Monday, September 11, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Another comeback for Beebe

Special to The Leader

In this seasons’ annual rivalry game between the Beebe Badgers and the Lonoke Jackrabbits, the teams faced off in Week Two at James B. Abraham Stadium in Lonoke. 

Both teams were Week One winners, but it was the Badgers who remained undefeated, going ahead in the second half to win 34-13. Lonoke scored first, and it was the only score of the first half, but Beebe scored three touchdowns in the third quarter and two to the Jackrabbits one in the fourth to set the final margin. 

“I’m proud of them.” Beebe coach John Shannon said. “We’re learning to play with some adversity. The first half didn’t go very good for us. But we never quit, and we never got down on each other, which happened some last year. We just kind of stuck together, and we came out the second half, drove it down the field and scored, and then the momentum was with us, and we just got to rolling. We’re cleaning up our game, we’re playing smarter, and we’re playing harder, and I feel like we’re heading in the right direction.”

The first quarter was scoreless, with Lonoke turning the ball over on downs, and the Badgers doing the same early in the second quarter on Lonoke’s 10-yard line.

Lonoke drove the 90 yards from there to take the lead.

Quarterback Daniel Seigrist had completions to Braidon Bryant for gains of 10 and nine, and to Connor Linton for 12 and 16 yards to start the drive. Davonta Adams had a run of six, followed by a 34-yard scamper to the 3-yard line for a first and goal. Connor Bieker made the touchdown-saving tackle for Beebe, but Adams carried for the three yards and the touchdown on the next play. Nick Tate added the extra point for the 7-0 edge.

The Jackrabbits had the ball on the ball on the 9-yard line with 15 seconds remaining in the half, thanks to another 11-yard completion from Seigrist to Linton, an 11-yard keeper by Seigrist, and a 26-yard completion to De’Angelo Noid. The next pass was intercepted by Bieker to end the threat.

The Badgers had the first possession of the second half. Taylor Boyce returned the kick off to the Beebe 47-yard line. Bieker ran for 11 on the first play of the drive, and on the fifth, Kahlil Anthony gained 25 to the 5-yard line. Bieker finished the drive from there with the touchdown. The point after was good by Jaime Rodriguez to tie the score at 7-7.

The Badgers then covered an onside kick for another possession, this time on the Lonoke 37-yard line. Boyce picked up seven, then Anthony the other 30 for the score. Daniel Martinez added the extra point for the 14-7 lead with 8:27 remaining in the third quarter.

A Jackrabbit fumble returned the ball to the visitors. A tackle for loss by E’shaun Brown helped force a fourth down, but Anthony moved the chains with a pick up of nine. An 11-yard pickup by Boyce gave the Badgers first and goal on the three, and C.J. Cauldwell, who had replaced Mason Walker at quarterback at the half, carried the ball in from the one for the touchdown. Rodriguez kicked the PAT for the 21-7 advantage.

The Jackrabbits turned the ball over on downs on the first play of the quarter number four, and after Cauldwell completed a pass to Boyce for 26 yards and to the 2-yard line, he scored again from there. The extra point try was no good, leaving the lead at 27-7 with 9:50 remaining in the game.

On the change in quarterback, coach Shannon said, “At halftime, we just made the decision, hey, he earned the spot, let’s give him a shot and see what happens, and it worked out great for us.”

The Jackrabbits again gave the ball over on downs, and on the first play, Boyce broke free and scored from 66 yards away. Rodriguez made the score 34-7 with his point after.

Lonoke started its ensuing possession from its own 34-yard line. A completion of 26 yards from Seigrist to Ethan Mulligan, a personal foul penalty, and a 13-yard completion to Noid gave the Jackrabbits a first down on the 11-yard line. From there, Seigriest found Bryant for the touchdown reception. The 2-point conversion was no good to set the final score at 34-13.

Lonoke had a nice final drive going, but ran out of time.

“Tale of two halves,” said Lonoke coach Taggart Moore. “We came out and played great the first half and did everything we wanted to do, executed, defense played great. Went in, with the same game plan coming back out. Coach Shannon and them made some good adjustments to us, so we adjusted, and it’s a chess match. They finally started dominating the line of scrimmage a little bit. We got tired. This one stings a little bit, but we’ll come back next week ready to roll.”

The Jackrabbits host Newport next week, while Beebe will host Wynne.

Anthony had 19 rushes for 140 yards and one touchdown for the Badgers. Boyce carried seven times for 97 yards and one touchdown. Cauldwell had rushing touchdowns of two and one yard.

Adams had 79 yards on 12 carries for Lonoke. Bryant had 10 yards rushing, and 41 yards and one touchdown receiving. Seigrist rushed nine times for 45 yards and had 18 completions for 185 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Beebe had 374 yards of total offense. The Jackrabbits had 313 yards.