By Connor Mullins

            The Abilene High Eagles lost to the San Angelo Central Bobcats 35-13 on Friday night in another District 3-6A loss for the Eagles. The score was 21-13 heading into the fourth quarter but two touchdowns from quarterback Malachi Brown put the game away for the Bobcats.

            “We gave up too many big plays,” Eagles head coach Michael Fullen said.

            Central’s offense outgained the Eagles in total yards with 432 total yards of offense compared to the Eagles 246 total yards. Bobcats quarterback Malachi Brown went 21 of 37 for 321 yards passing and nine carries for 52 yards. The junior finished the game with 4 total touchdowns, 2 rushing and 2 passing touchdowns.

            “It was a very good offense,” Fullen said. “It was exactly what we expected.”

            After a scoreless first quarter, the Bobcats scored two touchdowns to make the score 14-0. However, the Eagles came back just before halftime with quarterback Matthew Ezzell, junior, throwing a 26-yard touchdown pass to Frederick Johnson. The Eagles missed the extra point, making it 14-6 at halftime.

            “Our execution was good at times,” Fullen said.

Eagles quarterback Eric Abbe, senior, started the game, but Ezzell was back from injury tonight and able to play.

            “It was what we needed to do,” Fullen said.

            Coming back from halftime the Eagles gave up a big play from Brown to his leading receiver Tanner Dabbert ending up in a 53-yard touchdown pass, which made the score 21-13 at the end of the third quarter after a 36-yard Ezzell touchdown pass to tight end Colby Ernst, senior.

            “Our defense was good at times,” Fullen said. “They were really good, but we gave up too many big plays. We knew we couldn’t afford to do that coming in.”

            The Bobcats used the fourth quarter to run the ball down the Eagles throat and gained two rushing touchdowns to make the score 35-13 which ended up being the final score.

            “I felt like we were the better team today,” Eagles running back Alphonzo Dotson, junior, said. “But we just didn’t play like it and we’ve got a lot of work to do now. We gotta worry about the next game against Haltom and win.”

            The Eagles have work to do ahead of their next matchup against the Haltom Buffaloes who are 3-3 overall and 1-1 in district after beating the Euless Trinity Trojans 23-20 on Friday night.

            “I have to practice hard and make sure everybody is doing what they’re supposed to be doing in practice,” Eagles wide receiver Jeshari Houston, junior, said. “We gotta keep pushing.”

            Dotson and Houston led the Eagles in rushing and receiving against the Bobcats with Dotson gaining 19 carries for 77 yards and Houston boasting 6 catches for 60 yards. The Eagles are now 2-5 overall and 1-2 in district.

            “We have to win out and make the playoffs,” Dotson said. “We can’t miss playoffs because it’s a different atmosphere and I wanna experience it.”

Game Notes:

  • Eagles quarterback Matthew Ezzell finished 8 of 23 for 155 yards and two touchdowns
  • Bobcats quarterback Malachi Brown finished 21-37 for 321 yards and two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns
  • Bobcats receiver Tanner Dabbert finished with seven catches for 128 yards and a touchdown
  • Eagles receiver Jeshari Houston finished with six catches for 60 yards
  • Eagles running back Phonzo Dotson finished with 19 carries for 77 yards
  • The Eagles recovered a fumbled kick from Central but were unable to use that momentum in the first quarter
  • The Eagles defense only made 37 tackles and one tackle for a loss, their lowest total this season