Led by huge performances on the ground by Sheldon James and Alden Rhian, the Bobcats started their season off on the right foot, beating West Marion, 38-18.
“I’m old school. I don’t know much about the spread,” PCS head coach Joey Hawkins said. “I missed the memo on two things: Spread and the zone. We double team, kick out, trap and counter. That’s what we do, and the counter opened up. They played our outside stuff good, so we had to go in. The counter probably generated 250 yards. Probably.”
James rushed for nearly 250 yards by himself, adding 3 touchdowns on the ground. Rhian scored his lone touchdown in the third quarter, which helped the Bobcats begin to pull away and secure the win.
“Sheldon, I don’t know what he ended up with, but he deserves this,” Hawkins said. “He’s worked for us for 3 years. He carried the ball 51 times last year total. Now Isaiah [Woullard] leaves, and him and Alden Rhian have to step up. We got big-time play from our tailbacks.”
Hawkins also gave a ton of credit to the Bobcat offensive line, which returned 4 of 5 starters from last season.
“Our offensive line is smart,” Hawkins added. “They’re smart, good, tough and have low pad level. And our tight ends are two of the best I’ve ever had.”
On the other side of the ball, the Bobcat defense also had a big night, especially in the second half. After putting 12 points on the board in the first half, West Marion managed even fewer in the second, as they were outscored by the Bobcats, 24-6.
“Our defense made some good plays,” Hawkins said. “They [West Marion] have a good offense. The quarterback is tougher than nails. No. 33, he can hammer it up in there. Got some wideouts that are great in space. So we’ll go back to work, but for a first game, we’re very pleased.”
James and Rhian led the way with their four combined rushing scores, while Bobcat quarterback Brandon Thornton added a touchdown pass to Eric Robinson in the first quarter and O'Neill Walters a 35-yard field goal in the third.
PCS will look to improve to 2-0 next Friday night when they travel to Columbia Academy.