By JASON EPP
High Plains Daily Leader
Tyrone, Okla. - Some nights the ball just bounces your way. Friday night in Tyrone, the Bobcats made some plays and also took advantage of good fortune to win big over the Balko Bison 42-12.
With theWith the Bobcats holding an 8-6 lead midway through the first quarter, Travis Sheilds busted out around the left flank and was racing down the sideline. A Balko defender knocked the ball loose at the Balko 30, but Tyrone’s Uriel Orona grabbed the bounding ball without even having to bend over and was not caught until he was brought down at the one. Tyler Lai scored his second rushing TD of the game on the next play giving the Bobcats a 14-6 lead with 3:16 left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing Bison possession, Balko attempted a fake punt. But Lai stepped in front of the intended Balko receiver and intercepted the pass and returned it 53 yards for the touchdown. The TD gave Tyrone a 20-6 lead with 11:00 left in the half that held through the rest of the half.
“I’m very pleased with the way our kids played,” said Tyrone Head Coach Josh Bell. “We got out to a quick start, and we haven’t done that all year. We’ve stubbed our toe in the first quarter, and to come out and get 20 points that quick, with one of them on defense; that’s exciting.”
Lai continued his stellar play in the second half when he hit end Jacob Williams for the two-point conversion on a roll-out play, after a six-yard touchdown run by Travis Shields. Lai drew the Balko defense to him, and then dumped the pass over defenders for the completion.
On the Bobcats next possession, Lai found Williams again on a quick pass, and Williams took it 59 yards, breaking two tackles on the way, for the touchdown.
We saw how the corners were playing it on a previous pass play, and we knew if we released outside and threw it quick, we would get a big gain,” said Bell. “Tyler had a down week away from the field but, he cleared his head and had probably his best game of the season on both sides of the ball. Tonight he just stepped out and led the team.”
Lai added a fourth TD midway through the fourth quarter, and finished the game with 24 points rushing and 8 more passing.
Travis Sheild also stood out for the Bobcats, rushing for a team-high 210 yards and two TDs on just 17 carries. Lai finished with 110 yards rushing on 23 carries, and 2-of-3 passing for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Tyrone is now 4-2, with a legitimate chance at their first winning record in over three decades and their first trip to the playoffs in fifteen years.
“It was probably the late 70’s early 80’s last time Tyrone was 4-2,” said Bell. I don’t know when last time Tyrone had a winning record. It’s good to be 4 and 2.”