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MS Bears Host Zizzers In Football Action Thursday

The Ava Middle School football teams hosted the West Plains Zizzers on Thursday, Oct. 10.
The seventh grade Bears posted a 26-18 victory over the visiting West Plains squad. The Bears caught an early break when West Plains fumbled a punt and Ava’s Caleb Johnson recovered the ball on the West Plains 29 yard line.
Johnson connected with Stephen Copeland on the following play for Ava’s first touchdown. Johnson ran for the conversion to give Ava an 8-0 lead.
West Plains answered with a 12 play scoring drive to close the margin to 8-6. The Bears responded with a six play, 45 yard scoring drive of their own, capped by a Johnson five yard touchdown run.
The Bears took advantage of another West Plains turnover when Johnson dislodged the ball from the Zizzer ball carrier near the Ava 10 yard line and Copeland recovered the ball, giving the Bears possession on their own 12 yard line. Johnson popped a quarterback draw and went 88 yards for the score on the following play with only 45 seconds remaining in the half.
West Plains scored on their first scrimmage play of the second half to cut Ava’s lead to 20-12. The final big play for the Bears came in the fourth quarter when Johnson intercepted a West Plains pass and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown. West Plains added a score in the final minute of the game, but the Bears recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock for the win.
The eighth grade squads played to an 8-8 tie. Turnovers by the Bears helped give West Plains good field position, and eventually an 8-0 halftime lead.
An interception by Takoma Dobbs inside the Ava 10 yard line helped prevent another score by the Zizzers. The Bears came out strong in the second half, taking the kickoff and marching 58 yards in 12 plays.
Aaron Everett finished the drive with a one yard touchdown run. Dobbs passed to Quincey McDonald for the conversion to tie the game.
The Bears took the ball in the fourth quarter and moved from their own 34 yard line to inside the West Plains 10 yard line, but turned the ball over in the final minute of play to the Zizzers.
Leading tacklers for the Bears were A.J. VanValkenburg and Brittain Tetrick with six tackles each.