Hornets Escapes Bears 25-20
The Butler Co. Bears lost a heartbreaker at Hancock Co. HS by the score of 25-20. The game see-sawed back and forth. The game was a key Class 2A District 2 clash with the winner locking up the #2 seed and a home field advantage in the first round of the Class 2A State Playoffs. The Bears and Hornets realized the importance of this game, and from the onset it was evident as the game would not be decided until the final seconds of play.
The Hornets took advantage of a Bears turnover and took a 6-0 lead with 6:43 in the first quarter of play. The Bears then responded with an eleven play, sixty-six yard drive capped of with senior running back Jared Brosnan slipping out of the backfield and hauling in a five yard touchdown pass. The Cole Tynes kick was good, Bears led 7-6 with 0:54 seconds left in the first quarter of play. After a couple of punts and stalled drives by both squads, the Hornets regained the lead on a one yard run, the two-point conversion failed. Hancock led now 12-7 midway through the second quarter.
The Bears came right back and on a third and twelve situation, Bear quarterback Elijah Flener scrambling and buying time found a wide-open Clay Embry in the back of the end zone. The Tynes kick again was good; Bears took a 14-12 lead in the locker room at halftime.
The Hancock Co. Hornets opening third quarter drive covered seventy-nine yards in just nine plays, with a five yard run to make the score 18-14. The game throughout most of the night was penalty free and with both clubs running the football. As the fourth quarter of play began you could sense every series became more and more important. With 3:10 remaining in the game the Bears mounted an eight play drive covering sixty-four yards, and on first and goal from the four yard line Jared Brosnan again got the call and went untouched to take what appeared to be the game-winning score. The Tynes kick was wide, but Bears led 20-18 with only 1:08 left to play in the game.
Hancock County's game-winning drive would cover seventy-four yards; the ten-play drive was kept alive by two very controversial calls as the game was winding down. Note* on first and ten a phantom defensive pass interference call was accessed against the Bears. On fourth-and-fourteen the Hornets did make a big play with a thirty-four yard completion that gave the Hornets first-and-goal at the nine-yard line. On first-and-goal the Hornets' pass play was incomplete.
Now we get to perhaps the most controversial call of the night. On second-and-goal the Hancock Co. quarterback, scrambling deep behind the line of scrimmage and out of the pocket, was hit by linebacker Jared Brosnan, the quarterback appeared to have fumbled the ball out of bounds. The side judge official came running in and marked the ball as a fumble that went out of bounds at the twenty-two yard line. Hancock would have retained the ball but at the twenty-two yard line. The clock at that instant stopped and read 0:09 seconds left in the game. The officials moved to spot the ball at the twenty-two yard line but then ruled the previous play was an incomplete pass, to the shock and bewilderment to all.
So now the ball was reset ready for play at the nine-yard line and on third-and-goal from the nine the Hornets runner took the handoff and sprinted around left end for the winning touchdown making the score 25-20. Of course in high school football there is no instant replay, there is no play under review, and there is no coach’s challenge. The game of high school football requires officials to make split-second calls, which of course are often judgment calls. But the game film which had a great angle and in plain view clearly showed the call originally was ruled a fumble by game officials, but then moments later deemed an incomplete pass. But, the Bears must regroup quickly as they prep for the regular season ends with a trip to rival Edmonson Co. next Friday, October 28th. Note* the Edmonson Co. Wildcats are undefeated at (9-0), and currently are the number one team in the state in running the football overall. The Wildcats average (405 yards rushing) per game. A closer look at that matchup later in the week to come.
Here is a quick look at the stats of the Hancock Co./ Butler Co. game. See you next Friday! Support your Bears!
Scoring Summary & Stats: Courtesy David Clark*
Hancock Co. 6 6 6 7 -25
Butler Co. 7 7 0 6 -20
Oliver --- 4 carries/ 19yds
Brosnan – 7 carries/ 30 yds (1 TD)
Tynes----- 5 carries/ 50 yds
Flener --– 8 carries/ 4 yds
Flener---- 18 completions/ 27 attempts (2 TD Passes)- 185yds/ (1-INT)
Tynes----- (5 catches)- 42 yds
Embry-----(3 catches)- 29 yds (1 TD)
Oliver-----(3 catches)- 28 yds
Parks-----(3 catches)- 44 yds
Brosnan- (3 catches)- 35 yds (1 TD)
Hancock Co. Butler Co.
First Downs 14 18
Yds. Rushing 223 103
Yds. Passing 66 185
Total Offense 289 288
Penalties 4-30 yds 4-35 yds
Fumbles Lost 0 1
Interceptions 1 1
Turnovers Total 1 2
Time of Poss: 23:10 24:50
Story by Mark Allen, Beech Tree News
Photos by David "Hawkeye" Hocker, Beech Tree News