KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Central Bobcats entered the final night of the postseason with two options: Win and earn the school’s fifth region title in school history, or lose and spend the entire postseason on the road.
The Bobcats trailed to Gibbs by two scores at the end of the first quarter.
“We really needed a lift down 9-0 at the time,” Bobcats head coach Nick Craney said.
Mere moments into the second quarter, just that happened. Gibbs quarterback Colton Qualls had his pass tipped and then grabbed by Bobcats linebacker Brody Cranford.
“I seen the tip and I’m like all like yanno I’m sitting there waiting for them to pick it up or take it out the air,” Bobcats junior Mark Adams recalled the moment.
“I kinda blacked out and saw Liam (Fortner) in front of me and tried to follow his block,” Brody Cranford recounted.
Cranford followed Fortner’s path nearly thirty-yards to the paydirt. The first pick-six of the sophomore’s career.
“It got the whole sideline going,” Craney said. “Couldn’t have come at a better time, super excited for him to have that moment and the opportunity to go make that play.”
The play ultimately kickstarted a stretch of 21 unanswered points tallied by the Bobcats on their way to a 34-23 victory over Gibbs and their fifth region title in school history.
Cranford ended the night with a pick-six along with five solo tackles, and four assists.