Manila at Brookland
Sep 15, 2017
by Chase Gage
BROOKLAND, ARK — The Brookland Bearcats defeated the Manila Lions Friday night by a final score of 49-6. Brookland is now 3-0, tied for the best start in school history.
“The key to success was teamwork,” said junior Luke Hillis. “We played as a team tonight.”
Brookland opened up the scoring on Military and First Responders Appreciation Night late in the first quarter. Hillis ran up the middle for 18 yards on 2nd and 8 to give the Bearcats a 1st and 10 at the Manila 49-yard line. Ethan Barkley then reeled off a 35-yard run to set up another 1st down, this time inside the Manila 15-yard line. The Bearcats wasted no time from there, as Dylan Marsh punched it in from 14 yards out. The two-point conversion was no good, giving Brookland a 6-0 lead with 2:54 left in the first quarter.
On the next drive, Manila faced a fourth down deep in their own territory. The Lions lined up to punt, but the snap went over the punters head. He recovered the ball at the two-yard line and was able to get back to the line of scrimmage before being tackled by a hoard of Bearcats. A personal foul penalty on Manila resulted in a 1st and Goal situation for Brookland from the six-yard line. Barkley scored two plays later to extend the Brookland lead to 12-0 with 18 seconds left in the first quarter after the two-point try was unsuccessful.
On the first drive of the second quarter, the Lions went three-and-out. The Bearcats took over at their own 25-yard line. Again, the Bearcats wasted no time putting a drive together. Quarterback Reid Lane broke off a 44-yard run down the left sideline to get the Bearcats into Lion territory. On the next play, Hillis outran the entire defense for a 31-yard touchdown. Lane punched in the two-point conversion to stretch the Bearcat lead to 20-0 with 9:38 left in the first half.
Manila refused to go down without a fight.
The Lions responded with four-minute drive (that included a 4th and 2 conversion) that was capped off by a 25-yard touchdown run by junior running back Brett Carter. The Brookland lead was cut to 20-6 with just over five minutes until halftime.
Just when things were looking up for the Lions, the Bearcats put themselves in position to make a potentially fatal blow. With 1:04 left in the second quarter, Brookland scored yet again, this time on 4th and 6 from the 16-yard line. Lane found Marsh in the endzone to give Brookland a 26-6 lead. Lane ran in the two-point conversion and the Bearcats took a 28-6 lead into the locker room.
Brookland received the second half kickoff and started at their own 47-yard line. On first down, Lane broke off a 33-yard run down to the Manila 20-yard line. Two plays later, Hillis scored his third touchdown of the game, this time from 13 yards out. The extra point was good and Brookland took a commanding 35-6 lead with 10:00 left in the third quarter.
Manila made another push to get back into the game when quarterback Layne Sims completed a 34-yard pass to Carter to give the Lions a first down at the Brookland 37-yard line. However, a block in the back penalty doomed the Lions and they faced a 4th and 13 at the Brookland 40-yard line.
The Lions elected to punt. Brookland had different plans though. Hillis came off the left edge and blocked the punt. Brookland took over at the Manila 40-yard line.
On 2nd and 11, Hillis gained 11 yards on the ground to give the Bearcats a first down at the 30-yard line. Barkley scored his second touchdown of the night on the next play thanks to a 30-yard run. The extra point was good and the Bearcats extended their lead to 42-6 with 4:20 remaining in the third quarter.
Brookland then pulled their starters, but they weren’t done just yet. Sophomore Curren Bounds reeled off a 34-yard touchdown with 10:19 left to play, setting the final score, 49-6.
“(Next week) we have to go in there like it’s our first game. These wins are behind us,” Hillis said when asked about conference play starting next week. “Everybody needs to tweak something. We just have to fix the small things and we’ll be ready to go.”
Brookland is now 3-0 on the season for the second time in school history, the first time since 2013. Manila falls to 0-3.
The Bearcats travel to Gosnell (0-3) next week to take on the Pirates while Manila will host the Walnut Ridge Bobcats (2-1) to open up conference play.