The Bobcats started the game with an 80-yard drive that culminated in at 45-yard pass to Kenny Watt for a touchdown. A good kick by Seth Rothell brought the score to 7-0 with more than 7 minutes left in the first quarter.
After a short possession for the Blue Flame, the ball was returned to the Bobcats, and another kick by Rothell added three more points to the Bobcat scoreboard for the first quarter.
The Blue Flame’s second possession saw two first downs by Michael Johnson and Jordan Freeman, but ultimately resulted in a punt and a ball return to the Bobcats for the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter ushered in an embarrassing moment for the Blue Flame. Bobcat Cameron Blassingame blocked a Pickens punt and teammate Chris Beitz recovered the ball and ran it back for the first score of the quarter.
The second quarter also saw a questionable call by the referees. A Blue Flame player had a personal foul called on him and was accused of punching a Bobcat player. Pickens coach Chad Seaborn objected to the call, but was unable to overturn it.
“I asked [the referee] if he was certain it was that player who had thrown a punch,” Seaborn said. When the referee responded noncommittally and informed the head coach that the call stood regardless of any questions, Seaborn was upset.
“You never want to hear that from a ref,” he said. “It’s tough to be accused of [throwing a punch].”
However, Pickens pushed through, managing to secure a field goal late in the second quarter. The original kick by Justin Gravely was no good, but a late penalty against Seneca for running into the kicker moved Gravely 5 yards closer. On the second try, he hit his mark and put the Pickens’ only points onto the scoreboard.
Halftime featured the induction ceremony of the first class into the Seneca High Athletic Hall of Fame. Seven coaches, athletes, and administrators were inducted into the Hall of Fame, including Tom Bass, the former Seneca football coach who led his team to 209 wins and only 69 losses. Music was provided by the Seneca High School marching band.
The third quarter was relatively quiet, with no points added to the scoreboard. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, however, a pass meant for Blue Flame Joel Rice was intercepted by the Bobcat defense and returned to the Pickens 5-yard line. Seneca used this opportunity to add another six points to the scoreboard, and a good kick brought the score to 23-3.
With 5:44 left in the game, Blue Flame quarterback James Lawson threw his third interception of the game. The ball, intended for Joel Rice, was caught by Bobcat T.J. Boyd and run back for the fourth and final Bobcat touchdown. Rothell’s kick was good, and the Bobcat team solidly secured their victory over Pickens.
The Blue Flame’s Jordan Freeman finished the game with 84 yards on 18 carries. His counterpart on the Bobcat team, Chris Robinson, finished with 80 yards on as many carries. Blue Flame receiver Michael Johnson beat the receivers on both teams with a total of 46 yards on four completed passes.
“We just couldn’t make plays,” Seaborn said. He insisted, however, that his team did not take Seneca for granted.
“Our kids knew how good they were,” he said. “They just capitalized on our mistakes and made new plays on the field.”
Pickens will have their own Hall of Fame induction ceremony at next weeks game against BHP at home at 7:30 p.m..
Seneca will travel to D.W. Daniel next week.