Coach Craig Bentley won his debut contest as Mena’s head football coach Friday night as his Bearcats blanked the De Queen Leopards 36-0 at Randall Whorton Field in action heard live on KQOR 105.3. Mena’s offense scored on its first five possessions of the night, while the Bearcats stingy defense forced six turnovers while pitching the shut-out.
The Bearcats co-captains Marc Wilson, Zane Stephens, Andrew Graves, and Tristen Beck won the coin toss and Mena elected to defer to the second half.
On De Queen’s fifth play of the night, the Bearcats picked off a Leopard pass to set Mena up at midfield. On his first carry of the night Jake Wiles bolted 50 yards down the left sidelines as the Bearcats drew first blood. Evan Graves connected on the P.AT. to put Mena up 7-0 with 8:20 to go in the opening quarter.
After the Mena defense stopped the Leopards on downs at the Bearcat 44, quarterback Max Montgomery directed a 56 yard drive in seven plays. The score came with 2:07 to go in the first quarter on a perfectly delivered 25 yard pass from Montgomery to Marc Wilson, who had slipped behind the De Queen secondary. The extra point by Evan Graves gave Mena a 14-0 lead at the end of the opening quarter.
The Bearcats continued to pour it on in the second quarter. Big Cash Parker bolted in from a yard out with 8:56 to play in the second quarter to cap a 54 yard drive in eight plays. The big play of the drive was a 44 yard completion from Montgomery to Zane Stephens. The snap on the extra point attempt was high. Mena’s good fortunes continued however as the holder Stephens outraced defenders around the right side for a two point conversion to extend the lead to 22-0.
Mena then included highly-recruited junior tight end Mason Brotherton in the offense. After connecting on a 17 yard completion, Montgomery found Brotherton again in the end zone for a 20 yard scoring toss with 3:19 to go in the second. The P.A.T. from Graves put Mena up 29-0.
The Bearcats capped the scoring with a nine yard pass from Montgomery to Brotherton with 1:13 left in the half. Graves’ extra point made the halftime score 36-0, invoking the sportsmanship rule for the second half.
In the first half, Mena rolled up 297 yards in total offense while limiting the Leopards to 34.
With the game in hand and the clock running continuously in the second half, Coach Bentley left most of his starters in for the third quarter to get some more work in. Both teams substituted freely in the fourth quarter, and the 36-0 halftime score stood up as the final score.
Looking at some team statistics, Mena rolled up 16 first downs to eight for De Queen. The Bearcats finished with 383 yards in total offense to 115 for the Leopards. Mena won the time of possession battle 29:35 to 18:25.
Individually, Montgomery completed 13 of 22 attempts for 182 yards and three touchdowns. Brotherton had four receptions for 59 yards and two scores. Stephens had two catches for 47 yards. Wilson had two receptions for 31 yards and a score. Gaven Hooper had two catches for 25 yards. Wiles had two receptions for 16 yards.
Wiles led the Mena rushing attack with 132 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
Photo Courtesy MHS