Leader Blues

Saturday, September 26, 2009

SPORTS >> Badgers finally put it together to beat Eagles

By TOM WHITE
Special to The Leader

CROSSETT — It has been a long wait, but the Beebe Badgers are winless no more.

The Badgers opened the season 0-3 and had to go to double overtime to escape with a hard-fought 18-12 victory over the Crossett Eagles here Friday night.

Adam Griffis scored on a 3-yard run in the second overtime to give Beebe its long-sought victory.

Rain in 12 of the last 15 days, including junior high contests played in a downpour Thursday, left Crossett’s field soggy and choppy, but the Badgers rode the legs of Griffis to overcome the Crossett defense.

It was the Eagles, however, who opened the scoring, marching 55 yards in six plays.

On fourth and 3 from the Beebe 14, Crossett quarterback Derek Johnson connected with receiver Brandon Bryant down the left sideline.

Bryant hurdled a Badger defender at the 1 and landed in the end zone.

The extra-point attempt was no good, but the Eagles led 6-0 with 10:32 left in the first quarter.

The Badgers answered with a 63-yard, 12-play drive capped by a 24-yard keeper around the left side by junior quarterback Scot Gowen.

A two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the score knotted 6-6 with 4:42 left in the opening period.

That score would hold until the opening drive of the third quarter, when the Badgers offense started at its 38.

After gaining a first down at the Eagles 49, Griffis found a hole in the middle of the Eagles defense and ran 48 yards to the Crossett 1.

An offside penalty pushed the Badgers back to the 6, from where Griffis scored off left guard to put Beebe in front by 12-6 after the conversion attempt was no good.

Crossett battled back with a 59-yard drive, with a 33-yard pass from Johnson to receiver Keith Miller giving the Eagles a first down at the Beebe 6.

Miller lost a yard on an end around and then Johnson connected with Miller down the left side for a 7-yard touchdown pass.

Tyler Pennington’s extra-point kick was no good, and the score was again tied at 12-12 with 4:02 left in regulation.

The next Badger drive ended when Crossett’s Terez Thrower intercepted a Gowen pass at the Eagles 37.

The Eagles got a first down on an interference penalty, although Crossett had three penalties and a sack, pushing it back to its 16.

On fourth down at the 29, Pennington punted to Gowen, who returned the kick to the Beebe 43 with 10:51 left in the fourth quarter.

The Badgers drove inside the Crossett 5 before a holding penalty sent them back to the 14.

Thrower intercepted Gowen’s fourth-down pass to the end zone and ran it out to the 5 with 3:59 left.

Beebe forced a punt and took over at its 48 with 1:13 left. The Badgers again reached Eagles territory, but the drive stalled at the 34 following a holding penalty and the Badgers ran out the clock, setting up the dramatic finish.

In overtime, each team gets the ball at the opponent’s 10 with four downs to score.

The Badgers got the ball first in overtime and were facing a fourth down at the 9. Donny Lewis’ field goal attempt was short from 24 yards out.