Leader Blues

Saturday, September 19, 2009

SPORTS >> Eagles stop Beebe charge

Leader staff writer

The only fourth-quarter score spelled doom for Beebe against Vilonia on Friday.

The Badgers (0-3) pulled to within four points late in the third quarter, but could not generate another score, as the Eagles pulled away to 35-24 victory at Bro Erwin Stadium.

Senior fullback Adam Griffis scored on a 1-yard run with 2:31 left to play in the third quarter and ran in the two-point conversion to cut the Eagles’ lead to 28-24, but Vilonia sophomore standout running back James Sax iced the game on an 11-yard touchdown run with 9:56 to play.

The Eagles defense took advantage on a pair of key stops on fourth down. The first led to the second score of the night, and the second led to the final touchdown that put it away for Vilonia.

“It was back and forth there, and we were running out of time,” Badgers coach John Shannon said. “We went to something we weren’t completely comfortable with and ended up turning the ball over. We tried to throw the ball late and gave it to them.”

Junior quarterback Scott Gowen put the Badgers on the scoreboard first with a 27-yard touchdown run with 3:06 left in the first half and he ran in the two-point conversion to make it 14-8.

Vilonia quarterback Eric Ebmeyer put the Eagles up by two scores early on with touchdown runs of 1 and 32 yards.

Sax, who led Vilonia with 130 yards on 15 carries, also proved dangerous on special teams. He took the kickoff that followed Gowen’s touchdown and went 52 yards to give the Eagles a 21-8 lead at halftime.

Griffis struck first for the Badgers in the second half with a 33-yard touchdown run and ran in the two-point conversion with 11:09 left in the third quarter. Larry Lewis answered later in the quarter for the Eagles with a 7-yard run for the score.

Gowen led the Badgers with 115 yards on 17 carries. Vilonia had 331 yards of total offense, compared to 317 for Beebe.

The loss made three setbacks in a row to start the 2009 season for the Badgers.

“Right now, there’s a little frustration,” Shannon said. “We just have to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off, because conference starts next week. I told the guys that the first three games are fun to win, but next week is when it starts to count.

We have to pick things up quick, and go to Crossett next week and win.”