PARIS — The Bear down defense showed up for Bracken County, the offense missed the memo.
The Polar Bears struggled to get anything going in their Class A, 5th District opener at Paris, tallying 38 total yards in a 9-0 loss to the Greyhounds.
““We just didn’t do well enough on offense as a team. We just didn’t get it done up front and as a whole. We’ve got nobody to blame but ourselves there,” Polar Bears coach David Brausch said. “We just need to get a little more aggressive up front and we let them take it to us instead of us take it to them.”
The only points of the contest came in a seven-second span in the second quarter, when Jamuan Clark recorded a three-yard rushing touchdown. On the Polar Bears next possession, Trey Brausch was sacked in the backfield, fumbled and Tad Fisher recovered the ball in the end zone for a safety to make it 9-0 at the 8:50 mark in the quarter.
That would be it.
Bracken County totaled nine possessions on the evening, coming out with six punts, two turnovers on downs and a fumble.
“You got to give them credit, they’ve gotten better each week. We knew that they were a little bit of gamblers on defense and there would be some negative plays. But we were hoping that we could pop one or two and we were just never able to do it. We hit one or two plays and we’re right there to win the ball game,” Brausch said. “We just couldn’t make the big play when we needed to.”
The defense was on the field for 55 plays and allowed just 182 total yards in the contest, Clark going for 154 of them on 26 carries.
“Jamuan stepped up big and has stepped up for us the last couple of weeks. We’ve lost some guys injury-wise, lost our starting running back and just now getting some guys back so just getting back acclimated,” Greyhounds coach Brian Washington said.
But it was the Greyhounds defense, constantly in the Polar Bears backfield posting the shutout, overcoming 14 penalties the team committed for 83 yards.
“The defense played well, we got a lot of pressure on the quarterback and forced him to do some things that I don’t think he was comfortable with,” Washington said. “But our offense did not come to the party tonight.”
Some bright spots for the Polar Bears came defensively, especially in the second half, holding the Greyhounds to 59 yards of offense in the half. Chris Thomas forced some losses with tackles in the backfield while Brausch was in on the majority of the tackles to keep the Greyhounds out of the end zone.
Paris was looking to shut the door late, but a tackle for loss by Fisher on 4th-and-4 from the Polar Bears five-yard line preserved the second half shutout for Bracken County.
“Trey and Tad did a nice job at linebacker. Chris Thomas did a good job up front, Matt Bishop had a couple of nice plays. Our defense did a nice job of putting themselves in position to win. They were just on the field too much because of our offense,” Brausch said.
The loss drops them to 4-2 on the season and start 0-1 in the district with Bishop Brossart on deck on the road.
“A big game. We’ve got to rebound, we don’t have time to pout and cry and have to move forward. Hopefully we can keep our penalties down like we did this week and continue to become more discipline and not turn the ball over. They are good football team, well coached and should be a good game,” Brausch said.
Brausch threw for 38 yards and Fisher ran for eight yards on 11 carries offensively.
After Clark’s big night on the ground, Lavonte Sanford added 56 rushing yards on nine carries. The Greyhounds improved to 3-3 on the season and 2-0 in the district. They face Nicholas County next week in what might end up deciding the regular season district champion.
(P) Clark 3-yard run (Atwood kick) 8:57
(P) Brausch fumble, Fisher recovers for SAFETY 8:50
Records: Bracken County (4-2, 0-1), Paris (3-3, 2-0)