Saturday, September 24, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Beebe’s fumble late lifts Warriors

Special to The Leader

A fumble returned for a touchdown by the Little Rock Christian Warriors proved to be the difference in Friday’s 44-33 victory over Beebe Friday at Bro Irwin Stadium.

It was Beebe’s only turnover, but the 14-point swing was more than the Badgers could overcome.

Beebe also suffered several injuries. Neither of the two co-starting quarterbacks, Mason Walker and C.J. Cauldwell, nor starting fullback Kahlil Anthony finished the game.

“The kids played hard,” said Beebe coach John Shannon. “I’m proud of the effort we got. I thought we got after it the entire game, never quit, kept playing. We just made too many mistakes, and it came back to haunt us. Hats off to them, they’re a good team, but they’re in the same boat that we are. They’re young, but their youth beat our youth tonight. I’m proud of my kids. They never quit. They kept fighting the entire way.”

The Warriors hurry-up offense didn’t score on its first two drives, but only took three plays to score on the third possession. Chris Hightower scored from 27 yards with 1:28 remaining in the opening quarter.

Taylor Boyce returned the ensuing kickoff all the way to the Warrior 9-yard line. But Beebe turned the ball over on downs.

After forcing LRCA to punt, Beebe got on the scoreboard with a 48-yard, seven-play drive, capped by a 24-yard run by Nathan Clifton. The extra point was no good, leaving the score 7-6 with 5:36 remaining in the half.

The Warriors answered, moving from their own 16 to score on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Bowersock to Henley Bland. The extra point was blocked, leaving the score 13-6 with 2:55 remaining in the second quarter.

The Badgers scored on a 61-yard touchdown scamper by Boyce. Again, the extra point was no good, and with 1:32 to go before the break, the LRCA lead was 13-12.

The Warriors took the ball on their own 41-yard line and on five pass completions, scored with 10.8 seconds on the clock to make the score 20-12 at intermission.

Beebe had a 50-yard run in it’s first possession of the half by Nathan Burnett to help move to the LRCA 9-yard line, but again could not score and turned the ball over on downs.

However, a Warrior fumble was recovered on the first play by Jackson, and Beebe had the ball on the LRCA 10-yard line. Burnett scored from two yards out. A two-point conversion was good by Boyce, and the score was tied at 20-20 with 7:26 to go in the third.

The Warriors answered with a score and extra point with 5:58 remaining in the quarter and the score was 27-20. Then, a Badger fumble was picked up and taken 62 yards for a touchdown by Andrew Casto, and the lead grew to 34-20.

Jackson picked up the following on-side kick and returned it to the LRCA 11-yard line. Boyce scored from eight yards out, Daniel Martinez’s kick was good, and the score was 34-27.

The Warriors struck again with 9:03 in the fourth to up the lead to 41-27.

A 46-yard run by Burnett set up a 1-yard run by Beebe quarterback Gage House. The conversion attempt was no good, and the score was 41-33 with 6:05 remaining.

LRCA scored once more, a 30-yard field goal by Hankins with 2:59 remaining to set the final score at 44-33.

Burnett led the Badgers in rushing with 116 yards and one touchdown. Boyce had 105 yards, two touchdowns, and one two-point conversion.

Beebe travels to Little Rock Friday night to face Pulaski Academy.