Brookland @ Cedar Ridge
Sep 1, 2017
by Chase Gage
NEWARK, ARK – The Brookland Bearcats defeated the Cedar Ridge Wolves 35-6 Friday night in Newark. The Bearcats are now 1-0 for the season.
“We really stepped it up offensively tonight,” said Reid Lane, Brookland’s senior quarterback. “Hopefully we can carry that over to next week. Corning is a good team, so we’ll need it.”
Both teams started off slow, but once Brookland got rolling, they took over the game in a flash.
After Brookland turned the ball over on downs on the opening drive of the game, the Wolves got the ball inside their own 30-yard line. After their first three plays only resulted in four yards, they faced a 4th and 6 situation. The Wolves were able to draw the Bearcats offside, resulting in a 4th and 1, which they converted with a run up the middle. The Wolves then marched all the way down to the 5-yard line, where they faced a 4th and inches. This time, the Brookland defense held them and Cedar Ridge turned it over on downs.
Brookland then also faced a 4th and 6 situation, which they converted as the first quarter expired with the score still 0-0. Later in that drive, the Bearcats faced a 4th and 2. Lane ran up the middle to keep the drive alive. As the Bearcats made it into the red zone, they faced the third 4th down of the drive, this time a 4th and 2 from the 13-yard line. Lane took the snap, rolled slightly to his right, and delivered a strike to Deven Sloan in the endzone for the first touchdown of the season. Brookland missed the extra point, resulting in a 6-0 lead with 8:40 left in the second quarter.
Cedar Ridge wasted no time tying the game up. After running the kickoff to their own 30-yard line, the Wolves broke a 70-yard touchdown on their first play thanks to running back Daylon Gant. After a failed two-point conversion, the game was tied yet again, 6-6 with 8:21 left until halftime.
Brookland was staring at a three-and-out on their next drive. Faced with a 4th and 9 inside their own 30, the Bearcats punted it away. However, the Wolves muffed the punt and the Bearcats recovered at the 29-yard line. Three plays later, Lane punched in a one-yard touchdown on 1st and goal to stretch the Bearcat lead to 12-6 with 3:35 left in the half. Lane then completed a pass to Sloan for the two-point conversion, giving Brookland a 14-6 lead.
Brookland held their 14-6 lead into halftime.
Cedar Ridge received the ball to start the second half but went three-and-out. The Bearcats started with the ball at their own 25-yard line. Brookland marched the ball to their own 47-yard line before they started showing what their passing game was made of.
Lane completed a 26-yard pass to Michael Marsh. On the very next play, Lane found Luke Hillis for a 27-yard touchdown. Hillis then punched in the two-point conversion on a sweep play to the right side. The Bearcats lead 22-6 with 8:08 left in the third quarter.
Lane wasn’t done tossing touchdowns, though. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Lane tossed his third touchdown of the game, finding Sloan in the end zone yet again, this time from 10 yards out. The two-point conversion was no good, and Brookland held a 28-6 lead with 11:52 left to play.
Cedar Ridge made one last-ditch effort to mount a comeback but was stopped short when the Brookland defense came up with another red-zone fourth-down stop, this time halting a 4th and goal from the 15-yard line.
“Our defense is new. Everybody had to be replaced this year. We had a lot of guys step up for us tonight,” said Lane.
Brookland scored one more touchdown before the clock expired, an 8-yard run with 1:16 left in the game. The extra point was good, and the ball sailed through the uprights and into the parking lot where it struck a car. This gave Brookland their winning score of 35-6.
“(It all started) up front. They played a big factor in the passing game. We had three passing touchdowns and couldn’t have done it without those guys.”