Bearcats score 21 points in 38 second fourth quarter span.
Handed the reins of the Bearcat offense in Ozark on Aug. 31, Evan Schlinker did not disappoint, throwing three touchdown passes in a 42-20 win over the Hillbillies.
The win gives the Bearcats a 51-26-4 lead in the series and capped a perfect playing career against Ozark for seniors on the roster.
Two of Schlinker’s touchdown passes went to senior Ethan Dobbs, the other to junior Anthony McKesson. Two came in the first half, enabling the Bearcats to take a 21-7 lead to the dressing room.
Schlinker was a perfect 4-of-4 throwing the ball for 82 yards with three of the completions going to Dobbs for 68 yards.
With the game tied at 7-7 Schlinker and Dobbs hooked up on a 25-yard play on a third-and-7 with 6:33 left in the first half.
While Dobbs had to fight off a defender on his catch, that wasn’t the case on a fourth-and-4 at the Ozark 14, as McKesson was wide open to make it 21-7 with 37 seconds left in the half.
That gave the Bearcats time to sack Dawson Dietz for the third time in the half, this one by Andrew Robertson. Dietz would go down five times on the night, fumble once and was intercepted three times, twice by Michael Hesson.
Noah Reyes was responsible for three of the sacks and causing a fumble that was recovered by Cam Brasher.
The Bearcats were flagged on both of their first two possessions of the second half and Ozark pulled within 21-14 on a 33-yard Dietz to Hayden Sanders touchdown pass with 11:45 to go.
Ethan Dobbs tracked down the ensuing kickoff and returned it 49 yards to the Ozark 40 but the play only stood because a flag, apparently for a block in the back, was waved off after a conference by officials.
Two Carson Ray carries netted 18 yards and he converted a third-and-4 with a 7-yard pickup to move the ball to the Hillbilly 13. Hesson scored his second touchdown of the night from there and it was 28-14.
Ray carried 19 times for 113 yards and Hesson added 49 yards on eight carries.
Gavin Kent, who was a perfect 6-of-6 on point after kicks, dropped the ensuing kickoff at the Ozark 38. Chance Pence got to it before anyone and the Bearcats had the ball again.
Schlinker hit Dobbs for a touchdown on the next play and it was 35-14.
Ozark, which had only 13 yards on the ground, got a completion from Dietz to Bryant Burns after the kickoff but Dietz overthrew the big tight end on the next play and Ian Suttles picked it off and returned it 68 yards for a touchdown, chased into the end zone by Hesson and after Robertson ran interference on Dietz.
That made it 42-14 and 21 points on the board in a 38-second span.
Ozark cut it to 42-20 with a 9-yard Trevor Morre run with 2:26 remaining.