Leader Blues

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

SPORTS >>Defense lifts Beebe to win

By JASON KING
Leader sports writer

After a very shaky start, the Beebe Badgers rallied in their season opener to defeat the Greenbrier Panthers 28-14 Friday night at Greenbrier. The Badgers were the victims of two bizarre safeties in the opening quarter to trail the Panthers at halftime 11-7. Beebe demonstrated its old habits from last year, coming back strong in the second half to take control of the game. The Badgers outscored Greenbrier 21-3 in the final two quarters for the win.

The first score of the game occurred at the 8:04 mark of the first quarter, when Beebe found itself with possession deep in its own territory. A snap to Badgers quarterback Jared Mathis was too high, making its way into the end zone. Mathis recovered the loose ball to avoid a Panthers touchdown, giving up two points as opposed to six for Greenbrier.

On the next possession, Mathis once again found himself with the ball in his own end zone, but this time, it was a slip that gave the Panthers a pair of points and made them the recipient of another free kick from the Badgers. After one quarter of play, Greenbrier held a rare 4-0 lead over Beebe. The Badgers took over the lead at the 10:12 mark of the second quarter when senior Robbie Puckett broke through with a 2-yard touchdown run. The point after was successful, giving Beebe brief 7-4 lead.

Greenbrier answered moments later with a 10-yard run for a TD to give the Panthers an 11-7 lead heading into the half. Beebe’s defense stepped up tremendously in the second half, allowing only a field goal from Greenbrier, while producing two touchdowns of its own off of Panther turnovers.
The Badgers retook the lead with 5:42 left in the third quarter when back up quarterback Charlie Spakes found James Anderson for the touchdown pass, putting the Badgers up by three.

Anderson ended up stealing the show defensively as well; intercepting two Greenbrier passes in the final quarter to seal the deal for the Badgers. The first came with 9:12 left in the game, when Anderson took the pick 35-yards for the score. After a Greenbrier field goal that made the score 21-14, Anderson once again snagged a Panthers toss, this time returning it all the way from 45 yards out to set the final margin of 28-14.

Beebe finished the game with 278 yards of total offense, compared to 189 for Greenbrier. Mathis and Spakes combined for 150 yards passing, hitting 10 of 19 completions for a touchdown and two interceptions. The Badgers rushed a total of 22 times for 128 yards on the ground. Beebe was penalized seven times for 57 yards, while Greenbrier took three flags for a total of 22 penalty yards.

Beebe returns home to Bro Erwin Field this week for the home opener verses Lonoke at 7:30 p.m. ond quarter when senior Robbie Puckett broke through with a 2-yard touchdown run. The point after was successful, giving Beebe a brief 7-4 lead. Greenbrier answered moments later with a 10-yard run for a TD to give the Panthers an 11-7 lead heading into the half. Beebe’s defense stepped up tremendously in the second half, allowing only a field goal from Greenbrier, while producing two touchdowns of its own off of Panther turnovers.

The Badgers retook the lead with 5:42 left in the third quarter when backup quarterback Charlie Spakes found James Anderson for the touchdown pass, putting the Badgers up by three. Anderson ended up stealing the show defensively as well, intercepting two Greenbrier passes in the final quarter to seal the deal for the Badgers. The first came with 9:12 left in the game, when Anderson took the pick 35 yards for the score. After a Greenbrier field goal that made the score 21-14, Anderson once again snagged a Panthers’ toss, this time returning it all the way from 45 yards out to set the final margin.

Beebe finished the game with 278 yards, Greenbrier had 189. Mathis and Spakes combined for 150 yards passing, hitting 10 of 19 attempts for a touchdown and two interceptions. The Badgers rushed a total of 22 times for 128 yards on the ground. Beebe returns home this Friday for the home opener verses Lonoke at 7:30 p.m.