By Beth McKamy
The Gladewater Bears, despite missing several key starters, proved why they are a team to be afraid of this season. Gladewater’s Eligia Carter and Devon Walker combined for 317 yards and 6 touchdowns to lead the Bears to a 51-13 victory over the host Jefferson Bulldogs here Friday night at W. F. Lockett Field in Jefferson.
Gladewater’s “ground and pound ” was in full force as the Bears offense clawed their way to 391 yards rushing as the defense mauled the Bulldogs, causing 3 turnovers and holding the potent Jefferson offense to 13 points. Jefferson, who had racked up over 500 total yards of offense last week, in their 41-34 win over Sabine, wished on this cold night that the Bear defense had gone into hibernation, but it wasn’t to happen, as the Bulldogs were running for their lives all night long.
Gladewater got their only passing touchdown on the night, on their first possession of the game, when QB Tristan Holmes hit WR K’Havia Reese on a 46 yard strike with 7:37 left in the 1st Quarter. Four plays later Reese showed his defensive skills snagging a Jefferson pass and setting the Bears up at the Bulldog 25 yard line, but the Jefferson defense came away with their only turnover of the night when a Holmes pass was knocked out of the Bear receiver’s arms, straight to a Bulldog who returned the interception 38 yards. A penalty on the play set Jefferson up in great field position at the Bear 38 yard line. It was for naught, as once again the Gladewater defense stepped up big, getting their second interception of the contest, this one by the Bears Tyrone Maddox. Marching 70 yards down the field and eating up the clock on their way, Gladewater got on the scoreboard again when K Justice Hassek was good on a 30 yard field goal, giving the Bears a 10-0 lead with 9:27 left in the 2nd Quarter.
Jefferson looked like they might get their first points of the game on their next drive, but on 4th and 4 from the Bear 31 yard line, QB Josh Thomas was dropped for a 5 yard loss by the stingy Bear defense, turning the ball back over to Gladewater. The Bears wasted no time adding to their lead, going 64 yards in 8 plays and scoring on a 5 yard Carter run, putting the Bears up 17-0 at the half.
The Bulldogs got their first points of the night after a pooch kick on the opening kickoff of the 2nd half ended up in Jefferson hands at the Bear 40 yard line. Four plays later Thomas scored on a 19 yard QB scamper, closing the Bear lead to 17-7 with 10:28 left in the 3rd Quarter. Meant to excite and motivate the Bulldogs and their fans, the score had the reverse effect. It’s never good to poke a Bear, much less 36 of them, but that’s exactly what Jefferson’s touchdown did. Gladewater proceeded to go on a 34-0 run, scoring on runs of 18, 29, and 1 yard by Carter and runs of 12 and 3 yards by Walker to eat up time and yardage and ground their way to a 51-7 lead as the Bear defense was literally pounding the Bulldog offense.
Jefferson got their final points of the night on a 90 yard kickoff return by Carlos Jackson with 3:09 left in the game. The extra point was blocked and the Bears claimed the 51-13 victory, staying atop the District 6 3A D1 leader board.
The Bears host the undefeated (4-0, 3-0) Roughnecks of White Oak Friday night, October 23rd, 7:30 pm at Jack V. Murphy “Bear ” Stadium. Come out and support your Bears in this big game for 1st place in district play.