The Bearden Bears (1-2) have, without question, their toughest test yet this season set for Friday night. Not only do the Bears have to go on the road for a second consecutive game, but they have to face one of the most feared defenses in the state in the Mineral Springs Hornets (3-0).
The Hornets have only allowed eight points through three games this season, which an average of 2.7 points allowed per game. They have players that are able to consistently swarm to the ball carrier and crash into the backfield. Their defense is the biggest reason why the Hornets are Hootens' top ranked team in 2A.
This Friday night will be tough for the Bears' offense that was finally able to get their rushing game going last week in the 14-12 road win over the Lafayette County Panthers. The Bears rushed for 173 yards, with 125 of them coming from sophomore dual-threat quarterback Markevius Jimerson. While Jimerson was putting up a stellar performance to help the Bears win their first game of the season, the offensive line provided solid push.
In the game last week, junior guard Matthew Davis was tasked to step up, as an injury to the Bears' starting center left a noticeably huge void. Davis stepped up and became the center for the offense, leading the offensive line physically and metaphorically.
This game on Friday will be another opportunity for Jimerson, Davis and the Bears to make a name for themselves against this juggernaut of a team.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bears will have to prepare to defend against the most well-balanced offense they've faced yet. The Hornets average 34.7 points per game due to their highly efficient passing and rushing offense. Last week in the 42-0 road win over Smackover, the Hornets had a 100-yard rusher in Katrevion Thomas and a 100-yard receiver in Javen Fricks.
Bearden can find success by forcing Mineral Springs, a team that rarely panics, to turn the ball over. While the secondary is young, they are capable of accounting for big turnovers. Senior Ad'Lee Allen is going to be key for the Bears' rush defense. Allen accounted for seven total tackles in the loss to Drew Central in game one and against Lafayette County last week.
The Bears take on the Hornets this Friday night at 7 p.m.