Bluecat loss, hard to digest

06/10/03 Jeff Gregory

Anyone that has ever gone fishing for catfish know that one of the best baits to use, is something that contains blood.  Whether it is homemade or commercial blood baits, or even chicken livers, anglers know that cats are attracted to the red stuff!

However, Evansville’s version of the football catfish, our beloved BlueCats somehow did not show that they inherited this penchant for blood.  Saturday night at Roberts Stadium in Evansville, the ‘Cats had an opportunity for a horseman feast, but failed to make it to the dinner table.  Lexington held off the BlueCats 71-63.

The game started out in an expected fashion.  Lexington jumped out to a 41-25 halftime lead.  The Horsemen managed this by scoring a touchdown on every drive of the first half.

The third quarter had the BlueCats coming on with purpose.  They took the first possession of the half and systematically drove the length of the field.  The touchdown drive was capped off by a Casey Sellers four-yard run.  The two-point conversion made the score 41-33. 

It was then time for the Evansville defense that took control.  On the second play of the series, John Gordon intercepted a Dusty Bonner pass and returned it to the Horsemen ten.  Gordon is filling in for DB Shawn Mercer who may be gone for the year.  On the very next play, Akili Roberson hit Levron Williams for the score.  Casey Sellers rumbled into the end zone for the two-point conversion that tied the score at 41.

Lexington bounced back on the ensuing possession mainly on the back of RB Martez Johnson.  Dusty Bonner’s 4-yd touchdown pass to Chad Spencer but the Horsemen back in front 48-41.

The next BlueCat series ended at the Lexington 4.  The ‘Cats turned it over on downs.  However, John Gordon, who also starts at wide out, picked off another Bonner pass that set up the Akili Roberson run that tied the score again.

The Evansville run defense stepped up on the Horsemen’s next possession, which took the game into its final period.  They forced Lexington to turn the ball over on downs when they held strong with a fourth down and one attempt. 

The ‘Cats wasted no time with their possession as Roberson again hooked up with Williams for score.  The pass covered 41 yards and gave Evansville the lead 55-48.  The Horsemen were wounded and the blood should have put the BlueCats into feeding frenzy mode, but it didn’t.

The Horsemen dressed their wounds and thundered back to tie the score.  The fans expected it to be dogfight to the end.  They waited for their hometown heroes to bounce back again, but the ‘Cats were through.  On fourth down and 13 from their own two, Roberson was sacked in the end zone for a safety.

After the kickoff, Lexington scored on the first play of their possession – a 22-yard TD pass from Bonner to Spencer.  That gave the Horsemen a nine-point lead 64-55.  The ‘Cats sealed their fate when Roberson was intercepted on the first play of the next possession.

After Martez Johnson rushed in for another score, everyone in the stadium realized that Evansville was staring at loss number 11 without a single victory. The ‘Cats did manage a meaningless touchdown late, but the damage was done.

Roberson ended up with a decent 20-34 for 193 yard performance with four TD’s and one pick.  Williams caught six balls for 84 yards with two TD’s.  Jennings filled in admirably for the injured Mike Cosie at RB.  He carried the ball 11 times for 69 yards – a 6.3 yards per carry clip.

Chad Cole remained perfect in his point-after-touchdown attempts.  He was three for three.  He also made one field goal in two attempts.

If curses are real, one would have to believe that the BlueCats have been targeted.  Evansville has lost all eleven games but could have conceivably won five of them.  Seven of those losses were by ten points or less.

The ‘Cats travel to Myrtle Beach this week to take on the Stingrays. They fell to the ‘Rays at home in week five, 39-47.

Defensive back, Keith Lander was prophetic last week when he claimed that the team’s main problem was that they weren’t hungry enough.  When they jumped on top against the Horsemen in the fourth quarter, they had the opportunity to put the visitors away.  Unfortunately, the Horsemen were too much of a team for the BlueCats to digest this time.

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