• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

Tigers beat McNabb 14-6

WCMS EIGHTH-GRADER ABDUL BILAL scored the game winning 83-yard touchdown over McNabb Sept. 27. (File photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County Middle School eighth-grade football team defeated McNabb 14-8 Thursday, Sept. 27 in the conference playoffs. The Tigers defense made timely plays that decided the game in the fourth quarter. Both teams struggled to move the ball in the first quarter but McNabb put together a long drive with a few pass completions and a short touchdown run and two-point conversion to take an 8-0 lead early in the second quarter. On the next possession, the Tigers went back to work, driving down the field. Abdul Bilal threw a halfback pass to Alex Owens for a 25-yard gain. Quarterback Sawyrer Ford ran for a first down but the Tigers were penalized for holding. Facing a long fourth-down conversion, the Tigers handed off to Dakota Hobbs who pushed through the pile for the first down. A few plays later, Bilal scored on a three-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the Tigers trailed 8-6 at halftime. Both teams were scoreless in the third quarter, but the Tigers started the fourth quarter with momentum after Ford and Aiden Carroll broke up a McNabb pass attempt on fourth down to give the Tigers possession. Bilal went untouched on an 83-yard touchdown run to give the Tigers the lead. Hobbs scored on the two-point conversion attempt to give the Tigers a 14-8 lead with six minutes to play. The Tigers defense would be tested again late in the fourth quarter, but held the McNabb running game on four plays at the Woodford one-yard line. After regaining possession, Ford gained a few yards on a quarterback sneak to give himself room to kneel and run out the clock. “I think the team has finally developed a fighting mentality,” said WCMS Coach Dave Thomas. “All of our games after the Harrison County games have been close games and we've won them all with the exception to Elkhorn and we were highly competitive in that one. We're making everyone earn anything they get from us and I love it. We are playing well defensively right now and I love the momentum we have carrying us into the the playoffs. We are now looking at a well-coached Meade County team. I think if we can execute, we can advance and the kids have an opportunity like they have never had before. So I am very excited for them.”

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