Baldwyn had one plan for victory over the Mooreville Troopers (0-1): score early and score often. Mission accomplished. The Bearcats (1-0) took control on the opening kickoff and continued to roll to a 42-15 victory at Latimer Park this past Friday.
“It helps to start fast,” said Baldwyn Coach Michael Gray. “It makes things easier and gets the momentum on your side.”
The Bearcats executed the plan on the first play of the season when Obie Gates took the season opening kickoff 80-yards and crossed the goal line to put the Cats ahead 7-0 after the Felix Hayes PAT. Mooreville had a breath of life when the Troopers returned an interception for a score to tie it at 7-7 with 8:00 in the first but the Mooreville hopes would soon be dashed. On Baldwyn’s next possession, John Swinney hooked up with Calvin Harris for a 33-yard strike to give the Cats the lead at 14-7. The Bearcat defense shut down the Trooper offense as Baldwyn went on to take a first quarter 21-7 lead on a Jalon Clark 1-yard run.
Baldwyn’s scoring onslaught didn’t slow down in the second when Swinney hit Harris again, this time for 76-yards and the score. The Hayes kick put the scoreboard at 28-7 with 11:46 till the half. The Cats got great field position later in the quarter when Jaleel Agnew scooped up a Trooper fumble and returned it to the 14 yard line. Two minutes later, Swinney hit Hayes in the end zone to give Baldwyn a commanding 35-7 halftime lead.
Baldwyn added one more score in the third quarter on a Clark 1-yard touchdown run. Hayes added the PAT to give Baldwyn a 42-7 lead. Mooreville added a late touchdown to put the final score at 42-15.
Swinney finished 6 of 13 for 161 yards and 3 touchdowns. Baldwyn got a strong rushing effort from Jalon Clark (12 carries, 57 yards, 2 TDs), Johndrix Robinson (eight carries, 71 yards) and Obie Gates (seven carries, 70 yards). Calvin Harris finished with three receptions for 120 yards and two scores while Felix Hayes had two catches for 21 yards and one score.
For the defense, Jimmy Tyes led with 7 tackles (2 solo, 5 assists, 2 tfl) and 1 sack. Tice Bowdry finished with 6 tackles (3 solo, 3 assists, 2 tfl) and 2 sacks. Graham Gardner and Blaine Martin both grabbed an interception for the defense.
Friday Night Focus
This Friday night the Bearcats welcome the Booneville Blue Devils (1-0) to Latimer Park for the Skunk Bowl. Booneville is coming off of a 22-12 victory over the Walnut Wildcats. Baldwyn has dominated the series the last two seasons with a 62-13 win last season and a 41-12 victory in 2014. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.