by Bobby Stapleton
Melbourne hosted Yellville Summit in a battle of teams sporting identical 2-1 conference marks last Friday night, and got back on track after suffering their first loss the week before. With Yellville Summit coming in on a two-game win streak, the game looked to be a good one. The Bearkatz wasted no time in asserting dominance in the game.
Melbourne took the kickoff and used the first drive of the game to take the lead. Melbourne got back-to-back runs by Silas Motes for 25 yards. QB Gabe Lawrence then hit Alex Bray for 23 yards down the right side. With a first and goal, Motes went right up the middle for the TD less than two minutes into the game. Blake Howard booted the PAT, giving Melbourne an early 7-0 lead.
The Bearkatz were backed up against the goal line, but flexed their muscles and held Yellville on fourth down, getting the ball back at their own 14. On second down, Lawrence hit Andrew Pitts for 30 yards and a fresh set of downs near midfield. After moving down to the Panther 32 yard line, Lawrence launched another bomb, this time a 32 yarder, to Pitts down the right side for the TD with a shade more than two minutes left in the first. After Howard’s PAT, Melbourne had a 14-0 lead.
Holding Yellville to a three and out, Melbourne’s third possession only needed five plays to pay off when Motes went up the middle for a 10 yard TD, putting the Bearkatz up 20-0.
Yellville finally got on the board with four and a half minutes left in the half after covering 59 yards in four plays, pulling to within two touchdowns.
Melbourne didn’t flinch and came right back. With just less than a minute the in the first half, Melbourne crossed the goal line when Motes bulled his way across from 11 yards out, setting the score at 26-6.
The defense kept Yellville from scoring on their first possession of the second half. The Bearkatz picked right up on offense where they left off, only taking four minutes to score their next touchdown that covered 80 yards.
The score came when Bray lined up as QB and sliced the defense, weaving his way from 15 yards out. On the two-point conversion, Lawrence hit Jordan Hawkes, making it a 34-6 Melbourne lead. Less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, the Bearkatz picked up their fifth touchdown on the night when Lawrence hit Tyler Dudra with a six yard TD strike. Howard booted the PAT, making it a 41-6 lead for Melbourne, which kicked in the sportsmanship running clock.
Yellville fired right back, only needing three plays for their second TD of the game but Melbourne, with the game in hand, didn’t let up. The Bearkatz ran six plays, with Aaron Pettyjohn getting five of those including the final one that covered 30 yards, and crossed the goal line with 1:45 left in the game. Howard set the final score at 48-14 with the PAT.

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