It wasn't pretty, nor was it flashy, but the Beebe Badgers did just enough to ward off a pesky Jacksonville team as the Badgers celebrated homecoming 2020 with a 20-14 win over their 5A Central Conference openers.
Early on, it looked like the Badgers were going to run away from the Titans as Beebe raced out to a 13-0 lead thanks to the legs and right arm of junior quarterback Gannon Roberts.
Roberts scored on a 12-yard run with 9:13 left in the first quarter. The only thing that went wrong on that drive was the missed extra point.
With the Badgers leading 6-0, they took advantage of a Jacksonville fumble, driving the football down the field, culminating in a 31 yard touchdown pass from Roberts to sophomore Jayden Smith with 5:37 to go in the first quarter. Smith leaped up between two Titans defenders and snagged the ball in the end zone. The made extra point gave Beebe a 13-0 lead and the Badgers fans hope that it would be a short night.
However, Jacksonville's junior quarterback, Buck Cobbs, had other ideas. He led the Titans on a drive down the field and with 2:36 to go in the quarter, used a nifty fake to go along with his speed and ran in from 16 yards out. The two-point conversion was good and the Titans were within five points at 13-8.
Unfortunately for Jacksonville (2-4), that was as close as the Titans would come. In the second half, Beebe defensive coordinator Justin Edwards made a number of adjustments that would stymie the Titans offense. That and numerous penalties on Jacksonville would haunt the Titans in the second half.
Beebe's only second-half score was on a 15-yard run by backup quarterback Zack Grant with 8:57 to play in the third quarter.
Even though its offense could not move the football effectively, Jacksonville's defense did keep Beebe under 250 yards of total offense for the game.
Despite a 24-yard touchdown by Buck Cobbs with 4:36 remaining in the game to pull Jacksonville within 20-14, the Badgers held on for their second win in a row, with a two-week break in between because of COVID-19.
Beebe's Gannon Roberts was 11 of 21 passing for 120 yards and a touchdown. Zack Grant led the Badgers' ground attack with 15 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown. With the win, the Badgers improved to 2-3 overall and 2-0 in the 5A Central with a trip to Jefferson County next Friday night as Beebe takes on Watson Chapel.