Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beardstown Tigers Win with the Wing

Cyclones fall short on the road to Beardstown

Eagle Correspondent

The West Prairie faithful noticed a great deal of improvement from their Week 1 contest with Illini West during their latest contest Sept. 4 on the road in Beardstown. Although the score was tight for most of the game, Beardstown held off the Cyclones and came away with a 34-26 win for their first of the season.

The West Prairie Cyclones didn’t go quietly, however, as they rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit before coming up short late in the fourth quarter.

“Our team is a tough team,” said West Prairie Cyclone head coach Brandon Mize. “We fought back and we had an opportunity to go into overtime.”

The Cyclones got off to a rough start as Beardstown’s Brady Spears returned the opening kickoff 83 yards for the first score of the game. He later scored on another return of 91 yards.

“This game… we just beat ourselves,” Mize said.

After a getting off to a slow start in the first quarter, the Cyclones rallied back and came into halftime with momentum following a late touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jansen Baker to tailback Colton Hester with just 47.8 seconds left in the half to make it 28-14.

“We gave them a couple of touchdowns,” said Mize. “But we battled back and really fed off that second quarter. We produced… we really did.”

Baker fared well through the air against the ferocious Tiger defense, as he has yet to throw an interception in 2009 heading into the third week of the season. Baker was 15 of 34 for 247 yards with three passing touchdowns, along with a rushing touchdown. His main target was Hester, who had 11 catches for 179 yards with three receiving touchdowns.

“He is a soldier,” Mize said of Baker. “He is a warrior; he fights through pain, through the adversity. At times we need him and he steps up to the challenge.”

Beardstown’s single wing offense persevered with good running by Weston Blake who carried the ball nine times for 115 yards. Along with Blake, quarterback Cole Carlock and running back Wes Carlock carried their team on the offensive end.

Defensively, it was a battle on both sides as each had a ‘bend don’t break attitude’. West Prairie linebacker Brittin Moore had 10 tackles, four of which were for a loss, as he tried to will his team to victory.

“Our defense really produced,” Mize said. “I think all of those guys except one plays both ways. They stepped it up and they fought. They won’t give up and that’s pretty much the definition of our team.”

The game came down to the fourth quarter with 2:18 left and Beardstown went for it on fourth down. West Prairie’s defense stepped up to the challenge and gave their offense a chance to tie the game. Baker produced both on the ground and through the air, leading his team from Beardstown’s 42-yard line to their 29.

Unfortunately for West Prairie, the Tigers made the stop on fourth and five by preventing a completed pass from reaching the first down marker.

“We just have to eliminate our mistakes,” said Mize. “If that wasn’t the case then we would be walking out of here with a win.”

West Prairie will line up again Sept. 11 at Baumann Field in Sciota for a 7 p.m. contest against Pittsfield-Griggsville-Perry.


Macomb Eagle

210 S. Randolph

Macomb, IL 61455



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