BY EASTON LEONARD –
Last Friday night, September 29th, the Mena Bearcats (3-2, 0-2) senior high football team traveled to Malvern to take on the Leopards (2-3, 1-1).
The Bearcats opening kickoff was returned ninety-six yards by number two Demias Jimerson of Malvern for an early Leopards touchdown. After a made point-after-attempt, the Leopards led 7-0 with still 11:47 left in the first quarter.
With 7:10 left in the first quarter, on third down and short, Justin Dean took the handoff from Carson Cannon and ran twenty-eight yards for a Bearcat touchdown. Mena’s point-after-attempt was no good, making the score 7-6.
Later on in the first quarter, Malvern’s quarterback, Demias Jimerson scrambled around for an eleven yard Leopards touchdown. And after another made point-after-attempt, Malvern led 14-6 with 1:10 left in the first quarter.
Neither Malvern or the Bearcats of Mena scored again in the first half, keeping the score at 14-6 going into halftime.
To start off the second half and the third quarter, on third down, Carson Cannon completed a sixty-five yard touchdown pass to number twenty-six Devin Belknap. Going for the two-point conversion, Cannon ran into the end zone to convert, to even out the score at 14-14.
A few minutes into the fourth and final quarter, Carson Cannon completed another touchdown pass, this time for twenty-eight yards and to number six Nick Linch. Cannon again kept and ran into the end zone for the extra two points, making the score 22-14 in favor of the Bearcats with 9:06 left in the game.
Less than a minute later, Malvern’s Demias Jimerson again scrambled for a Leopards touchdown, this time for forty-four yards. Number twenty-one of Malvern took the snap and ran into the end zone converting the two-point try, to tie the score at 22-22 with 8:18 left in the fourth quarter.
After a few minutes with no points scored, with 42.8 seconds left in the game, Carson Cannon completed a forty-six yard touchdown pass to number twenty-three Justin Dean. The Bearcats were unable to complete the two-point conversion, making the score 28-22 with under a minute left in the game.
Brodersen’s kickoff for the Bearcats was returned by Jimerson to the Malvern twenty-seven yard line. After losing two yards on first down, and throwing an incomplete pass on second down, on third down Demias Jimerson scrambled for a twenty-four yard gain to the forty-nine yard line with around 16 seconds left in the ballgame. On first down from the forty-nine, Jimerson completed a fifty-one yard touchdown pass into the end zone to number seven Darion Weaver. Number seventeen Michael Cervantes made the point-after-attempt for Malvern, to give the Leopards a 29-28 lead.
Following a touchback on the kickoff into the end zone, the Bearcats were able to get off only one more play, a pass to Dean, and after a few laterals and fumbles, the Leopards ended up recovering the ball to end the game with the score 29-28 Malvern.
Mena will travel to Bauxite this Friday, October 6th, to take on the Miners (3-2, 1-1). The Miners will come into Friday’s game following a week one loss to Harmony Grove (13-6), a week two win against Glen Rose (23-22), a week three win at Dumas (20-16), a week four win against Malvern (53-49), and a week five loss at Ashdown (21-7). Last season, the Bearcats defeated Bauxite, at Bearcat Stadium, by a score of 51-6.
Kickoff for this Friday’s matchup in Bauxite is set for 7:00pm. 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.