Bears fall just short at home against Hinds

Published 3:12 pm Friday, October 7, 2022

After a dismal first half in Thursday’s home contest against the Hinds Eagles, the Bears had a furious comeback in the second but couldn’t quite close the deal in the end, falling 30-24.

“This is the second-straight week where we came out and didn’t start out fast,” Southwest head coach Cliff Collins said. “In the first part of the season we started out good. In the locker room, I told them that I was proud of them and we came close. I didn’t feel like I lost tonight. And when you feel like that, the tide is turning.”

The Bears (2-4, 1-3 MACCC) were immediately caught off-guard as the Eagles used a no-huddle offense to move the ball down the field efficiently. Hinds struck first with a 23-yard touchdown run by Jeffrey Pittman and with the Ben Duncan extra point, Southwest trailed 7-0.

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The Bear offense tried to respond but a penalty immediately put them behind the 8-ball and they could not recover.

After getting the ball back via punt, the Eagles increased the Bear deficit to 14-0 following an 18-yard touchdown pass from Ranson Oakes to Michael Lott.

Southwest managed a first down the following possession as the Bear offense tried to find that spark, however, it was unable to.

The next two Eagle drives ended with successful field goals as the Bears still lacked efficiency on offense.

They went into the locker room trailing 23-3 after Tres Ladner connected on a 22-yard field goal as time expired.

After both teams traded two punts each to open play in the second half, the Bears found that consistency missing on offense. A big 11-yard run by Chris Roberson resulted in first down at the Eagle 33 yard line and two plays later, the Bear quarterback showed off his skills as a passer, finding Jacoby Bellazar from 34 yards out for a score. Ladner connected on the extra point and the Bears made it a two-score game at 23-10.
Despite the score, the Eagles were able to answer right back with a nine-play drive wrapping with a six-yard touchdown run by Jamarian Samuels making the score 30-10 with 4:11 to go in the third quarter.

Even though the Bears were down by 20, they showed tremendous fight. Southwest marched down the field, fueled by a 35-yard catch by Bellazar and a 21-yard scramble by Roberson. On the ninth play of the drive, Roberson recorded his second touchdown pass of the night with a 15-yard strike to Ty Moore. The celebration was short-lived however as Moore was injured on the play and did not return.

Ladner connected on the extra point narrowing the Eagle lead to 13 at 30-17.

After the Eagles punted yet again, Roberson and the Bears went back to work. Passes to Bellazar and Tyler Daniels of 40 and 29 yards, respectively, highlighted the drive. In an act of déjà vu the drive’s ninth play once again consisted of a 15-yard Roberson touchdown pass, this time to former McComb Tiger teammate Jeremiah Ratliff.

With Ladner’s extra point, Southwest was one score away from erasing once-sizable Hinds lead.

Having the momentum on the home side, the Bear defense looked to make one final stand giving the offense another shot to pull closer. A pass interference call on the Bears, which Coach Collins did not agree with, on top of a personal foul call — also against Southwest — resulted in  30-yards worth of penalties giving Hinds new life.

The Southwest defense eventually prevented any further scoring from Hinds but the Bear offense had less than a minute to work with. The offense was unable to move the ball as time ran out giving the visitors the win.

Looking ahead, the Bears have a road contest next week against a good Jones team.

“I told the guys, let’s come back on Monday and get ready to go,” Collins said. “We are going to keep closing that gap and it is going to happen.”