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September 20th had been a rainy day and was looking like a drizzly night, but the weather didn't dampen their spirits as Bearcat fans packed into the stadium for the Friday night homecoming game against the Wampus Cats. First, the crowd was treated to homecoming festivities showcasing 15 attendants and their escorts. The homecoming court of lovely young ladies looked simply beautiful, dressed in their finest, and there was loud cheers when Macy Smith, the Senior class attendant escorted by Lucas Austin, was announced as the homecoming queen.
Then, the team captains went on the field for the toss and the crowd was moved to see Conner Copeland, who had been injured in last week's game, wheeled onto the field with his fellow captains, Zach Speer, Tristan Brown, Tanner Brown and Drew McKnight. The Bearcats elected to receive and the fans were ready for some magic.
And did they get it! Within the first two minutes, QB Zach Speer (#5) threw a long pass to Tanner Brown (#12) who dashed the remaining yards to the goal. The kick was no good, and the score 6-0. Atoka lost the ball on downs and kicked the ball into Tanner Brown's hands who was able to take it all the way into the end zone, with lots of great blocks from his fellow teammates. Morgan Nabors (#21) snagged Speer's pass for the 2-point conversion. Atoka again couldn't make it across the 50, and the Bearcats took possession, marching down the field. With good field position set up by nice runs by Zach Speer and Lucas Austin (#34), Speer went up and over the top of his blockers for the touchdown. The kick was good and the score was 21-0 with 56 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Again, Atoka was forced to punt and, just to show it wasn't an accident, Tanner Brown caught the ball and ran it all the way home once more. Two minutes later, the Bearcats had possession again and this time, Bryce Carter (#11) made a quick dash across the goal line. Speer's kick was good and the score at half-time was 34-0, Bearcats.
In the third quarter, the Bearcats continued to hold strong against the Wampus Cats. Drew McKnight (#2) caught a short pass thrown by Zach Speer and made a great run, setting up excellent field position. With 8:47 left, Lucas Austin ran the ball in from the 9-yard line.
Apparently, the defense was feeling left out in the scoring game, because a couple of plays later, Doltinn Brown (#24) tackled the Wampus Cat quarterback in the end zone for a 2 point safety, making the score 42-0 with 6:08 left in the third quarter. Can you guess what happened when Atoka kicked the ball - again - and Tanner Brown caught it - again? Third time was the charm as he galloped into the end zone. Zach Speer's kick was good and with 5:51 left in the third quarter, the score was 49-0, Bearcats.
The younger squad members went in for some experience and both teams struggled for yardage. Late in the fourth quarter, Atoka was finally able to score and the final tally was 49-7, Bearcats. The guys played a great game and treated the fans to a taste of what they are capable of doing.
Stat-wise, Zach Speer hit 10 out of 18 passes for a total of 126 yards. Leading rushers were Speer, Carter and Austin with 56, 26 and 20 yards respectively. Tanner Brown was the leading scorer with 4 touchdowns. The defense did a great job, holding Atoka to only 35 yards rushing. Ryan Davis (#78) led the tackles with 12 to his name.
Sadly, there were a couple of injuries requiring the ambulance on the field - one, to #35 on the Atoka team and one to #8 Raven Bowden. Fortunately, Bowden's injury turned out to be relatively minor. Our thoughts and prayers go to the Atoka player and his family.
You can see video highlights on youtube by searching for bearcatbuzz.
The team goes to Hartshorne this Friday night, September 27th for their first district game. Make the trip and see what the boys pull out of their hats (or helmets) this time!