BRIDGEPORT — When searching for an example of “Bobcat Fight,” look no further than Krum’s Brennan Ellis.
After losing a starting quarterback before the season and the starting running back in week 2, Krum relied on Ellis for more than half of its offensive production to take a 21-10 win over Bridgeport on Friday night in the District 9-3A opener for both schools.
Ellis finished with 24 carries for 107 yards and a score to go along with two catches for 59 yards. He fittingly tacked on the final points of the game after bouncing outside for a 24-yard run with just more than one minute remaining.
Since losing its top two returning offensive starters, Ellis has carried the offensive load out of necessity to lead Krum (3-4) in all receiving and rushing statistical categories. The Bobcats’ utility back admitted to the offensive woes but said his team will keep moving forward.
“We’ve definitely had a lot of setbacks, but ‘Bobcat Fight’ is in all of us,” said Ellis, who accounted for 166 of Krum’s 268 total yards. “Every game we’ve fallen behind, [but] we never give up and we fight to the very end.”
After a productive game and Ellis’ proving himself as a leader during the offseason, Krum head coach Gary Robinson said he has no worries giving Ellis the keys to the offense.
“I’m going to put it in his hands just because he’s a great kid and he’s got a little bit of speed,” Robinson said.
Krum pulled away from Bridgeport (0-7) late with 170 second-half yards to the Bulls’ 56 in a game that could potentially decide the district’s final postseason spot. Despite the Bobcats’ early struggles, Robinson said momentum is shifting for Krum.
“In the long run, it doesn’t really matter what your record is,” Robinson said. “It’s just winning the right games at the right time. We feel like that was this one.”
Both teams kept the ball on the ground in the opening half, combining for 185 rushing yards and just 32 passing yards.
Bridgeport got on the board first with a 12-yard touchdown run by running back Jordan Polk.
Bobcats senior Dylan Coffin scooped up a fumble and took it 32 yards to set up the offense within scoring range, but Krum gained just 8 yards before turning it over on downs.
On the ensuing possession, Krum’s defense stopped Bridgeport on fourth down and pieced together a scoring drive capped by senior Ian Concepcion’s 11-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7 with 6:33 left before halftime. Concepcion finished with 14 carries for 66 yards.
Bridgeport kicker Chris Hernandez answered back with a 20-yard field for a 10-7 halftime lead.
Krum sprinted out of halftime to score on its first possession after a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Colten Graham for a 14-10 lead with 6:05 in the third quarter. The sophomore finished 8-of-15 passing for 88 yards and the rushing touchdown.
After forcing its third turnover on downs, Krum drove down the field for Ellis’ score.
Krum will play its second 9-3A contest at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Decatur at home. Robinson said his team still envisions taking the league trophy.
“That was our goal during the summer, and that’s what we wrote on the board,” Robinson said. “We still have a chance to do that, and we’re going to try to win it.”
Krum 21, Bridgeport 10
BP — Jordan Polk 12 run (Chris Hernandez kick)
KM — Ian Concepcion 11 run (Miguel Licea kick)
BP — Chris Hernandez 20 FG
KM — Colten Graham 1 run (Miguel Licea kick)
KM — Brennan Ellis 24 run (Miguel Licea kick)
Rushing — BP: Tyler Raby 11-52, Jordan Polk 13-40, Hunter Gantt 6-35, Trey Cook 4-6, Dillon McAlister 4-5, KM: Brennan Ellis 24-107, Ian Concepcion 14-66, Gavin Noack 2-4, Ely 42-Sanchez 1-4, Colten Graham 3--1.
Passing — BP: Trey Cook 9-19-1-37, Hunter Gantt 0-1-0-0, KM: Colten Graham 8-15-0-88.
Receiving — BP: Hunter Gantt 3-12, Brazier Talley 2-9, Dillon McAlister 1-6, Jordan Polk 2-5, Jake Simmons 1-5, KM: Brennan Ellis 2-59, Brad Hull 1-15, Dylan Coffin 1-10, Jacob Enis 2-8, Riley Marshall 2--4.