The Bryant junior Hornets 9- and 10-year-old football team wrapped up an undefeated season in the Central Arkansas Youth Football League on Saturday, Oct. 19, at Bryant Stadium with 32-0 win over the Central Arkansas Grizzlies (7-2).
“The performance was a mini version of how this team played all year,” coach Tim Adams said when asked about how the team.
The team which coached by Adams with assistance from Greg Riggs, Lee Ledbetter, D.J. Miller and Eric Nicholas, includes of Hart Penfield, Will Hanson, Gavin Burton, Braden Robinson, Aiden Adams, Hayden Purdy, Ryan Riggs, Turner Seelinger, Christian Cain, Hayden Brent, Cameron Scarlett, Austin Ledbetter, Brayden Godwin, Tyler Nicholas, Logan Pritchard, Trey Miller, Bryce Rankin, Kory Shelnut, and Zach Feimster.
The game, which would decide first place and the number one seed in the CAYFL playoffs, began as a hard-hitting defensive battle. Neither team gave up much in the first quarter with Bryant failing on a fourth-down conversion on its opening drive and the Grizzlies punting once and turning it over the next time.
The second quarter Bryant got things going with a drive of 56 yards for the game’s opening touchdown. Cain had two runs of 12 yards and Ledbetter had a 13-yard run and a 1-yard touchdown plunge to cap off the drive. The rest of the half, the Bryant defense frustrated the Grizzlies offense with constant pressure up the middle by Burton, Feimster and Purdy. At the half, Bryant led 8-0 and it was still anyone’s game.
The second half started the way the first half ended with both defenses dominating the line and the flow of the game. All of that changed late in the third quarter when Cain took a sweep left and, two cuts later, scampered 75 yards for touchdown. After Nicholas’ extra point, Bryant led 16-0.
From that point, the defense took over led by Scarlett’s six tackles, four for a loss, and Adams’ five solo tackles and one fumble recovery.
The offense closed the game out with two more drives for touchdowns, one more by Cain, who totaled 14 carries for 147 yards on the day. Ledbetter had the other, finishing his day with nine carries for 44 yards to go along with three tackles and one sack.
The Junior Hornets finished the regular season 9-0, outscoring the opposition 334-6, with the defense scoring 32 points itself. When Coach Riggs was asked to sum up the season he said, “It’s been a great year, but if we don’t win the Super Bowl our final goal hasn’t been reached. We still have work to do.”
The Junior Hornets start their playoff push Saturday at Mayflower High School at 2 p.m., against Maumelle. If they win, they will play again Sunday against the winner of the game between the Grizzlies and the Police Athletic League Steelers.