Bears unable to get over slow start, lose at Jones

Published 4:25 pm Friday, October 14, 2022

Southwest Mississippi Athletics

ELLISVILLE — All season long, the Bears have faced adversity. Perhaps none more than Thursday night at Jones as the Bears were down several players. And even though the short-handed Bears battled hard, they couldn’t get over a slow first quarter of play, falling 48-3.

After the game, Southwest head coach Cliff Collins said that it was a tough week of preparation as many on the team dealt with illness, using a different ‘A’ letter word to describe the situation.

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“I told the guys that I don’t call it adversity, I call it advantage,” he said. “In life, adversity is going to hit some people harder than others. It is an advantage for us to grow. I am using it in a positive way. If you use it in a negative way, it is going to be bad. I just want to keep the positive vibes so that’s why I am changing it to advantage.”

The Bears (2-5, 1-4) fell behind early and could not recover. The Bobcats scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and after the Bears forced a punt, the Jones defense stepped up, taking advantage of a Southwest mistake returning an interception 31 yards for a score putting the visitors on the short end of a 20-0 score.

Despite the deficit, the Bears continued to battle, however the Bobcat offense flexed it muscle again with another touchdown before adding to the lead with the defense recording another pick-6 during the next Southwest possession making it a 31-0 deficit for the Bears.

The Southwest defense began to find some success in the second quarter, limiting Jones to no scoring in the period, but the Bear offense couldn’t follow suit as it had difficulty finding consistency.

After what appeared to be a promising drive to open the second half of play, moving the ball down to the Bobcat 40-yard-line, the Bears couldn’t capitalize and came away with no points on the drive.

The Southwest defense, however, stepped up during the ensuing possession. Eric Taylor forced a fumble which was recovered by Buddy Felder.

Set up with a golden opportunity to put points on the board, Southwest was unable to move inside the Jones 10-yard line but came away with a successful 32-yard field goal by Tres Ladner.

Unfortunately for Southwest, that would be its lone score on the evening as Jones added two more touchdowns, both through the air, before sealing the win.

In addition to Taylor’s forced fumble, the Bears also got ones from Ethan Williams and Jourdan Cooley. And like Felder, both Martavius Evans and Dredarius Robinson also came up with fumble recoveries.

Evans also had three tackles on the evening to go along with a sack. The leading tackler for the Bears was Hunter Lee who had nine.

Offensively Tyrese Keyes caught six balls for 36 yards.

The Bears return to action a week from Saturday hosting Pearl River for Homecoming. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. from John I. Hurst Stadium.