By Morgan Bryce
Beulah’s magical 2018 season came to a close Friday night, as the Bobcats dropped a hardfought 7-0 defensive first-round playoff battle to Thomasville.
Stellar defensive play, sloppy field conditions and chilly temperatures played a major role in the contest being a tight affair.
The usually efficient Bobcat rushing offense was limited to 52 yards on 34 rushing attempts, a mere 1.5 yards per carry average.
Thomasville’s Jayla Tolar rushed four-straight times inside the redzone to cap the game’s only scoring drive, plunging in from a yard out late in the second quarter.
Beulah’s defense forced two turnovers in the second half, but failed to capitalize.
In his final game as a Bobcat, Caden Dowdell turned in a solid performance, finishing with nine tackles, sack and crucial fumble recovery inside Tiger territory. Even with starting field position at the Thomasville 12-yard line, the Beulah offense went backwards on four consecutive plays before turning the ball over on downs.
A late defensive stand in the fourth quarter gave the Bobcat offense the ball on their own 1-yard line with a chance to tie. With two seconds left, Beulah attempted a trick play, utilizing multiple laterals in an attempt to catch the Tiger defense napping. However, an alert Thomasville defender knocked a weak lateral pitch out of bounds to end the game.
Finishing with 125 yards of total offense, Beulah was led by quarterback Lonzie Portis and tight end, who finished 9-of-23 passing for 73 yards and three receptions for 36 yards.
L.C. Moore, Colt Abney and Hancock played well behind Dowdell, holding the Tigers to 203 yards of total offense.
With the loss, Beulah falls to 8-3 overall, its best finish to a season since 1995.
The Bobcats graduate 12 seniors from a class loaded with talent, including Dowdell, Hancock, Portis, punter/defensive end Isaiah Glidewell, offensive lineman Jacob Burdette and running back Quin Page.