Young Bears manhandled by Vincent

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 12, 2004

Keith coach Harry Crum thought ahead Friday night to when his team could assemble a consistently solid defensive stance.

The Bears showed their coach a glimpse of the future in the second half against the Vincent Yellow Jackets. Unfortunately for Keith, the Yellow Jackets did most of their damage during the first half in their 39-6 win over host Keith.

After being trounced in the first half, Keith allowed just one touchdown in the final two periods, while the offense also showed some signs of improvement.

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“We put forth a pretty good effort in the second half,” Crum said. “We had a lot of young players in there in the second half and we had a chance to work on our passing a little. The blocking wasn’t good in spots, but we’ll work on that.”

Vincent ran on the young Bears at will in the first half, but saw Keith come up big on third down on the Yellow Jackets’ opening drive of the second half. However, Vincent reached the first-down marker on third-and-long to keep its drive alive. The Keith offense ran just three plays the entire third quarter and 12 in the second half, as Vincent ran its ball control offense.

On Vincent’s opening drive of the second half, backup quarterback Darnell Kelley was stopped for a 5-yard loss by Bears’ linebacker Joshua Aguero at the Keith 35.

But starting quarterback Steven Adams re-entered the game and rushed around the left end for 15 yards and a first down to the Bears’ 20. Four plays later, Adams found tight end Leo Chancellor for a 13-yard touchdown pass that gave the Yellow Jackets their 33-point lead with 5:58 left in the third period.

“We gave up some big plays,” Crum said. “We’re young, but there are some things we can work on to improve.”

The Bears’ offense struggled early and often. Keith failed to gain yardage on its first five plays. After losing 12 yards on the first three plays, a 9-yard punt gave Vincent the ball at the Keith 22.

Four plays later, running back Desmond Yowe broke around the right end for a 2-yard scoring run and a 6-0 Vincent lead. The extra-point try failed.

After the ensuing kickoff sailed out of bounds, the Bears took over at their 35. However, Keith fumbled the ball and the Yellow Jackets recovered at the Bears’ 36.

Vincent quickly cashed in on the turnover when Adams hit Chancellor on his first of three scoring tosses, a 36-yard missile down the Vincent sideline to give the Yellow Jackets a 12-0 advantage.

The Bears briefly got back in the game on the following drive when quarterback Ladarrius Jones found a wide-open Jerome Baker over the middle on a long pass play. Baker leaped for the catch at midfield, then dashed to the end zone to complete the 78-yard scoring play that brought the Bears to within 12-6 with 4:20 to go in the opening period.

Vincent, however, would not let the Bears gain momentum. The Yellow Jackets struck again on the final play of the quarter when Yowe broke loose for a 4-yard run. Desmond Ford added the PAT and Vincent owned a commanding 19-6 lead.

The lead went to 26-6 with 10:20 remaining in the first half when Adams again found Chancellor, this time on a 13-yard scoring toss over the middle.

Another short punt by Keith helped Vincent set up at the Bears’ 33 with 6:31 left in the first half.

Five plays later, Yowe scored from 10 yards out to put the Yellow Jackets ahead 33-6 at halftime.

Crum said his already young squad was made even younger by the absence of four seniors. Tight end/defensive back Charles Jones missed Friday night’s game after suffering a stinger in his neck last week. Tight end Deidre Scott was a last-minute pull from the lineup. The Bears coach added that two senior offensive linemen had not been at practice all week and also did not play Friday night.

Keith must answer questions on their offensive line prior to next Friday’s game at home against R.C. Hatch.

“We’re going to have to regroup, do a little shuffling,” Crum said. “I never take R.C. Hatch lightly. The last couple of years, they’ve had just as good athletes as we’ve had.

“Anyone who can play that well in basketball,” Crum added about R.C. Hatch, “is going to be able to play football sooner or later.”