Hatch wins! Bobcats end 37-game losing streak
Published 12:00 am Monday, October 31, 2005
For nearly a decade football teams at R.C. Hatch High School sat and watched other teams celebrate victory after victory at their expense. Thursday night though, that changed.
With the game knotted 14-14 at the end of regulation against rival Francis Marion High School, the Bobcats went into overtime and did the unthinkable.
“I always tell the kids that the worst thing we can do is get better,” said Jammie Abraham, coach of the Bobcats.
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Marion put their defense on the field first in overtime. The Bobcats came out and lined up in a one-back formation with a trio of wide receivers stretched to the right side of the field.
Cutis Witherspoon took the snap from center, rolled right and followed his blocking all the way into the end zone. The eighth grader had just given the Bobcats a rare lead, 20-14.
The Bobcat defense stopped the Rams on two consecutive downs. On third down, the Rams running back got stood up by a host of defenders at the line of scrimmage. Jessie Jones, stripped the ball from the back. The senior had effectively won the game for his team.
“We were excited but we had to contain it because one official had blown the play dead before we got the ball, and the play-side official had signaled game over,” said Abraham. “So we had to wait for the referee to make the call.”
As soon as the white hat pointed his hand in a direction opposite Francis Marion’s, the celebration en sued. Like a scene from a movie, fans stormed the field to celebrate with their team.
“My first reaction was a dead sprint towards the middle of the field,” said Abraham. “It was a beautiful thing to see.”
According to Abraham, the future looks bright for his team.
“It feels great to finally have a win,” said Abraham. “It’s the best feeling in the world. Its kind of bittersweet though, I wish the kids could have won more. Now they see how it feels to win and now they know what it takes to win. You’ve got to dig a little deeper to be successful.”
This could be the spark that Hatch has been lacking to begin a new streak, a successful streak.
“We are going to have a barbeque or something for the team this coming week,” said Abraham. “Then we are going to pick it right back up in January – get in the weight room, start breaking down films and try to get some of the guys in camps this summer. We are going to be doing things to keep the enthusiasm going.”