This week the Bears will be at home for the final Friday night contest of the season. With it being the final home game, it will be Senior Night at Silvey Field. Senior players and cheerleaders will be introduced prior to the game, beginning at about 6:30. Senior band members will be recognized at halftime.
District play begins in Week 10, but the Bears will not know their opponent until pairings are announced on Saturday.
Travel is almost certain for the Bears, but the destination is uncertain. At this time it could be Salem, Eldon, Osage or Rogersville. Either way, the game will be played on Thursday night, Oct. 25, as all schools in the district voted to play on Thursday night.
The winners on Thursday will play the following Wednesday.
Cabool received the opening kickoff Friday night and began the series at the 12-yard line. A penalty backed the Bulldogs up to the Cabool 8, and with 10:41 still showing on the first quarter clock, Austin Gastineau intercepted a Cabool pass and returned it 20 yards for the score. Ben Loge kicked the extra point to put the Bears up 7-0 early in the game.
Cabool’s next series was short-lived and ended with a punt on fourth down. The Bears ran one play, and on second down Clinkingbeard broke a 61-yard run to put the Bears up 13-0 at 7:26.
Ava’s next possession started at the Cabool 42, and after eight plays and three first downs, Loge scored on a 10-yard run. The conversion pass fell incomplete and Ava’s lead remained 19-0 with 2:05 left in the first quarter.
Ava’s next score came early in the second period when Loge connected with Gastineau for a 30-yard touchdown pass play. Loge booted the extra point to put the Bears up 26-0 with 9:46 left in the first half.
Ava took over again on downs when a Cabool pass fell incomplete on fourth down, and on third down, Clinkingbeard found a hole and ran 54 yards to another Ava score. Loge’s kick made it 33-0 with more than half of the second quarter yet to play, at 6:30.
Cabool’s only score came at 1:54 in the second quarter as a result of a pass interception by Zach Hicks.
Cabool’s freshman quarterback Tanner Davis completed passes to Gavin Green, Hicks, Broderick Davis and Slade Iott, and threw the 6-yard scoring pass to Davis. Iott booted the extra point to make it 33-7.
Ava took a 39-7 lead when Loge tossed a short screen pass to Clinkingbeard and the senior track star ran 41 yards to the end zone with 21 ticks left on the clock. Loge’s kick made the halftime score 40-7.
Cabool completed a successful on-side kick to start the second half, and took possession at midfield. After picking up one first down the Bulldogs turned the ball over to the Bears at the Ava 33-yard line to set up the final score of the night.
Caleb Miles, who rushed for 69 yards, picked up a first down at the Cabool 41, then carried to the 37 of Cabool. From there, Clinkingbeard would score his fourth touchdown of the night, taking the pitch from Loge and outrunning the field to score at 5:41 in the third. Loge’s kick completed the scoring.
That score by the Bears activated the mercy rule and also brought a lot of clean uniforms onto the field for Ava.
Following the last Ava score, Cabool’s Davis received the kickoff at the goal line and returned it to the 20. With the clock running, Cabool moved the ball upfield and got inside the Ava 10-yard line for a first-and-goal at the 9. Gastineau would snuff out that scoring opportunity, however, with his second interception of the night.
With sophomore Cody Huff at quarterback and a JV team on the field, the Bears punted for the first and only time of the night with just over 4 minutes on the game clock.
Cabool’s final drive of the night ended with an interception by Miles, and the Bears would run out the clock.
Ava had 380 yards of offense Friday night, and Clinkingbeard had 191 yards rushing on 10 carries.
Loge was 5-for-9 passing for 101 yards through the air.
Defensively, Buster Davis had eight tackles, one for loss yardage, and the Bears picked off three Cabool passes, one by Miles and two by Gastineau, including one for a touchdown.