BY EASTON LEONARD –
Friday, October13th, the Mena Bearcats (3-4, 0-4) hosted the Arkadelphia Badgers (6-1, 3-1) for homecoming night at Bearcat Stadium on Randal Whorton Field.
Prior to Friday night’s kickoff, in the homecoming ceremony, Mackenzie Martin was named the Maid of Honor, as Madison Maddox was crowned the 2017 Homecoming Queen.
To begin the football action, Christian Lua’s opening kickoff for Mena was returned by #24 Zion Hatley of the Badgers for a ninety-eight yard touchdown. However, the touchdown was called back due to a holding penalty on Arkadelphia, and the ball was placed on the eighteen yard line.
Following the big penalty on the kickoff, the Bearcats went on to force Arkadelphia to punt on their first offensive possession. Game Goodman’s punt for the Badgers was downed at the twenty-seven yard line where Mena took over.
On Mena’s first offensive possession, the Bearcats ran four plays and turned the ball over on downs at the thirty-six yard line. From there, Arkadelphia took possession and drove to the fifteen yard line, where Goodman missed a field goal for the Badgers, and giving the Bearcats the ball back at the twenty yard line.
Two plays into Mena’s second offensive possession, Carson Cannon’s pass was intercepted by Victor Tademy of Arkadelphia at the twenty-nine yard line. Five plays after the interception, number twenty-two, Jack Burnham ran in eight yards for a Badgers touchdown. Gabe Goodham’s point-after-attempt split the uprights, making the score 7-0 with 2:52 left in the first quarter.
With a penalty against the Bearcats on the kickoff, Mena took over for their third offensive possession at their own seven yard line. After a loss of five yards on a dropped pitch, a short gainer, and an incomplete pass, the Bearcats were again forced to punt the ball. On the punt, there was a penalty against Arkadelphia, giving the Badgers the ball at the Mena forty-two yard line.
Six plays into the Badgers forth offensive possession, Zion Hatley ran in fifteen yards for another Arkadelphia touchdown as the first quarter clock expired. Goodham nailed the point-after-attempt, to make the score 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Bearcats took over at their own twenty-five yard line to start their fourth offensive possession, but six plays into their drive, a Carson Cannon pass was again intercepted by number three, Victor Tademy, of Arkadelphia who returned the ball sixty-one yards for a Badgers touchdown. Goodham had no problem with the point-after-attempt, making the score 21-0 with 9:29 left in the second quarter.
Zane Stephens fumbled the ball one play into the Bearcats fifth offensive possession, giving the ball back to Arkadelphia. Mena was able to hold the Badgers to a field goal though following the turnover, to make the score 24-0 with 8:00 left in the first half.
Three plays into Mena’s sixth offensive possession, another Carson Cannon pass was intercepted by Arkadelphia, this time at the Badgers thirty-one yard line. The Badgers took over at their thirty-one and drove down to the Mena nine yard line where Zion Hatley ran in nine yards for another Badgers touchdown. Goodham’s point-after-attempt again split the upright, making the score 31-0 with 2:29 left in the second quarter.
Following the kickoff, Mena took over at their own thirty-four yard line on their seventh offensive possession. Six plays into the drive, Carson Cannon completed a sixty yard touchdown pass to Zane Stephens. The Bearcats failed to covert the two-point conversion, to make the score 31-6 with one minute remaining in the first half.
On Arkadelphia’s seventh offensive possession, the Badgers drove from their forty-four yard line to the Mena ten yard line, where number twenty-one, Cannon Turner, completed an athletic pass before being sacked to number five, Alec Ruble. Goodham made the point-after-attempt, making the score 38-6 with 23.0 seconds left in the second quarter.
In the remaining seconds of the first half, following the Badgers touchdown, neither Mena or Arkadelphia was able to score again, to make the official halftime score 38-6.
In the second half, the only points scored were on a twelve yard keeper by Arkadelphia’s quarterback Cannon Turner, for a Badgers touchdown. With a made point-after-attempt, the Badgers made the score 45-6. For the rest of the game, both the Bearcats and Arkadelphia stayed scores, making the final score 45-6.
The Bearcats will travel to Nashville this Friday, October 20th, and take on the Scrappers (4-3, 2-2). The Scrappers will come into Friday’s game following a week one win against Hope (60-20), a week two loss at DeQueen (49-42), a week three win at Idabel, Oklahoma (51-30), a week four loss at Arkadelphia (34-24), a week five win against Fountain Lake (65-28), a week six loss at Robinson (34-10), and a week seven win against Ashdown (35-28). Last season, the Bearcats were defeated by the Scrappers, at Bearcat Stadium, by a score of 42-7.
Kickoff for this Friday’s matchup against the Scrappers at Nashville 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.Mena Bearcat Homcoming 2017