home,” said Hilton. “This is the first game we’ve played here in a month and it feels good to be back here on ‘The Hill.’ We’ve got our homecoming next week up here and we’re facing another good football team with a well-established coach.
“When you meet these teams who have that coach that’s been there for such a long time, you know you’re in for a game. Coach (Jerry) Perry has been there for several years and is a very established coach. He has that team playing some good football right now and they’ll be ready for us next Friday.”
Bell County wasted no time in showing that their defense and special teams were ready to play. The Bobcats held the Rockets to just two yards on their game-opening possession. After forcing Rockcastle to a three-and-out, Stephney returned the punt for 40 yards, leaving Bell County with great field position inside the Rockets’ 40-yard line.
It looked like the Bobcats would be held on their opening possession after facing a third down with 18 yards to go. However, facing a fourth-and-8, Stephney was able to move the chains on a 24-yard run, giving Bell County a first down deep in Rockcastle territory on the 14-yard line.
A pair of Baker runs capped off by a leaping attempt over the goal line gave Bell County an early 7-0 lead after a successful PAT from Jones with 8:16 remaining in the first.
From that point forward, the Bobcats poured on 32 straight points — a 15-yard touchdown reception from Burnett, a leaping goal line touchdown run by Dean, a goal line touchdown reception by Jones, a 42-yard rushing touchdown by Stephney and a 23-yard rushing touchdown from Woolum. The rally gave Bell a 39-0 lead.
The Rockets added their lone touchdown with just under three minutes remaining in the game to keep it from being shut out by Bell County’s defense, but the damage had been done and the Bobcats were able to secure a 33-point victory at the final horn.
“We challenged the guys at halftime,” said Hilton. “We really hadn’t closed a game out very well all season. We gave up that touchdown near the end of the game. We had too many penalties down the field. The guys wanted a shut out, but we got the win and that’s all that matters here at Bell County.
“We’re 2-0 in the district and next week we have Garrard County and then we have to go to Estill County. We just have to take care of business. In these playoffs now, you have to repeat your district. I’ll just go ahead and say right now, Rockcastle will be back up here the second week of the playoffs. I still say we are going to have another heck of a game with them.”
With the win, Bell County improved to 6-0 and 2-0 in District 5. The Bobcats currently rank 12 in the state of Kentucky (1A-6A) and second in the state in the 3A rankings to Mercer County. They take on Garrard County (4-2) Friday on Log Mountain. It will also be Bell County’s homecoming.