The Bartram Trail Bears are district champions; they achieved that football milestone by clobbering the Buchholz Bobcats 53-21 Friday night in Gainesville. Everything seemed to go right for the Bears from offense to defense to special teams.
Buchholz scores first, but Bartram Trail finds quick answer
In the first quarter, Caleb Bowers got things going for the Bobcats by ripping off a 55-yard run, eventually setting a Jakhai Mitchem touchdown run. The PAT was good, making it 7-0 Buchholz. The Bears quickly answered back when quarterback Riley Smith tossed a 70-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Hutchinson. The PAT was no good, making it 7-6 in favor of Buchholz. Smith later ran 10 yards for a touchdown to put Bartram Trail up for the first time. This time, the PAT was good, making it 13-7 Bartram Trail.
As the game went on, Joey Gatewood, the other starting quarterback for Bartram Trail and a four-star Auburn commit, ran 23 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was no good, making it 19-7 Bartram Trail.
In the second quarter, quarterback Trent Whittemore, who also plays safety for the Bobcats, tossed a 24-yard touchdown pass to get Buchholz closer in the game. The PAT was good, making it 19-14 Bartram Trail. Aaron Jones later scored a four-yard touchdown run for the Bears. The PAT was good, making it 26-14 Bartram Trail at the end of the first half.
Bears begin to run away with it
In the third quarter, Brandon Vespi scored a five-yard touchdown run to help put the Bears up 32-14. In the fourth quarter, Smith tossed a 14-yard touchdown reception to Kevin Maurer. With the PAT being good, Bartram Trail went up 39-14. Defensive back Craig Sinclair then notched a pick-six to help put the Bears up 46-14.
The Bobcats eventually got back on board when Whittemore tossed a 35-yard touchdown pass. The PAT afterward was good, making it 46-21 Bartram Trail. The Bears added to their onslaught with a 30-yard touchdown run from Trevez Johnson. The PAT was good, making it 53-21 Bartram Trail. The Bears finally put the nail in the coffin with an interception at the end of the game, officially giving them the District 3-7A championship.
Interview with the winning coach
After the game, Bartram Trail head coach Darrell Sutherland talked about the overall play of his team as well as his two quarterbacks.
Bartram Trail will face the Nease Panthers at home next week; Buchholz will travel to take on the Santa Fe Raiders next week.