The Buchholz Bobcats (7-1) defeated the Creekside Knights (5-4) Friday night in the teams’ second matchup of the season. The Bobcats delivered a blowout victory over the Knights with a final score of 46-13.
The Bobcats dominated the first quarter with a trio of touchdowns by senior RB Quandarius Smith. Smith—the “go-to” ball carrier for the Bobcats—received 14 handoffs from sophomore QB Creed Whittemore throughout the game. Wide receivers Jacarree Kelly and Quan Lee also had a strong night offensively, each scoring a touchdown and gaining several first downs.
The Bobcats’ defense completely shut out the Knights in the first half. Two interceptions, three sacks, and multiple turnovers on fourth down rattled Creekside’s offense early on. The Knights, unable to make it past the 50-yard line in their first two possessions, struggled to move the ball downfield due to heavy pressure from the Buchholz defense. Senior Damien Curtis intercepted a long pass from Creekside’s QB Daniel Plummer in the first quarter. The defense sacked Plummer three times in the first half and forced him out of the pocket to make multiple rushed, sloppy passes. The Bobcats’ defense went on to block two punts by Creekside, resulting in a safety and a touchdown.
Turning Mistakes into Big Plays
The ability to learn from their mistakes and recover quickly has brought the Bobcats a great deal of success this season. QB Creed Whittemore turned a fumbled snap into a touchdown by recovering the football and making a clean pass to an open receiver downfield. Kicker Hunter Smith missed two extra points but redeemed himself with a field goal and a two-point conversion.
Room for Improvement
RB Quandarius Smith made several attempts to run the ball up the middle but was often unable to find an opening. Many rushing attempts by the Bobcats resulted in little or no gain and the tally of incomplete passes reached double digits. Reckless penalties also hurt the Bobcats in the second quarter, with flags thrown for unsportsmanlike conduct, false start and delay of game. Head Coach Mark Whittemore said his goal is to have a cleaner offense next week.
“The key is going to be making sure we get our bumps and bruises situated and making sure we are focused,” Whittemore said.
The Buchholz Bobcats are set to face the Navarre Raiders in the Class 7A championship quarter-finals next Friday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m.