Bears lose jamboree

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

ORRVLLE – The Keith football team saw several encouraging signs going into this football season.

That’s good news for a team hungry for wins.

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In their preseason jamboree game on Friday night, the Bears faced the Autaugaville Eagles, falling just short in a 12-8 loss.

“To my knowledge, this was the first time that we have played Autaugaville on a varsity level and we were looking forward to the game,” said Bears coach Harry Crum. “I was very impressed with the way our team played.

It was a very physical, hard-hitting game.

We didn’t give up, played to the end, and came away injury-free which is always a plus.”

With three of their starters on the sideline, Crum was pleased with the way his younger players played.

“The intensity of the game reminded me of my high school days in Greenville. It wasn’t dirty, just lots of heavy hitting from both sides. The rain cooled the night off, and it almost felt like a playoff game.” said Crum.

With 5:55 left in the first quarter, D’Wan Lewis put six points on the board for the Bears from 30 yards out. Clyde Moise ran the ball in for the 2-point conversion to put them on top 8-0.

Kendrick Chappell put the Eagles on the board with a touchdown run midway through the second quarter. Michael Young and Lewis blocked the extra point, putting the score at 8-6.

Lewis ran the ball back 50 yards off an interception to close out the first half.

“My hat goes off to the offensive line. I think they did an exceptional job. Patrick Matthews and Terry Jones were outstanding. Defensively we already look better than last season. We made mistakes, but there was more good than bad,” said Crum.

Crum felt his team got a little fatigued in the third quarter and said it was almost as if they were taking a break.

Vincent Tyus took advantage and scored an easy touchdown at the start of the fourth for the Eagles giving them a 12-8 lead.

The Bears got a second wind and were able to stop the 2-point conversion attempt.

With five minutes left in the game, the Eagles fumbled the ball, and Octavious Butler recovered for Keith.

What appeared to be a touchdown on the Bears’ final play was ruled down just short of the goal line.

Despite the loss, Crum still feels good about his team.

“Preseason games are a way to reward the kids for the work they have done in the offseason,” he said. “They would much rather be playing Friday night than practicing Friday evening. It also gives me a chance to evaluate the players. From what I saw tonight, we are going to have a better season than last year.

We have a fire in our eyes; we want to get better. We are going to play hard and not give up.”