SPORTS >>Yellowjackets show no mercy
By JASON KING
Leader sports writer
Beebe scored the first touchdown of the game against Wynne in 5A-East Conference action at Bro Erwin Field in Beebe Friday night, going 69 yards in 12 plays to take an early 7-0 lead. Wynne scored the next seven touchdowns.
The Yellowjackets handed the Badgers their most difficult loss of the season so far with a mercy-ruled 49-7 decision. Wynne scored on all but four of its possessions, including two turnovers and a time-killing drive in the last three minutes of the game. The rest were taken in for scores.
Wynne’s running game was as advertised and then some. The twin Terrances did the majority of the damage on the ground for the Yellowjackets, along with help from senior tailback Lee Harris. Garrett used his 4.6 speed to put one in the end zone for the ‘Jackets mid-way through the second quarter, and All-State senior tailback Boykin scored on the first play of the second quarter to give Wynne a 14-7 lead that they would not surrender for the remainder of the contest.
Harris crossed the goal line on three separate occasions, and David Johnston returned a 69-yard punt from Beebe punter Seth Skinner for a touchdown at the 10:46 mark of the second quarter. The final score of the game came from the Wynne JV unit, setting the final margin with 10:31 left in the game.
The Badgers got first possession in the game, and wasted little time moving the ball into scoring position. Robbie Puckett ran for 10 yards, followed by a nine-yard scramble from starting senior QB Jared Mathis to take the ball into Yellowjackets’ territory.
Puckett and Mathis continued as the primary ball movers for the remainder of the drive, with an option pitch to Puckett on the left side with the Badgers facing third and goal at the Wynne 4-yard line clinching the score at the 8:22 mark of the first quarter. Roger Glaude added the extra-point to put Beebe up 7-0.
Wynne took over at its own 35-yard line, and wasted little time themselves. Most of the ‘Jackets’ early yardage came courtesy of penalties against the Beebe defense.
Two offside penalties and an inadvertent facemask penalty moved the ball into Badger territory at the 40-yard line. Harris handled things from there, breaking free on a 40-yard touchdown run with 7:01 left in the first quarter. Quarterback Ryan Wood added the extra-point to tie the score.
Both teams traded possessions with back-to-back punts. Wynne’s next scoring drive started with 1:43 left in the opening quarter, and ended with 11:55 left in the second quarter when Boykin capped off a four-play, 43-yard drive with an eight-yard TD run. Wood’s PAT put the Yellowjackets up 14-7, and the rest were just padding.
Wynne’s next score came off a 70-yard punt return from John-ston after a three-and-out drive for the Badgers. Johnston shook off a shoestring grab, and then broke three more tackles on his way to the goal line for a 21-7 Yellowjackets’ lead.
Both teams continued to move the ball well in the second quarter, but spent the majority of the frame finding creative ways to turn the ball over to each other.
The Yellowjackets started the sloppy trend with a pass up the middle from Wood to Johnston. Johnston picked up 20 yards on the screen, but bobbled the ball in the open field. As Johnston tried to secure the ball, sophomore safety Luke Gardner put a vicious hit on him that jarred the ball completely loose.
John Breashears landed on the ball to give Beebe possession, but the Badgers would not keep it for long.
On the first play of the drive, sophomore quarterback Zack Kersey coughed the ball up, and senior linebacker Brycein White recovered for the Yellowjackets. Harris would fumble back to the Badgers three plays later, as Glaude fell on the loose ball for Beebe.
Three incomplete Beebe passes and a punt put Wynne back on offense, and the Yellowjackets managed to hold on to the ball. A seven-play, 42-yard drive was capped off by a four-yard touchdown run from Harris.
Garrett put six more on the board for Wynne before halftime with a five-yard touchdown run with only 36 seconds left in the second quarter. The score gave the Yellowjackets a very comfortable 35-7 lead at the half.
The start of the third quarter was more of the same for Wynne. The ‘Jackets took the opening possession of the second half 74 yards on seven plays to put the game in mercy-rule status.
Garrett started the drive off on a positive note for Wynne with a 37-yard breakaway down the left side on the first play of the half to move the ball into Badger territory.
Harris closed the deal for the Yellowjackets six plays later on a three-yard run for the score. All that was needed was one more extra-point kick from Wood to start the continuous clock, which he put perfectly through the uprights.
Kersey’s passing looked solid enough in the third quarter for Beebe, but the receiving prowess of the targets he was aiming for was not.
The Badgers’ offensive line also did a respectable job of buying the young sophomore QB some time on a majority of the plays, but many of Kersey’s tosses went in and out of the hands of the Beebe receivers.
The Badgers’ offense ran completely out of gas in the final quarter. Kersey spent most of the final frame scrambling for cover, trying to find an open receiver in Wynne’s tremendous coverage. The deeper the Badgers tried to go, the better the ‘Jackets seemed to have them covered.
One final touchdown from the Yellowjackets at the 10:31 mark of the final quarter sent most of the crowd packing, and officially put the game out of reach.
Kersey finished the game with seven completions of 24 attempts for 49 yards and an interception. For Wynne, the trio of Garrett, Harris and Boykin combined for 236 yards rushing and five touchdowns, with Garrett rushing for 109 yards. The loss drops Beebe’ s record to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the 5A-East conference. Wynne improves to 4-2 on the season and 3-0 in Conference play.
The Badgers will travel to Blytheville next week. Wynne will visit Batesville in a game that will most likely decide the East league title.