BY EASTON LEONARD –
On Friday, November 3rd, the Mena Bearcats (3-7, 0-7) senior high football traveled to Joe T. Robinson in Little Rock, Arkansas to take on the Senators (10-0, 7-0), in their last game of the 2017 season.
Robinson won the coin toss and deferred to receive the ball to start the second half of play. The Bearcats returned the opening kickoff to their own twenty-nine yard line, where Mena took over to start the game. Mena ran three plays, before the Senators forced the Bearcats to punt on fourth and nine. Belknap’s punt for Mena was downed at the Robinson twenty-five yard line, where the Senators took over for their first offensive possession of the game.
A few plays into their first drive, the Senators’ quarterback, Greyson Tackett, completed a pass to the Mena forty-five yard line, but the ball was then fumbled and recovered by the Bearcats.
The Bearcats were forced to punt again on their second possession, after three plays. Robinson took over at their own thirty yard line where the punt went out of bounds.
Three plays into the Senators’ second offensive possession, number five, Andre Bradley, took the handoff and ran in twenty yards for a Robinson touchdown. Trent Eskola missed the point-after-attempt, to make the score 6-0 with 7:51 left in the first quarter.
After a lengthy seven-play possession by the Bearcats on their third drive, Mena turned the ball over on downs, on fourth down and four, after a fumbled snap. Robinson took over possession at the Mena twenty-seven. Two plays later, Greyson Tackett completed a twenty-three yard touchdown pass to Nathan Page, to make the score 13-0 after a made point-after-attempt with 4:24 left in the first quarter.
On Mena’s next possession, on third down, quarterback Zane Stephens fumbled as he was being sacked, and Robinson recovered the ball at the Bearcats’ seven yard line. On first down, Greyson Tackett completed a seven yard touchdown pass, making the score 20-0, after a made point-after-attempt, with around four minutes still left in the first quarter of play.
After another punt by the Bearcats on their next possession, Robinson scored again on a fourteen yard touchdown pass from Tackett to Hardy, to make the score 27-0 with 2:13 left in the first quarter.
The Mena Bearcats returned the kickoff to the twenty-two, and on second and fourteen, Zane Stephens fumbled again as he was being taken to the ground. The ball rolled into the end zone and was picked up by the Senators for a touchdown, making the score 34-0 with 1:12 left in the first quarter of play.
On Mena’s seventh offensive possession of the night, which went into the second quarter, the Bearcats were forced to punt again after three plays. The Senators took over after the punt from their own forty yard line, and after six plays, Robinson scored yet again on a thirty-eight yard touchdown pass from Greyson Tackett to Nathan Page. And after a made point-after-attempt from Trent Eskola, the Senators led 41-0 with 9:22 left in the first half of play.
After holding Mena scoreless again on their eighth drive, the Senators drove from their forty yard line to the Bearcats three yard line, where number two, Lorenzo Simmons, ran into the end zone for another Robinson touchdown. Eskola made the point-after-attempt to make the score 48-0 with 2:13 left in the first half.
Neither the Bearcats or Robinson scored again in the first half, to make the official halftime score 48-0 in favor of the Senators.
The Bearcats held Robinson to zero points in the second half, and after driving from their own forty-eight to the Senators seventeen, on the first play of the fourth quarter, quarterback Zane Stephens completed a seventeen yard touchdown pass to sophomore Marc Wilson. Mena failed on their two-point try, making the score 48-6.
Both teams stayed scoreless the remainder of the game, making the final score 48-6 Robinson.
With Friday’s loss to Robinson, the Bearcats wrap up their 2017 football campaign with a record of 3-7, and 0-7 in conference play.
Congratulations to Head Coach Tim Harper, seniors Carson Cannon, Christian Kieren, Jake McCauley, Justin Dean, Tanner Kiser, Nick Kent, Nick Phelps, Isaac Buckley, Zack Wyant, Kenny Denley, and the rest of the Bearcats on a very hard fought season.