Leader Blues

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

SPORTS >>Badgers get lead, hold off Raiders

By RAY BENTON
Leader sports editor

The Beebe Badgers played themselves into at least a three seed with a 28-6 victory on the road at Nettleton Friday night. The Badgers and Raiders met up with playoff seeds on the line, and Beebe walked away with a big victory.

The game wasn’t without its concerns. The Badgers turned the ball over three times on fumbles, but a 28-point margin just one play into the second half was much more than the home team could overcome.

The Badgers struck early, scoring on the game’s opening possession. James Anderson converted a third and long with a 34-yard gain to the Nettleton 22-yard line to keep the drive alive. A few snaps later, fullback Sammy Williams scored from the 7-yard line to put the Badgers up by a touchdown. Roger Glaude hit the extra point to make it 7-0 with 9:29 left in the first quarter.

Glaude then picked off a Nettleton pass, but Beebe gave it back when quarterback Charlie Spakes fumbled while Beebe was driving.

The defense held and forced the Raiders to punt, and Beebe’s Joe Barrick blocked it to set the Badgers up with great field position at the Raider 17. Beebe took advantage of the short field. On the very next play, and the very first play of the second quarter, Kyle Williams rumbled 17 yards for the second touchdown of the game. Glaude added the extra point and Beebe led with 11:52 remaining in the half.

The Badger defense forced another Nettleton punt, and Beebe put together its best drive of the game. The drive almost stalled deep in Raider territory, but Anderson got just enough on fourth and two from the 22 to keep the drive alive. Four plays later, Josh Turner scored from eight yards out to make it a three-score game with 5:55 left in the half.

That’s the way the score remained for the rest of the half, but it changed quickly once the second half began.

On the first play of the half, Nettleton fumbled and linebacker Chris Blundell scooped it up and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown. Glaude’s extra point capped Beebe’s scoring in the game and gave the Badgers a 28-0 lead with 11:50 left in the third quarter.

Nettleton receiver Matt Akers caught a pass from quarterback Blake Johnson from 11 yards out midway through the fourth quarter to set the final margin.

Beebe finished with 285 total yards on offense. Sammy Williams led the way with 114 yards on 29 carries. Anderson picked up 57 yards on just five carries.

The win lifted the Badgers to 8-1 overall and 5-1 inside the 5A-East Conference.

The Badgers will play Batesville at home next week with a two seed and a first-round home playoff game on the line.