BY EASTON LEONARD –
On Friday night, October 27th, the Mena Bearcats (3-6, 0-6) senior high football team hosted the Fountain Lake Cobras (4-5, 2-4) for Senior Night, under the leadership of head coach Tim Harper.
After winning the coin toss and selecting to receive, Senior Bearcat Jake McCauley returned the opening kickoff to the forty-three yard line, where Mena took over for their first possession. Nine plays into their drive, the Bearcats were forced to punt from the Fountain Lake forty-nine yard line. Belknap’s punt for Mena went out of bounds at the fourteen yard line, where the Cobras took over for their first offensive possession.
Seven plays into Fountain Lake’s first possession, the Cobra’s quarterback, number nine, Stephen Turner, completed a fifty-eight yard touchdown pass to number seven, Parion Johnson. Number eighty-one, Dustin Pitts, nailed the point-after-attempt for the Cobras, to make the score 7-0 with 6:44 left in the first quarter.
Fountain Lake’s kickoff following their score went out of bounds, giving the Bearcats the ball at the thirty-five yard line. After a lengthy fifteen-play drive, Carson Cannon ran in from the Cobras’ three yard line for a Mena touchdown. Camden Brodersen made the point-after-attempt for the Bearcats, to tie the score at 7-7 with 28.4 seconds left in the first quarter.
Christian Lua’s kickoff for Mena was returned ninety-two yards by Ahman Johnson for another quick Fountain Lake touchdown. After the PAT, the Cobras took the lead 14-7 with 14.3 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
On Mena’s second offensive possession, which went into the second quarter, the Bearcats drove from their thirty yard line to the Fountain Lake six yard line, where Zane Stephens took the handoff from Cannon and ran in for a Bearcat touchdown. Lua’s point-after-attempt tied the score at 14-14 with 9:36 left in the first half.
The Cobras turned the ball over on downs on their second offensive possession, but Mena was forced to punt when they received the ball back. On the punt, Belknap fumbled the snap and fell on the ball at the twenty-one yard line, where Fountain Lake took over.
Just two plays into their third offensive possession, the Cobras scored again on a fifteen yard touchdown pass from Stephen Turner to Parion Johnson. Fountain Lake made the PAT, to take the lead 21-14 with 2:21 left in the second quarter.
Mena was forced to punt on their fifth possession of the half, and the Cobras were unable to score again before time expired, to make the official score 21-14, Fountain Lake, at halftime.
Both the Bearcats and Fountain Lake went scoreless on their first offensive possessions of the second half, but after fifteen plays in on the Cobras’ sixth possession of the game, number five, Andrew Roberson took the handoff and ran in seventeen yards for a Fountain Lake touchdown. The Cobras made the point-after-attempt, extending their lead to 28-14, with 5:36 left in the third quarter.
One interception, two punts, and two turnovers on downs later, the Cobras scored the next and final points of the game on a fourteen yard touchdown run from number eighteen, Kyle Fortner. Fountain Lake made the point-after-attempt, to make the eventual final score 35-14.
The Bearcats will travel to Joe T. Robinson in Little Rock this Friday, November 3rd, and take on the undefeated Senators (10-0, 6-0). The Senators will come into Friday’s game following a week one win at Mills University Studies (20-14), a week two win against Lakeside (40-21), a week three win at Central Arkansas Christian (40-7), a week four win against Baptist Prep (65-0), a week five win at Fountain Lake (49-14), a week six win against Arkadelphia (21-17), a week seven win against Nashville (34-10), a week eight win at Malvern (41-20), and a week nine win against Bauxite (42-14). Last season, the Bearcats fell to the Senators, at Bearcat Stadium, by a score of 37-9.
Kickoff for this Friday’s matchup against the Senators at Joe T. Robinson in Little Rock is set for 7:00 p.m. If you can’t make it to the game, make sure to tune in on KQOR 105.3 by downloading the app or catching the stream at MyPulseNews.com.