courtesy of Beth Stuartcourtesy of Beth Stuartcourtesy of Beth Stuart

Bears’ valiant effort against Marionville

The Willow Springs Bears took their show on the road Friday night to face a formidable foe in the Marionville Comets. Coming off a difficult loss against a talented team from California, Mo., in week one, the Bears knew they were going to have to bring their A-game to Marionville.  The Comets came into the game holding the top spot in the state rankings in Class 1.
The Bear defense came out strong and aggressive, but the Comets responded with a 37-yard touchdown pass on their first possession. Marionville was successful attempting a two-point conversion making the early score 8-0.
On the first Bear possession, on third down and 9, quarterback Dylan Ferguson connected with senior receiver, Aiden Stuart, for an 80-yard pass play that resulted in a touchdown.  The extra point kick was blocked, putting the score at 8-6, Comets.
Hopes were high as the Bears were holding their own, but Marionville’s attack was just getting started. The score at the end of the first quarter was 24-6, Marionville.
Unable to get any kind of running game going against the wall of Marionville’s defensive line, the Bears turned to the air. Ferguson had a successful passing game, completing passes to Jon Baugh, Kayden Woolsey, and Aiden Stuart.  Stuart had another successful game tackling, receiving, and especially punting, getting the ball up and away under pressure.
However, the Marionville offense proved to be a relentless force, racking up a whopping eight touchdowns with accompanying two-point conversions in the first half, bring the halftime score to 64-6.
The second half was a bit chaotic with the turbo clock running, some consultation among the officials, and multiple penalties and player substitutions for both teams. The end of the game saw several younger Bears getting minutes, including Asher Smith at quarterback and Jethro Gilliam and Jeremiah Galloway carrying the ball. Final score was 70-6, Marionville.
After the game, Bears’ Head Coach Travis Payne commented, “We came out and played tough for a quarter. Injury started to build up on us. I’m proud of the way the boys fought hard.  We had a lot of kids that had to step up in a tough game and all of them took on the challenge.”
The Bears will be back in action Friday night, September 8, for Homecoming in their first SCA contest of the season against the Cabool Bulldogs.
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