Bears fall short of Demons 24-19

The Bears football lost to the Northwestern Louisiana Demons 24-19 in their conference opener at Estes Stadium on Oct. 9.
The Bears had the opportunity to take the lead in the final seconds of the game, but could not produce anything on a final drive deep in the Demons’ territory. The Bears are now 3-2 for the 2010 season and 0-1 in the Southland Conference. The Demons are now 2-4 overall and are 1-1 in the Southland Conference. This was the Demons’ first win in the Southland Conference since Nov. 22, 2008 when they beat the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks.
The Bears won the toss at the start of the game and chose to receive during the opening kickoff. The Bears were not able to do much during their first possession. Freshman running back Jackie Hinton ran for one yard on a second and 10 to go, but that would be the Bear’s only gain during their opening drive. Senior kicker Eddie Carmona was called in to punt on a fourth and nine to go. Carmona’s punt went to the Demon’s 23-yard line and was returned by sophomore wide receiver Bradley Brown to the Demon’s 44-yard line.
During the Demons’ opening drive, the Bears’ defense held the Demons and forced them to punt.
The Bears’ first opportunity to score didn’t occur until they recovered the ball from the Demons off of a fumble forced by Bears junior defensive end Jermayne Lett.
The Bears took control and started a drive toward Demons’ territory, gaining three first downs along the way. The Bears had carries by Hinton and sophomore running back Terence Bobo and receptions by redshirt freshman wide receiver Chase Dixon, junior tight end Brennan Rushing, junior wide receiver Joseph Harris, senior wide receiver Kenneth Robey and sophomore running back Anthony Blackmon.
The Bears did not score a touchdown, but did get in range for field goal kick by Carmona that went through the uprights and gave the Bears the first point of the game during the first minute of the second quarter.
Not soon after their field goal, the Bears scored the first touchdown of the game at 10:48 during the second quarter. Junior quarterback Nathan Dick passed to sophomore wide receiver Dominique Croom for a 5-yard reception to the Demons’ end zone. Carmona’s extra-point kick was good and the Bears added to their lead making the score 10-0.
The Demons finally got their first points on the board on the next drive as they pushed down the field to get into field goal range with 3:32 left in the first half of the game.
The Demons drove down the field, gaining four first downs along the way. The Demons got into field goal range and their sophomore kicker Jo Shaughnessy kicked a 23-yard field goal that was good. The Bears still held the lead however with a score of 10-3.
The Demons turned right around and forced a fumble off of the Bears’ kickoff return when Demons sophomore safety Brashard Brooker forced Bears’ junior wide receiver Derrick Steele to fumble. The Demons recovered the ball on the Bears’ 34-yard line.
On second and 10 go, the Demons’ sophomore quarterback Paul Harris rushed the ball for 34 yards and a touchdown. The Demon’s extra point was good and they tied the game up 10-10 with three minutes left in the half.
The Bears would score once more during the first half with just half a minute left on the clock. The Bears were able to get into field goal range and Carmona came out once again to kick a field goal for the Bears making the score 13-10 going into halftime.
The third quarter was scoreless until five minutes were left in the quarter when the Demons took the lead away from the Bears for the first time during the game.
Demons freshman running back Rumeall Morris rushed from the Demons’ own 42-yard line for a 58-yard touchdown run. The Demons’ extra point was good and they took the lead 17-13.
The rest of the third quarter was scoreless, but the Demons had possession of the ball during the start of the fourth. The Demons drove down the field all the way to the Bears’ 3-yard line where a rushing play gave the Demons another touchdown. Their extrapoint was good and the score was now 24-13.
The Bears scored once more during the game off of a rush from Bobo to make the score 24-19. The Bears went for a gutsy call to try and get the Bears score close enough to tie the game with the Demons off of a field goal. The Bears went for a two-point conversion, but Dick’s pass was incomplete.
The Bears took one last chance to win the game in the final minutes of the fourth quarter when they held the Demons on a fourth and one to go on their own 43-yard line.
The Bears pushed the ball all the way to the Demons’ 18-yard line where Dick rushed the ball on a third and 10 to go. Dick only got three yards and was brought down as the final seconds on the clock ticked off. The Demons won the game with a final score of 24-19.
Coach Clint Conque said the team struggled being consistent throughout the game and were not able to perform as well as they could have.
“We played well at time, but we just didn’t play very consistently,” he said. “The offense was five for 15 on third downs so we could not sustain drives. We had 10 penalties and that was as many penalties we had combined between the games against Tulsa and Murray State.”
Conque said the biggest play of the game was when the Bears fumbled the kickoff return and that play single-handedly changed the momentum of the game.
“That really seemed to let the air out of our sails,” he said.
Conque said several players had outstanding individual efforts, but overall the team was not playing to their full ability.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Wynrick Smothers said the team was not focused on the game and let their guards down against the Demons.
“We came out pretty well and scored early on, but we just hung around to long and din’t put our foot on the gas pedal like we should have,” he said.
The Bears next game is at 2 p.m. Oct. 16 against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks in Nacogdoches, Texas.

People of UCA: Kristin Hodges

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