The Mena Bearcats spotted Arkadelphia 14 points Friday night then stormed back to overcome deficits not once, but twice, in a dramatic 23-21 victory over the Badgers at Arkadelphia. After the Bearcats fell behind 14-0 they responded with a 51 yard touchdown run by junior Justin Dean. Cam Broderson�s PAT closed the gap to 14-7 at the half.
In the second half, the opportunistic Bearcat defense got on the board. After a terrific punt by Sr. Landon Stidman was downed at the 2 yard line, Sr. Taylor Redding caused an Arkadelphia fumble and Sr. Ryan Ozanich recovered the ball in the end zone. The Broderson PAT tied the game at 14. Later in the third quarter Sr. Elijah Snider intercepted an Arkadelphia pass at the goal line and returned it to midfield. The turnover led to a 30 yard field goal by Broderson to give Mena the lead at 17-14.
Arkadelphia scored to regain the lead at 21-17 in the fourth quarter. The Bearcat defense stiffened once again and Mena regained possession after forcing a Badger punt. With 1:20 left in the game on first down, Jr. quarterback Carson Cannon threw a perfect pass to Justin Dean who hauled it in and went 70 yards for the go ahead score. A muffed snap on the PAT left the score at 23-21 in favor of Mena. With the door left open for Arkadelphia to drive for a late victory, Sr. Jackson Sullivan made the defensive play of the game by sacking the Badger quarterback on third down. The Badgers attempted a 44 yard game winning field goal that fell a few feet short and the Bearcats held on for a heart stopping road conference victory.
The win leaves Mena in the driver�s seat for either the third or fourth playoff spot and sets their record at 5-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play. The Bearcats host top ranked Nashville at Bearcat Stadium on Friday night.