WYNNE – There was no getting saved by the bell for Beebe as Wynne junior quarterback Zach Morris torched the Badgers’ defense on the ground and through the air in a 59-28 mercy-ruled homecoming victory at Yellowjacket Stadium Friday.
Morris set the tone for what ended up as a long second half for the Badgers with a 46-yard touchdown pass to receiver Sam Wilson on the first play of the third quarter to give the Yellowjackets a commanding 39-14 lead, and took their next play 67 yards for a score on the ground for a 45-21 lead at the 10:42 mark following a 46-yard touchdown run by Beebe sophomore fullback Trip Smith. All told, Morris threw for four touchdowns and rushed for three more for a combined 459 of Wynne’s 592 total yards.
Smith was a one-man show on offense for the Badgers with 31 carries for 276 yards and three touchdowns, but it wasn’t nearly enough for Beebe as Wynne controlled the game from the middle of the first quarter on.
“For whatever reason, we just didn’t show up and play tonight,” Beebe coach John Shannon said. “Defensively, and then we turn it over on offense, it just snowballed. It was just an old-fashioned butt kicking is what that was. I won’t try to dress it up – they just lined up and whipped us tonight.”
The Badgers struck first on their opening drive with an eight-play, 75-yard drive that benefitted from a 28-yard run by senior halfback Dakota Mahoney and a 40-yard bull by Smith that set Beebe up with a first and goal at the Yellowjacket 1-yard line. A motion penalty and sack of junior quarterback Micah Dubois for a loss of six yards put the ball back at the 12, but Smith got it back close to the goal line with a 10-yard gain, and finally a 1-yard touchdown run on fourth down at the 8:13 mark of the first quarter. Junior kicker Tyler Jones bounced the extra-point attempt off the left goal post and through to make it 7-0 Beebe.
Wynne (5-1, 3-0) answered fast with a five-play drive that progressed mostly through the air and ended on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Morris to receiver Jalen Young with 6:33 remaining in the opening quarter. The extra point was no good and Beebe held on to the lead, 7-6.
The Badgers (3-3, 2-1) let an opportunity to score again slip through their hands on the next possession, driving down to the Wynne 10-yard line on a 40-yard run by junior halfback Jesse Crisco. The drive stalled from there, which led to a 22-yard field-goal attempt by Jones, who missed wide left with two minutes left to play in the first.
Morris took advantage of regaining possession for the ’Jackets with a 80-yard touchdown run on first down, going right through the heart of Beebe’s defense at the 1:44 mark to put Wynne up 12-7 following a failed two-point conversion try.
“He’s a lot better than he looked on film,” Shannon said of Morris. “On film, they threw a lot of short stuff, nothing big, and tonight, he threw deep all night long. He burned us several times. He did a great job, and hats off to them, their staff and their entire team. They played a fantastic ball game tonight.”
Wynne scored two more times unanswered on its next two possessions, including a 4-yard touchdown run by Morris with 4:05 left to play in the first half that gave the Yellowjackets a 25-7 lead, but Smith fired back for Beebe on the next play from scrimmage with a 63-yard touchdown run that cut the margin to 25-14 with 3:46 remaining.
The Yellowjackets were not content to carry a two-score lead into the locker room, however, and put up six more points with a fourth-down pass from Morris to Austin Wilson from 37 yards to give Wynne a 32-14 halftime advantage.
Morris was 12 for 17 passing for 285 yards and four touchdowns, and carried 10 times for 174 yards and three more touchdowns. Beebe finished with 455 yards of total offense.