PREP FOOTBALL: Bearcats drop season opener to Mars Hill 55-21

The Cullman Bearcats fell to Mars Hill of their season opener Thursday evening 55-21. (Jennifer Lovoy)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Bearcats opened up the 2023 season at house on a sizzling, humid Thursday evening in opposition to perennial 3A energy Mars Hill and after boing blow for blow with the Panthers all through the primary half, Cullman wasn’t in a position to proceed that tempo within the second half and dropped the season opener 55-21. Trenton Clemmons picked off a Panthers go and ran it again 30 yards for a landing simply earlier than halftime to chop Mars Hill’s result in 28-21 on the break however the ‘Cats have been outscored 27-0 within the second half, permitting the Panthers to drag away with the win.

Mars Hill scored on a 40-yard landing go only a few minutes into the primary quarter to take a 7-0 lead however the Bearcats responded with a scoring drive of their very own. Some good runs by Reagan Ogstad and a pair completions from quarterback Preston Homosexual to receivers Wyatt Buchanon and JC Ellerbee drove Cullman’s offense right down to the 5-yard line. Two performs later, Jackson Periods punched it into the top zone from 5 yards out to get the ‘Cats on the board and Garrett Mobley’s further level tied the sport at 7 with lower than a minute remaining within the opening interval.

After the Panthers answered with one other landing go early within the second quarter, making it a 14-7 recreation, an interception reduce the following Cullman possession brief and arrange a brief subject for Mars Hill. A 4-yard landing run prolonged the result in 21-7 a number of performs later and after a giant return on the following kickoff by Buchanon, the Bearcats turned the ball over on downs with a bit of over eight minutes to play within the first half. The Panthers have been compelled to punt on their subsequent possession and the ‘Cats capitalized on the defensive cease, capping off a scoring drive with a 24-yard landing go to Buchanon that trimmed the result in 21-14 with three minutes remaining within the second.

Sadly for the house crowd, it didn’t take lengthy for the Panthers to get these factors again. A 24-yard landing go simply 90 seconds later put Mars Hill again in entrance 28-14 with 1:30 on the clock within the first half and Cullman’s ensuing possession ended with one other interception. Nevertheless, the Bearcats bought a giant play from Clemmons when he jumped in entrance of a Panthers go and returned it 30 yards the opposite method for a landing, slicing Mars Hill’s result in 28-21 on the halftime break.

The ‘Cats bought the ball to begin the second half however have been compelled to punt it away. The Panthers capped off their first possession of the third quarter with an 8-yard landing go and stretched their result in 35-21 halfway by the interval. Mars Hill scored on the bottom from 18 yards out to make it a 42-21 recreation going into the fourth quarter and continued to drag away within the ultimate body. The Panthers added a 47-yard landing go and a 3-yard landing run within the fourth to wrap up a 55-21 highway win over the Bearcats.

Offensively, Buchanon had a giant evening for the ‘Cats, hauling in 11 catches for 132 yards and a landing within the loss. Grey accomplished 17 of his 28 passes for 183 yards, a landing and a pair of interceptions. Ogstad led the best way on the bottom with 22 yards on eight carries and Rex Chandler added 18 yards on 5 carries.

Cullman will now look to refocus its consideration and bounce again in a giant highway recreation at Jasper subsequent Friday evening.

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