Leader Blues

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

SPORTS >>Beebe gets biggest victory

By JOE HALM
Wynne Progress

The Beebe Badgers controlled the first half of play at Yellowjacket Stadium Friday night and used some long second-half passing plays to remain perfect in conference play with a 34-22 homecoming-spoiling win.

The victory, Beebe’s first against Wynne, sets up a huge 5A-East match-up next Friday as the Badgers (6-0, 3-0 5A-East) welcome the Blytheville Chickasaws.

Beebe head coach John Shannon said Friday’s win at Wynne (1-5, 1-2 5A-East) was the team’s first major step toward a conference title.

“I’m proud of our kids. We tried to get them focused all week long and told them how big of a ball- game tonight was. This was a big conference win because you have got to take care of the ones at home and try to win the ones on the road. They are tough on the road,” Shannon said. “I was real proud of how we came out in the first half and were able to move the football. We got some big plays in the passing game, but I was a little disappointed in the second half because I didn’t think that we played with the same intensity.”

The Badger offense looked nearly unstoppable in the first half, scoring on three of its four possessions including a 49-yard touchdown pass from Charlie Spakes to Josh Turner with just 51.2 second left in the first half that gave the Badgers a 21-0 halftime lead. The Badgers also scored on a nine-play, 53-yard game opening drive and on a later 43-yard touchdown reception by Turner.

The Wynne offense answered back on the first possession of the second half as Okie Oring capped off a 66-yard scoring drive with a 5-yard touchdown run. After the 2-point conversion, Beebe held a 21-8 lead.

The Badgers responded in kind with their third touchdown pass of the evening as Spakes found Brandon Pursell wide open up the middle for a 53-yard touchdown. The score pushed the Badger lead to 28-8 with 3:26 left in the third quarter.

The Wynne offense, which was held scoreless in the first half, drove right down the field converting on a fourth-and-one from the Beebe 29. The Jackets later scored on an Oring 1-yard run. A failed 2-point conversion set the Badger lead at 28-14.

After the Wynne defense forced a turnover on downs with 7:09 left to play, the Jackets scored their final touchdown of the evening on another Oring 1-yard run. With just 2:54 left in the game, Wynne pulled to within 28-22.

On the ensuing onsides kick, Turner fielded the skipping pigskin easily, and as the Badgers were trying to run out the clock on their third conference win, Sammy Williams broke a 25-yard touchdown run to set the final score. Williams finished with 25 carries for 129 yards and a touchdown.

“This was the best offensive line that we have seen all year long, and they proved it in the second half. They were playing our type of football, but we were just fortunate enough to get a couple of big plays in the passing game, or it could have been a whole different ball game,” Shannon said about the Wynne second-half offense.

Spakes went 3-for-3 passing with three touchdowns and 145 yards. Turner had two of those TD receptions for 92 yards. The Badgers also outgained the Jackets 336 to 237.

With history made against Wynne, Shannon’s team will now focus on the Blytheville Chickasaws, who also sport an unbeaten conference mark.

“We have got to sure up our defense for sure,” Shannon said about what the Badgers will work on this week. “We are in position to win the conference so we have got to go to work Monday afternoon to get ready to play the ball game of our life.”