In their season opener, the Antlers Bearcats were hosted by the Valliant Bulldogs on September 6. The visitor stands were packed with Bearcat fans, anxious to see how the team would respond with new coaching staff and 47 players. On the opening kick off, the Bearcats took control of the ball and marched down the field, scoring a touchdown right off the bat with Junior Lucas Austin (#34) running up the middle. Senior Tanner Brown (#12) kicked the extra point and the score was 7 to 0. The Bulldogs tried to prevail against the Bearcats, but the defense held strong. The Bearcats scored another touchdown in the second quarter with Senior Zach Speer (#5) running in the end zone with a QB keep, making the score 13 to 0. The kick for the extra point was no good.
The Bulldogs then came back with a TD of their own. Their field goal kick was blocked, but the refs called a penalty for roughing the kicker. This time, the Bulldogs ran the ball in for a two-point conversion and the score was 13 to 8 at the half. Both teams came back strong in the second half, but it was a defensive game now. Both came close to scoring several times, including a 45 yard pass thrown by Senior QB Zach Speer (#5) to Senior WR Tanner Brown (#12) within a few yards of the goal. In the final minutes of the game, the Bulldogs were heading towards the goal. The game ending play was a very well covered pass being picked off by Zach Speer (#5) after being tipped by teammate Bryce Carter (#11) with 5 seconds left in the game. Antlers fans were on their feet cheering their team for the long-awaited victory (some were in tears). Coach Speer said “Defense played outstanding, made the plays when we had to. (bend don’t break). The offense took care of the ball.”
PASSING: Zach Speer 9/13 137yds 1 Interception
RECEIVING: Tanner Brown 100yds; Drew McKnight 15yds; Nick Evans 22yds.
RUSHING: Bryce Carter 9/55yds; Nick Evans 8/26yds; Lucas Austin 2/7yds; Zach Speer 2/4yds.
DEFENSE TACKLES: Tanner Brown 28; Zach Speer 16 and 1 Interception; Bryce Carter 16; and Lucas Austin 21.View more articles in: