Bell County's power beat Bryan Station's quickness as the Bobcats pulled out a 32-31 overtime victory in the iHigh Fayette County Football Frenzy on Friday night.
Jonathan Polly's two-point conversion run in OT was the difference for Bell County, which won for the second year in a row in this event.
Last season the Bobcats lost their opener to Lexington Catholic, but bounced back to beat Lafayette in the Frenzy. That started them on an 11-game winning streak.
Last week Bell County lost again to Lexington Catholic, but it got on track by beating host Bryan Station.
"This will define our season, just like it did last year," Bobcats Coach Wayne Mills said. "We'll come together and have a great year."
Bell County won with its power rushing attack, piling up 346 yards on the ground.Polly had 164 yards on 23 carries and Ryan Collett had 131 yards on 24 attempts.
The Bobcats offensive line of Tan Hudson, Tyler Mills, Jonathan Burnett, Hunter Marcum, Cody Griffin and Brandon Spade dominated.
"That's our game for sure," Hudson said. "We just get down and dirty, good ol' country boys just running that ball, baby."
Mills said he knew his Bobcats "couldn't line up and have a track meet" against speedier Bryan Station.
"We knew we had to play mountain football."
Bryan Station Coach Frank Parks conceded Bell County had the edge up front.
"They were a little more physical than we were," he said. "It was our quickness against their power, and power beat quickness tonight."
The showdown between Class 3A Bell County and the 6A Defenders had an action-packed final five minutes of regulation.
Bryan Station's Michael Morton scooped up a Bobcats fumble and sped 69 yards for a touchdown to put his team ahead 21-17.
But the Defenders' lead vanished in seconds when Polly returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards to put Bell County back on top 24-21.
"He's an unbelievable player," Mills said. "He's a warrior."
Polly didn't know what to say about out-racing the Defenders, who were on his heels the last 20 yards.
"Everybody blocked good and I just ran," he said.
Bryan Station wasn't done, though. Ora Johnson drove his team down the field, and the Defenders frantically but successfully set up Anthony Lopez's tying 36-yard field goal as time expired.
Bryan Station got the ball first in OT and scored on Johnson's 4-yard fourth-down pass to Kenyon Hipps. Lopez added the kick to give the hosts a 31-24 lead.
Bell County needed just one play to get its TD as Ryan Collett sprinted 10 yards on the first snap. The Bobcats decided to go for two and the victory, and Polly made it happen.
"It's nice to get back on track," Polly said. "We felt like we let ourselves down last week (in a 21-7 loss) at Lexington Catholic."
Bell County quarterback Corey Oslonian was injured late in the first half, but the Bobcats did fine with freshman Peyton Collett at the controls in the second half.
"We have complete confidence in Peyton," Mills said. "I wasn't worried at all."
Parks was pleased with his Defenders' never-quit attitude. "Things got bad for a while. We kept fighting and had a chance at the end."
Curtis Sellers rushed 11 times for 139 yards, including a 76-yard run that set up a TD. Johnson completed 14 of 21 passes for 113 yards.
Bell County 7 10 0 7 8—32
Bryan Station 0 7 0 17 7—31
BC—Ryan Collett 2 run (Hayden Gilbert kick). BC—Austin Caldwell (Gilbert kick). BS—Curtis Sellers 5 run (Anthony Lopez kick). BC—Gilbert 28 field goal. BS—Shamonta Harrington (Lopez kick). BS—Michael Morton 69 fumble return (Lopez kick). BC—Jonathan Polly 94 kickoff return (Gilbert kick). BS—Lopez 36 field goal. BS—Kenyon Hipps 4 pass from Ora Johnson (Lopez kick). BC—Collett 10 run (Polly run)
Records—Bell County 1-1; Bryan Station 1-1.
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com