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Monday, 20 November 2017 07:11

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Jonathan Corrales breaks for for a run against Paoli Friday night. Corrales had a huge night, scoring three touchdwons in a 52-6 win for the Tyrone Bobcats. L&T photo/Earl Watt

Tyrone advances to semifinals for 2nd straight year

By EARL WATT 

• Leader & Times

TYRONE — Some battles between cats and dogs go to the cats, especially when they are played in Tyrone in the playoffs.

The Tyrone Bobcats dominated the Paoli Pugs in the Elite 8 of the eight-man playoffs, running away with a 52-6 win to advance to the Final Four for the second straight year.

Tyrone used a punishing rushing attack that started with strong sweeps, and after a steady dose of big outside gains, the Bobcats pounded up the middle with a brilliant blend of plays that kept the Bobcats on sustained drives.

Paoli showed some life early, moving the ball to midfield and gaining a first down on the first drive of the game. 

But the Bobcat defense forced a fumble that was recovered by Noah Rodriguez, and three plays later, Bobcats quarterback Brian Holley broke free for a 15-yard touchdown run and a 6-0 lead.

Later in the second quarter, Antonio Pacheco fended off four Paoli tacklers while dancing along the sideline on a 38-yard scamper to the end zone and a 14-0 lead.

The Bobcat defense forced another Paoli turnover that was recovered by Alex Torres, and four plays later Holley ran into the end zone from the 8 yard line, and the Bobcats had a 22-0 lead.

Paoli put together its best drive of the night, putting together a 12-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a two-yard touchdown run by workhorse Cory Cunningham, and the Pugs cut the lead to 22-6.

But the Bobcats answered right back with a six-play drive that ended with a two-yard touchdown dive by Jonathan Corrales, and the Bobcats had a 30-6 lead.

Paoli attempted to go to the air before halftime, but Adrian Lopez intercepted Gage Bower’s pass, and six plays later, Pacheco plunged into the end zone from six yards out, and the Bobcats had a 38-6 lead.

Tyrone started the second half with a 12-play, 65-yard drive that included three third-down conversions and ended with a nine-yard touchdown run by Corrales, and the Bobcats were one score from enacting the mercy rule with a 46-6 lead.

Paoli put together a nine-play drive, but the Bobcat defense forced another fumble that was recovered by Matthew Clancey.

But the Bobcats couldn’t put the game away, and when a fourth-down pass fell incomplete, Paoli took over at their own 35 yard line.

Bower completed a 13-yard pass to Theron Lantz to start the drive, but the Bower’s next pass attempt sailed over the receiver’s head and into the hands of Chance Duty who returned the ball to the Pug 28 yard line.

This time, the Bobcats wouldn’t be denied.

Back-to-back first down runs by Pacheco and Corrales moved the ball to the Paoli 7 yard line, and after a three-yard run by Holley, Corrales ended the game with a four-yard dive into the end zone, and the Bobcats advanced with a 52-6 win in the third quarter.

“Our hard work paid off,” Corrales said. “We are going to get where we wanted to get.”

After giving up 22 points to Grandfield last week, Corrales said the team had a different focus at practice.

“We worked harder in practice,” he said. “We prepared, and we executed the game plan.”

Returning to the semifinals, Corrales said experience will be key.

“We learned from last year what it takes to win that game,” Corrales said. “Last year’s team was good, and the people behind them were good, too. Nobody really knew that. We worked really hard over the summer and pride ourselves on defense.”

Head coach Josh Bell agreed.

“We had more depth last year,” he said. “This year we don’t have as much depth, but we have playmakers. They are competitive. We knew we would be special, but you have to have a lot of things go right, and we’ve had that.”

The season continued with Friday’s win, and Tyrone is expected to play in Alva in a battle of unbeaten teams in a rematch of last year’s semifinal against Pond Creek.

And Tyrone has been getting used to playing in the postseason.

“We love playing in November,” Bell said. “It’s been fun.”

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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