The Ava Middle School Bears opened the 2013 football season by hosting the Liberty Eagles on Sept. 5.
The Bears were victorious in the 7th grade contest, defeating the Eagles 34-6.
Ava scored first on an 8-yard run by Caleb Johnson midway through the opening period. The next Liberty drive was stopped deep in Ava territory by a Kobi Gasek interception.
Johnson scored his second touchdown of the game three plays later on an 84-yard run. Johnson also ran for the conversion to give the Bears a 14-0 lead with 28 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Stephen Copeland scored Ava’s next touchdown, breaking a 64-yard run with 6 minutes remaining in the half. Copeland also ran for the conversion to extend the lead to 22-0.
Liberty scored late in the half to cut Ava’s lead to 22-6. The Bears were left with enough time to score and succeeded when Copeland ran 60 yards for the touchdown on the following play from scrimmage.
The final score of the game occurred with 1:05 remaining in the third quarter when Johnson ran 65 yards for a touchdown.
Tanner Murray recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter to stop a Liberty scoring drive, and the Ava offense ran out the clock to finish the game.
Liberty defeated the Bears 20-6 in the eighth grade contest.
The Eagles scored first when they returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. The score remained 6-0 in favor of the Eagles until late in the third quarter.
Ava’s Dalton Curtis recovered a Liberty fumble on the Bears’ 2-yard line. Two plays later Ava’s Aaron Everett ran 98 yards for a touchdown, tying the game with 1:11 remaining in the third quarter.
Liberty responded with another long kickoff return and scored three plays later to regain the lead with 25 seconds remaining in the quarter. The Eagles added another touchdown in the final quarter to seal the win.
The Bears’ next game is at Cabool on Thursday, Sept. 12. The 7th grade game is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m., and the 8th grade contest will begin approximately 15 minutes after the conclusion of the 7th grade game.
Their next home game is Sept. 19 with Houston.