BY EASTON LEONARD –
On Friday, October 6th, the Mena Bearcats (3-3, 0-3) football team was on the road again for the second straight week, this time at Bauxite, taking on the Miners (4-2, 2-1).
The Miners won the opening coin toss and chose to receive the ball to start the game. Four minutes into the first quarter, Bauxite led 13-0, after scoring on their first possession very quickly, recovering the kickoff, and scoring quickly again on their second possession.
Five plays into the Bearcats’ first possession of the game, Justin Dean took the handoff from Cannon and ran in fifteen yards for a Mena touchdown. Following a penalty against Bauxite on the point-after-attempt, the Bearcats chose to go for two, and succeeded, to make the score 13-8 with 6:07 left in the first quarter.
Just a couple of plays later, on Bauxite’s third offensive possession, the Miners ran forty-seven yards for another touchdown. However, the point-after-attempt was blocked, making the score 19-8 with 5:30 left in the first.
On the kickoff, Bauxite recovered the ball on their onside kick, and on their fourth offensive possession, that went into the second quarter, the Miners scored yet again on a four yard run by #20 Seth McDowell. The Miners went for the two-point conversion, but failed, making the score 25-8 with 10 minutes left in the first half.
On Mena’s second offensive possession, after driving down to the Miners fifteen yard line, Justin Dean took another handoff and ran in fifteen yards for his second touchdown of the game. Lua split the uprights with his point-after-attempt, to make the score 25-14 with 8:18 left in the second quarter.
Neither the Miners or the Bearcats were able to score again before halftime, making the score 25-14 at the mid-way point in the game.
Mena took over at the Bauxite forty-eight yard line to start the second half, and after a thirty yard pass from Cannon to Marc Wilson, two plays later, Justin Dean took another handoff and ran in seventeen yards for another Bearcat touchdown. Going for the two-point conversion, Dean took the handoff and ran into the end zone, to make the score 25-22.
The Bearcats forced Bauxite to punt on their next two possessions, and had to punt once themselves, before getting the ball back with 5:37 left in the third quarter. A few plays into the drive, on fourth and seventeen, Carson Cannon completed a thirty-six yard touchdown pass to Justin Dean in the end zone. Mena took the lead, but failed to convert the two-point conversion, making the score 28-22.
On Bauxite’s next possession, which went into the fourth and final quarter of play, the Miners ended up running twenty-four yards for a touchdown to retake the lead. The Miners made the point-after-attempt, to make the score 32-28 in favor of Bauxite.
Mena had possession of the ball twice before the game to an end, but turned the ball over on downs and threw an interception. The Miners stayed scoreless for the remainder as well, making the final score 32-28.
After winning their first three games of the season, the Bearcats have dropped their last three, but will look to upset the Arkadelphia Badgers this week for homecoming.
The Bearcats will host Arkadelphia for Homecoming on Friday, October 13th, and take on the Badgers (5-1, 2-1). The Badgers will come into Friday’s game following a week one win at Stuttgart (29-0), a week two win at Sheridan (56-0), a week three win against Hot Springs (49-0), a week four win against Nashville (34-24), a week five loss at Robinson (21-17), and a week six win against Fountain Lake (70-7). Last season, the Bearcats defeated the Badgers, at Arkadelphia, by a score of 23-21.
Kickoff for this Friday’s Homecoming matchup against the Badgers at Bearcat Stadium is set for 7:00 pm. 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.