Bears football stuns Lions 55-29 at homecoming

Tempers flared in the Bears 55-29 win over the Southeastern Louisiana Lions on Homecoming night at Estes Stadium.
A fumble by Lions senior wide receiver Simmie Yarborough in the second quarter led to a fight for the ball and a bench-clearing incident for both teams. No punches were thrown, but Bears sophomore defensive back Jestin Love was ejected from the game after making contact with an official.
Coach Clint Conque said he was disappointed with the entire incident, but would not apologize for his team playing with an edge.
“That situation got out of control there,” Conque said. “I am extremely disappointed with that situation and with Jestin and it will be dealt with internally, but I will not apologize though for having our team emotionally ready to play and playing with an edge. Expectations around here are so damn high to begin with, we cannot afford to come out without an edge. We usually aren’t the most talented team on the field so we have to play with a little bit of an edge.”
The Bears recorded season-highs in total offensive yards, rushing yards and forced turnovers against the Lions. The Bears totaled 586 yards on offense, including a season-high 292 yards rushing and forced nine turnovers, including five fumbles and four interceptions.
The Bears scored on their first offensive play of the game on a 44-yard pass from Dick to junior wide receiver Jesse Grandy. Grandy led UCA receivers with 93 yards on four catches and a touchdown. Grandy also led the Bears in total yards with 202, adding 94 yards on kick returns and 15 yards rushing.
The Bears had seven different players score an offensive touchdown against the Lions. Dick was named the recipient of the L.B. Jackman Award, which is given to the most outstanding player in the homecoming game. Dick threw for five touchdowns on 20 of 28 passes for 299 yards.
Dick said he was pleased with the play of the offense against the Lions and its ability to get a lot of players involved.
“We have the talent to spread it and it’s also nice to get our running game going,” Dick said. “Overall we did a great job on offense and were able to move the ball when we wanted to.”
The Bears were also able to force nine turnovers by the Lions, including five fumbles and four interceptions. Senior linebacker Frank Newsome led the defense with nine total tackles and a forced fumble.
After a three-yard pass from Lions junior quarterback Brian Young to senior tight end Antoine Duplessis put the Lions ahead 10-7 in the first quarter, the Bears went on to score the next 41 points of the game.
A six-yard touchdown-pass from Dick to senior wide receiver Isaiah Jackson gave the Bears a 24-10 lead, which would be the score at the half.
The Bears took the ball 63 yards on the opening drive of the second half for a touchdown on a three-yard run by junior running back Jackie Hinton. Hinton led the Bears with 106 yards and one touchdown. Freshman running back Willie Matthews added 62 yards and junior running back Anthony Blackmon added 58 yards. Junior running back Terrence Bobo had 25 yards on the ground and a touchdown, on a five-yard run in the first quarter.
Conque said the team showed great focus during practice and team meetings in the week prior to the game against the Lions.
“It all comes back to preparation,” Conque said. “I thought we were really focused in our preparation for this game.”
The win against the Lions was the Bears’ fifth consecutive win on the season. Conque said the team has been taking each game on a week-to-week basis since the beginning of October.
“We’ve basically been in playoff mode since the calendar turned to October,” Conque said. “You’re starting to see us reach some potential.”
Conque said he thinks the mentality has helped the team with preparation during it’s five-game win streak.
“We knew September was going to be tough whether we were healthy or not,” Conque said. “We never lost confidence in ourselves. We’ve just been playing from week-to-week in that playoff mentality. We’ll enjoy this one for 24 hours and go right back into that mode.”
The Bears (6-3, 5-1 SLC) play the Northwestern State Demons this Saturday in Natchitoches, La. at 3 p.m.

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