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McLoud coasts to 42-28 home win over Bridge Creek

Brian Johnson
McLoud tailback Clint Campbell (21) cuts loose for some yardage against Bridge Creek on Saturday in McLoud.

McLOUD – Lack of practice can tend to make things a little ugly.

Such was the case Saturday as the McLoud Redskins overcame quite a bit of rust, particularly on defense, in securing a 42-28 District 3A-3 victory over the Bridge Creek Bobcats.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, which canceled last week's game against Perkins-Tryon, and unseasonable winter-type weather, McLoud staged just two practices in the past two weeks – Thursday and Friday of this week.

“It was ugly, but we made enough plays,” said McLoud head coach Rusty Hall. “We gave up some big passes and they got behind our defense. We had the ball on their 1 (yard line) and twice we didn't punch it in. We had some mental mistakes. Hopefully we got it out of our system today. We hope to get back into a routine this week.”

The Redskins, who improved to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the district, did see two drives buckle down deep, deep into Bobcat territory. However, McLoud was able to generate enough offense to come away with the comfortable win.

Sophomore Clint Campbell ran for 247 yards on 17 carries and scored off runs of 6, 59 and 66 yards for the Redskins. He also had a pair of catches for 41 yards.

“He's at 6-1, 201 pounds and has gotten bigger since the preseason,” Hall said about Campbell. “Anytime you get him loose, he's a weapon. He runs hard and is hard to bring down.”

Senior quarterback added 81 yards on 13 attempts and scored off runs of 17 and 5 yards while connecting with Wesley Olds for a 60-yard passing TD.

“Wesley had a good day. He caught a couple of balls and he was big on the boot plays on third down,” said Hall. “He also made a couple of good plays on the edge.”

Olds ended up with three receptions for 87 yards and the one touchdown.

In all, McLoud amassed 480 yards of offense with 348 coming on the ground.

Bridge Creek had 416 yards of offense, including 225 by rush as quarterback Jason Linn had 208 yards rushing on two scores of 2 and 99 yards. He also hooked up with Randy Nix and Reagan Palmer on TD passes of 8 and 64 yards respectively.

The Bobcats actually jumped out to an early 6-0 lead on Linn's 6-yard touchdowns pass to Nix with 8:10 remaining in the first quarter. A 57-yard connection from Linn to Palmer on the previous play set the stage for the game's opening score. The point-after kick was blocked by the Redskins as the score stayed at 6-0.

McLoud immediately responded with an eight-play, 64-yard drive as Campbell, behind his running and strength, dragged the Bridge Creek tackle attempts into the end zone from six yards out. Hunter Ryan's PAT made it 7-6 with 5:28 to go in the first period.

The Redskins upped their advantage to 14-6 with 2:01 left in the first. After an incompletion of first down, Gibson fired a pass down the middle to Olds, who caught the ball in stride, and raced 60 yards for the touchdown. Ryan's extra-point kick made it 14-6.

The Bobcats managed to pull even at 14 early in the second quarter. Linn's 2-yard run cut the deficit to 14-12. The 2-point conversion run failed. However on the ensuing kickoff, the return was bobbled near the goal line and Bridge Creek picked up two points on a safety.

McLoud went on to a 21-14 halftime advantage with 3:02 remaining before halftime with a two-play, 66-yard series. After Campbell sprinted for seven yards on first down, he ripped off a 59-yard scoring run when he bounced off several tackle attempts and cruised down the left sideline. Ryan's PAT led to the seven-point cushion at the break.

The Redskins then scored off their first two possessions of the third quarter.

Taking the second-half kickoff, McLoud marched 66 yards in five plays as Gibson scored off a 17-yard keeper with 10:04 left in the third. Ryan's extra point made it 28-14. Campbell had back-to-back runs of 17 and 19 yards on the drive and Gibson followed with a 14-yarder, which led to the touchdown two plays later.

Then with 6:50 to go in the third quarter, Gibson scored off a 1-yard plunge to cap a 57-yard drive. His 39-yard slash and scamper on the previous play set the table for the score. The ensuing PAT was blocked as the score remained 34-14.

The Redskins had the opportunity to pile on to the lead, driving from their 31 down to the Bobcat 15-yard line. On fourth down, Gibson passed to Campbell, who raced 14 yards, but was stopped just short of the goal line as Bridge Creek took over.

That's when Linn burst up the middle and outraced the McLoud defense for a 99-yard cross-country sprint with 9:59 left in the game. Ryan Rushin tacked on the extra-point kick to slice the Bobcat deficit to 34-21.

But the Redskins retaliated when on second-and-six from the 34, Campbell picked up his third TD of the game off a 66-yard run with 8:54 left. Gibson then passed to Olds for the 2-point conversion to make it 42-21.

The Bobcats concluded the game's scoring with 35 seconds remaining on a 64-yard hookup from Linn to Palmer. Rushin's PAT led to the 28th Bridge Creek point.

McLoud is scheduled to close out the regular season Friday at Douglass.