Bearcats damper homecoming with win over Bulldogs
By Don Jones
The Bearcats were quick to take possession on a Bulldog fumble early in the opening drive. Taylor Bunting returned to the 36 yard line opening up Friday night's homecoming action followed by 2 carries for losses by Michael Beyard and Chance Tanner. Jordan Tull was brought down in the backfield with a fumble and the Bearcats recovered.
Taking over on the 26 yard line of the Bulldogs, the Bearcats were able to pick up only a couple of yards before turning the ball over on downs.
Waldron' second possession was much like the first with Brandon Freeman carrying for 4 and then losing possession on a fumble with the Cats on the recovery. At the Waldron 35 yard line of Waldron, Mena would drive to the endzone for 6 points. At tackle for the Bulldogs was Bobby Ison, Claude Wilcox, Jordan Tull, Eli Scantling, Josh Owens and Brandon Freeman. Josh Owens blocked the extra point attempt and then was in for the Bulldog kick return for an 8 yard pick up to the Waldron 28 yard line.
Gaining about 12 yards on their third possession, Jordan Tull rushed for 6 yards and Brandon Freeman 8 yards before Josh Owens was forced to punt for the Dogs.
Mena drove hard again beginning at their own 46 yard line to the Waldron 46 yard line before extending their lead 13-0 with the extra point attempt failing. The Bulldogs wound down the first quarter clock with Jake Laird in as the punt receiver. Jordan Tull completed 1 of 3 passes for a 10 yard gain to Ozzie Ozuna and rushed for 2 yards. The Bulldogs were forced to punt.
James Bates and Devan Dvorak were in for the Bulldogs on tackles stopping the Cats at the 30 yard line. Josh Owens had a couple of huge stops and Eli Scantling was in for a Bulldog tackle stopping a pass attempt and the Bearcats were in for a punt. Waldron took over on their own 34 yard line picking up 4 yards from Brandon Freeman followed by an attempted pass from Ozzie Ozuna to Chance Tanner ending up with a fumble recovered by the Bearcats. Mena took over at the Waldron 13 yard line and drove to the 7 yard line but the Bulldogs held them to an attempted field goal blocked by Eli Scantling. Chance Tanner, Josh Owens, Claude Wilcox, James Bates and Bobby Ison were in for the Bulldog defense.
Taking over on their own 24 yard line with Dakota Wagner in for the receive, the Bulldogs picked up about 12 yards with Brandon Freeman rushing for a combined 9 yards and Ozzie Ozuna completing 1 of 3 passes for a 12 yard gain to Taylor Bunting. The Bulldogs were forced turn the ball over on downs.
The Bearcats followed with a series of incomplete passes and penalties meeting tackles and blocks by James Bates and Josh Owens. The Bulldogs would take the final possession with Austin Holloway picking up 6 yards for the Bulldogs before half with the score Mena 13, Waldron 0.
The Bearcats opened up the second half with competition Bulldog defense tackles by Eli Scantling and Brandon Freeman. A blocked punt by James Bate and a Bulldog recovery by Dakota Wagner found the Bulldogs at the Mena 19 yard line. Brandon Freeman picked up a yard and Jordan Tull ran for 18 yards for the first TD of the night for Waldron. Ozzie Ozuna's extra point narrowed the lead 13-7.
A second break for the Dogs came with a Bearcat fumble with Bulldog Trevor Watkins in for the recovery at the Mena 33 yard line. Jordan Tull carried or a combined 8 yards and was good for 1 of 3 complete passes with the final pass to Josh Owens for a Bulldog TD tying the score 13-13 with the extra point attempt by Ozzie Ozuna blocked.
Mena's next drive started at the Mena 46 yard line with a solid drive to at TD to take a 19-13 lead with the extra point good. Waldron's opportunity take the lead failed with Jordan Tull picking up 9 on a complete pass to Brandon Freeman followed by a 1 yard gain by Chance Tanner before punting. The Bulldogs suffered a unsportsman like conduct penalty and illegal participation penalty before the Bearcats were in for a TD to extend a 27-13 lead.
The Bulldogs next drive began with an 8 yard kick return by Josh Owens to the Waldron 42 yard line followed by 3 failed passing attempts by Jordan Tull. Josh Owens punt attempt was botched and the Bulldogs were forced to run and the Bearcats took over at the Bulldogs 15 yard line. Gaining yardage to the 7 yard line, the Dakota Wagner intercepted in the endzone and took back possession at their own 20 yard line.
Jordan Tull picked up a combined 9 yards and Brandon was in for 2 yards and the Bulldogs suffered another un-sportsmanship like conduct penalty. Tull ran for 2 more yards and was incomplete on his pass attempt to Eli Scantling before Josh Owens punted.
The Bearcats would put 6 more on the board and take a 33-13 lead. Austin Holloway was in for the kick return to the 43 yard line with Tull picking up 7 on the ground and 5 in the air to Brandon Freeman. Tull's attempted pass to Taylor Bunting was intercepted and the Bearcats were up and out with tackles by Taylor Bunting, Trevor Watkins and Austin Holloway.
The Bearcats would get another 7 points on the board and win this one 40 to 13.