The Buchholz Bobcats ended their football season on Friday night after falling short against the Bartram Trail Bears 35-31 at Citizen’s Field in the 7A Regional Semifinals.
It was an uphill battle from the start as Bobcats senior quarterback Jackson White injured his left ankle on a sack during the second play of the game. White left the game momentarily to have his ankle wrapped but noticeably had trouble putting pressure on his ankle most of the rest of the night.
Bartram took advantage of a stalled Bobcats offense by scoring 21 unanswered to start the game. Buchholz head coach Mark Whittemore said after the game that Bartram did a great job executing on their deep pass plays as the Buchholz defensive backs were burned on multiple occasions in the first half.
An injured White eventually returned to the game and his impact was palpable. White went 4-for-4 and threw for 57 yards on their first scoring drive, capped off by a touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Luke Whittemore to cut the lead to 21-7.
White continued to dig deep as he found Whittemore again for their second touchdown connection of the night to shrink the deficit to 21-14. Bartram would eventually go into halftime leading 28-14. Coach Whittemore said it was White’s determination that inspired the team to get back into the ball game.
Buchholz junior backup quarterback Scott Lester would eventually have to take the reins for good after White later re-aggravated his ankle injury. Lester helped close the lead in the second half, throwing a seven yard touchdown strike to Jared Graddy to make the score 28-21.
The Bobcats had an opportunity to tie up the game, making it down to the Bartram Trail five yard line inside the last two minutes. But Lester’s throw to the end-zone was tipped for an interception and returned 105 yards the other way by Bartram safety Isiah Bolden as the Bears sealed the win.
Buchholz ends their season with a 10-2 record.