Billingsley takes down Verbena in big area game

Published 11:42 pm Friday, September 30, 2016

Billingsley quarterback Juwan Tyus paced the Bears with seven total touchdowns to lead his team to a 49-34 area win over foe Verbena. (Reporter photo/Alec Etheredge)

Billingsley quarterback Larry Starks paced the Bears with seven total touchdowns to lead his team to a 49-34 area win over foe Verbena. (Reporter photo/Alec Etheredge)

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Staff Writer

BILLINGSLEY – In a game that saw 10 plus injuries, fans yelling across the field at each other, frustrated head coaches and officials with no control the Billingsley Bears defeated the Verbena Red Devils by a score of 49-34 on Friday night.

In the early stages it looked like there would be a shoot out between the two offenses as each team scored on four of the first six possessions.

The Red Devils would come out and go on a six-play 2:18 drive to take an early 7-0 lead 27-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Tristan Short to wide receiver Anthony Miller.

Verbena would force the Bears into a turnover on downs on their next drive and get the ball back only to fumble on second drive.

Billingsley sophomore Malik Callens would return the ball to the Red Devil’s 23-yard line before being tackled.

Six plays later senior wide receiver/quarterback Larry Starks III would cary the ball on for a Billingsley touchdown. After a missed extra point the Verbena lead was cut to 12-6 with eight seconds left in the first quarter.

The Red Devils would respond with a two-play drive that featured a 72-yard pass from Short to senior receiver Juwan Tyus, which set Verbena up with first and goal from the seven. Short would find Tyus again on the very next play to extend the Red Devil lead to 14-6.

That lead was short lived as the Bears came back with a short drive of their own. Taking one more play than it took Verbena on the preceding drive, Billingsley had two 30-yard passes from Starks to cut the lead to 14-12, and after a successful two point conversion the game was knotted back up at 14 all.

On the Red Devil’s next drive they had a 50-yard touchdown pass negated by an illegal forward pass and were forced to punt.

The Bears would make them pay with a beautiful 78-yard touchdown pass from Starks to Carlton McCary that traveled easily 40 yards in the air.

This is where momentum really seemed to swing as it put Billingsley on top for the first time in the game 21-14 and they wouldn’t relinquish the lead the rest of the way.

Verbena would go three and out on their next two drives and the Bears would take advantage by adding one more touchdown to take a 28-14 lead into the locker room.

The Red Devils would get the ball first in the second half in hopes of a come back, which looked possible after a 50-yard touchdown run, but unfortunately for Verbena it was called back by another penalty flag.

During the momentum shift it seemed the offensive line let up for a while allowing several sacks and penalties.

Billingsley would end up scoring on their next two drives thanks to a Starks touchdown pass and run to go up 41-14.

Down the stretch Verbena would start airing it out all over the field and threaten a comeback by cutting the lead to 41-28 with 6:56 left, but they just couldn’t stop Billingsley from scoring again leading to the 49-34 final.

Short threw for five touchdown passes in a losing effort for Verbena.

Starks would run for three touchdowns, throw for another three and have a pick six in leading the Bears.