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Monday, May 2, 2016

Bearkatz trounced in first varsity loss

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Melbourne Bearkatz suffered their first loss as a varsity football team on Sept. 14. The Katz were taken apart by the bigger, stronger and faster class 4a Southside Southerners.

From the opening kickoff, the Katz should have known what they were up against. as Southside's Emprea Childress took the kick down to the Bearkatz' 38 yard line. The Melbourne defense looked good at times on the opening drive, and made the Southerners face a third and 21, after forcing a fumble. Southside then advanced the ball ten yards on that third down and, on fourth and 11 from the 20 yard line, Childress would make his presence felt again with a 20 yard touchdown run.

The Southerners' trick-play oriented offense would add a two point conversion on a fake field goal to go up 8-0.

After a failed onside kick attempt by Southside, Melbourne's offense took the field for their opening possession, starting on their own 40 yard line. The Katz' offense appeared to be up to the task of countering Southside's potent offense, but ultimately turned the ball over on downs after seven plays.

Southside's second possession would yield the same result as the first, as Jordan Childress scored on a 14 yard run, after a nine play, 70 yard drive that took nearly four minutes. The Southerners would get the ball right back when the Bearkatz fumbled on the ensuing kickoff. Jordan Childress added another rushing touchdown to his total as the first quarter expired; giving Southside a 21-0 lead.

Melbourne began the second quarter with the ball at its own 21 yard line. After five plays, the Katz turned the ball over on downs for the second straight drive.

Southside then used five plays to add another touchdown, for a seemingly insurmountable 28-0 lead.

Just when it seemed like all was lost for the Katz, Melbourne started a drive that got the crowd thinking there might be some fight in these Katz. Melbourne took the ball at their own 20 yard line with 7:37 left in the half. Eleven plays, 80 yards, a C.J. Masson injury, and four minutes later, senior running back Ben Cooper gave the Katz their first points of the game with a five yard touchdown run.

After a failed two point conversion attempt, Southside took the ball for their least successful drive of the night. On the first play of the drive, Southside quarterback Drew Moss threw the ball into the Melbourne defense for the first interception of the game.

Melbourne's offense then came onto the field with plenty of momentum, and came off the field within two touchdowns of the lead.

On the last drive of the half, the Bearkatz' defense had to earn it's keep, and it did just that.

Southside appeared to be ready to push its lead to three scores, but the Katz defense held the Southerners for four plays inside the ten yard line, getting the ball back to their offense as time expired in the first half. Thanks to a key goal line stand, the Katz were down just 28-14 at halftime.

The Southerners opened the second half with more trickeration, but Melbourne wasn't fooled, as it recovered an onside kick. Melbourne's drive began with great field posistion at their own 40 yard line, but field position doesn't win games. The Katz went three and out on the opening drive of the second half.

Southside took the ball with 10:21 left in the third quarter, but was also held to three plays before punting.

Neither team would make any note-worthy drives, until Melbourne took the ball with less than six minutes left in the third quarter.

The drive started from Melbourne's 36 yard line, but the ball didn't stay on the Bearkatz' side of the field for very long. On the first play of the drive, senior running back Ben Cooper broke free from the Southside defense and ran 59 yards before being pushed out of bounds at the 17 yard line. Cooper's run would not be wasted, as the Katz were able to put the ball in the end zone with 4:01 left in the third; pulling the Bearkatz to within eight points.

Eight points is the closest this game ever got. The scoring would continue on the next play. The Southerners capitalized on great blocking and speed, returning the kick 90 yards for a touchdown, pushing the lead back to double-digits, making the score 36-20.

From there, the lead just got bigger and bigger for the Southerners, who eventually won 57-20.

Melbourne is now 2 and 1, after its first-ever loss. It next travels to Greenland High School.

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