Oliver Springs hands Clay County sixth loss, 45-8


CELINA-Visiting Oliver Springs ended the regular season for Clay County here in what has become a familiar fashion, handing the Bulldogs a 45-8 loss.


The non-region setback dropped Clay County to 4-6 on the season. It was the sixth loss in the last eight games of the season for the Bulldogs.


The game started out well enough for Clay County, as the Bulldogs took the opening kickoff and drove from their own 40 to the Oliver Springs 16. Justin Owens’ 37-yard sprint accounted for most of that yardage, but the drive stalled at the 20. 


The Bobcats wasted little time in scoring, going 80 yards in only five plays. They added a second touchdown following a blocked punt just three minutes later, and added a third first-quarter score following an interception. It was 19-0 after one quarter.


The game was played on fairly even terms for basically two-thirds of the second quarter, but Oliver Springs exploded for three scores in less than two minutes to put the game out of reach. The Bobcats drove 71 yards for one score, and then recovered the ball on two straight kickoffs to tally quick TDs. They recovered the first high kickoff on the Clay County 26, the second on the Clay 30, and scored quickly after each. It was 38-0 at intermission. 


Each team scored once in the final half, as the clock ran continuously due to the “mercy rule.” Clay County finally punched a score across in the closing minutes as backup quarterback Alex McLerran hit fellow freshman Jacob Marcom on a 10-yard strike in the left corner. McLerran also added the conversion on a dive up the middle to account for the final score. 


Owens wound up with 103 yards rushing on only 11 carries for the Bulldogs, adding runs of 31 and 23 yards to his early long scamper. Oliver Springs, a Class 2A playoff qualifier, moved the ball at will, especially during the first half. They rolled up 217 rushing yards and 75 yards passing in the first 24 minutes. They wound up with 359 total yards, while Clay County had 198.