BY EASTON LEONARD –
The Mena Bearcats hosted the number four ranked Robinson Senators for Senior Night on Friday, November 4th. Robinson defeated Mena by a score of 37-9.
Mena’s Christian Lua started the game off with a short pooch kick. The kick was picked up with no return at the Robinson 43 yard line. After a fourth down conversion, the Senators picked up 35 yards on third and one to take them to the Mena 1 yard line. A fumbled snap took Robinson back 7 yards, but on second and goal the Senators completed an 8 yard touchdown pass, and added points on the 2-point conversion. Making the score 8-0 Robinson.
After Robinson kicked the ball out of bounds, the Bearcats took over on their first possession from the Mena 35 yard line. Mena’s Justin Dean was able to pick up a short gain on first down, but the Bearcats were forced to punt after a quick three and out. Robinson fumbled the punt, and Mena recovered on the Senators’ 25 yard line.
On first down, Mena’s pass was intercepted in the end zone, giving the Senators the ball back on the Robinson 20 yard line.
Robinson was able to get one first down before having to punt from their own 34 yard line. Mena’s Justin Dean returned the punt to the Bearcat 43 yard line before getting slipped up.
On second down, Mena’s Carson Cannon completed a pass to Justin Dean. Dean ran to the Robinson 29 yard line before fumbling, the Senators recovered.
Going for it on fourth down, Robinson threw an incomplete pass, giving Mena the ball back on their own 48 yard line.
Mena’s Carson Cannon completed a pass to Justin Dean, picking up 5 yards, but a false start penalty on the next play took the Bearcats back to the original line of scrimmage. On second and ten, Cannon kept to the left side, picking up 9 yards to bring up third and less than one. Justin Dean was unable to gain any yardage on the next play, which brought up fourth and one. After a Bearcat timeout, an incomplete pass intended for Justin Dean led to a turnover on downs. The Senators gained possession on their own 42 yard line.
The Senators picked up 27 yards to the Mena 39 yard line, on first down. A personal foul against the Bearcats moved Robinson up to the 24 yard line. On first down, Robinson’s pass was intercepted in the end zone by Mena’s Elijah Snider, giving the Bearcats the ball on their own 20 yard line.
Mena was able to get three plays off before the first quarter came to an end, bringing up fourth and twelve. After a Bearcat punt to start the second quarter, Robinson took over possession at their own 49 yard line.
On second and eight, Robinson picked up a big rushing gain, down to the Mena 27 yard line. After gaining 7 yards on first down, the Senators were unable to do anything on second or third down, bringing up fourth down on the Bearcat 31. The Senators then threw an incomplete pass, turning the ball over on downs giving Mena possession on their own 31 yard line.
During Mena’s sixth possession, the Bearcats were able to advance to the Robinson 11 yard line. Mena’s Dean lost 1 yard on first down, and was followed by two incomplete passes. On fourth and eleven, the Bearcats brought in Camden Brodersen for the field goal attempt. Brodersen’s kick split the uprights, making the score 8-3 with 3:18 left in the half.
Mena’s Christian Lua kicked off to the Senators, who fair caught the ball at their own 31 yard line. On third and eight, Robinson completed a pass to number seven, who was finally brought down by the Bearcats at the Mena 9 yard line. Robinson completed an 8 yard pass on first and goal, putting the ball on the 1 yard line. After gaining no yardage on second and goal, the Senators called a timeout with 54.7 seconds left in the second quarter. Coming out of the timeout, Robinson’s QB kept the ball up the middle for another Senator touchdown. Going for an extra two points, Robinson’s QB scrambled to the left side before entering the end zone, completing the two-point conversion. Making the score 16-3, with 49.9 seconds left before halftime.
After the kickoff, Mena took over possession on their own 27 yard line. Mena’s Justin Dean gained 6 yards on first down, bringing up second and four. Carson Cannon then completed a 34 yard pass to Austin Wagner, advancing the ball to the Robinson 33 yard line. The Bearcats then called a timeout with 14.8 seconds left in the half. With the ball on the 25 yard line, the Senators then picked off the third and two pass in the end zone. Robinson gained possession on their own 20 yard line with 1.8 seconds left in the second quarter.
The Senators were able to complete a 62 yard pass to the Mena 18 yard line before the second quarter came to a close. Making the score 16-3 at halftime.
Robinson kicked off to the Bearcats to start the second half. Mena’s Cross Hughes returned the kick 47 yards to the Senators’ 32 yard line. After two consecutive first downs, Mena’s Ryan Ozanich ran 6 yards for a Bearcat touchdown. Robinson blocked the Bearcats’ point after attempt, making the score 16-9 with 8:31 left in the third quarter.
The Bearcats short kickoff was received with no return at the Senators’ 44 yard line. Robinson was able to drive nearly the length of the field to the Mena 8 yard line, and then threw an 8 yard touchdown pass. The Senators point after attempt was good, making the score 23-9 with 4:44 left in the third quarter.
Mena’s Ty Cole returned the Senators’ kickoff 40 yards, to the Robinson 20 yard line. Four plays later, the Bearcats turned the ball over on downs, giving the Senators the ball back at the Robinson 14 yard line.
Robinson was able to push the ball to the Bearcats 1 yard line before the third quarter came to an end, with the score 23-9.
To start the fourth quarter, on third and goal, the Senators handed the ball off to their running back who jumped over the pile for a 1 yard touchdown run. Robinson’s point after attempt was good, making the score 30-9.
The Senators recovered their onside kickoff at the Mena 49 yard line. Following another Bearcat personal foul, Robinson moved up to the 34 yard line. After a false start, an incomplete pass, and two running plays, the Senators were faced with fourth and fifteen on the Mena 39 yard line. Robinson then turned the ball over on turns after an incomplete pass, giving the Bearcats the ball on their own 39.
On third and ten, Cannon’s pass was intercepted at the Bearcat 49 yard line and returned to the Mena 35.
Robinson pounded the ball into Bearcat territory, before being faced with fourth and goal from the 16 yard line. The Senators went for it, and threw an incomplete pass in the end zone, giving Mena the ball on their own 16 yard line.
Mena completed five passes to advance to the Robinson 24 yard line, where the Bearcats threw another interception in the end zone on third and ten, giving the Senators the ball back on their 20 yard line.
On second and ten, Robinson handed the ball off to their running back, number twenty, who ran the ball 80 yards for another Senators’ touchdown. The Senators were called for unsportsmanlike conduct, moving the point after attempt back 15 yards, however, Robinson was still able to make the PAT from 35 yards out. Making the score 37-9 with 3:29 left in the game.
Robinson’s kickoff was not returned, and the Bearcats took over possession at their own 13-yard line. On fourth and eight from the 18, Mena punted the ball 52 yards, giving the Senators the ball back at their 32 yard line with 1:40 left in the fourth quarter.
The Senators fumbled the snap on first down, losing 3 yards, making it second and thirteen. Robinson then kneeled the ball, ending the game with a score of 37-9 in favor of the Senators.
The Bearcats will play the Central Arkansas Christian Mustangs this Friday, November 11th, at 7 p.m. in the first round of the 2016 4A State Football Playoffs.