2015-09-09 / Sports

BEARS WON'T BACK DOWN

By David Stembridge

The Burke County Bears (3-0) pushed past Griffin in the final seconds to claim a 28-27 victory over the No. 4 ranked team in Class AAAA last Friday.

ON THE FIELD

For the second week in a row, Bears fans were hanging on to the very last seconds as the team rallied for the win. The game was a hard-hitting showdown as several Burke County players were sidelined with injuries midway through the game including senior quarterback Caleeb Roberson, who was sent off the field with a dislocated shoulder. As Griffin pulled ahead with 3 touchdowns and a 5-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Bears refused to let them have the game. Burke County regained possession with more than a minute on the clock, and with 20 seconds to go, senior quarterback Keenan Parker pushed his way over the goal line to put the Bears ahead. When the game started, the Bears had struck first. Parker picked off one of Griffin quarterback Tyler Morgan’s passes and ran it in for a touchdown. The PAT was no good. Then, with 7:35 left in the second quarter, senior quarterback Caleeb Roberson capped off a 7-play drive with a keeper to score. Roberson followed up with a conversion to put them up 14-0. Roberson was sidelined with a shoulder injury in the third quarter, but the Bears refused to give up even as Griffin fought back and scored their first touchdown with minutes left in the quarter. Burke got the ball back with 7 seconds on the clock as Parker ran in for a touchdown to give them a 16-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Griffin came back strong in the fourth with a 52-yard pass that gave them another touchdown. Their conversion brought the score to 22-12. Griffin scored again on each of their following drives; but Burke did not give up, even as Griffin pulled ahead with a lead of 5 points. The Burke County Bears continued to fight with four minutes on the clock; but continued to get held back. As the ball turned over to Griffin, Burke was able to stop them with only three plays on Griffin's 38-yard line forcing them to punt. With just over a minute on the clock, Parker started throwing, bringing them to Griffin’s 9-yard line, and with 20 seconds remaining, Parker pushed his way through the end zone, scoring a touchdown and gaining a lead for Burke County. A fumble by Griffin on the ensuing kickoff sealed the deal for Burke County as the clock ran out. “We came in and said we were going to play playoff football,” Parker said after the dramaic win. “We have to come back out from halftime better than we go in. This is a lesson we’ve had to learn two weeks in a row.”


Above, senior Keenan Parker crosses the goal line to give the Bears the final lead. Even Coach Parker, who is rarely heard complimenting his own son's performance, said afterwards that Keenan "played a heck of a football game." At left, Bo Goodin tallied 4 solo tackles and 3 assists for the defense. Above, senior Keenan Parker crosses the goal line to give the Bears the final lead. Even Coach Parker, who is rarely heard complimenting his own son's performance, said afterwards that Keenan "played a heck of a football game." At left, Bo Goodin tallied 4 solo tackles and 3 assists for the defense. COACH'S CORNER

A few words from Bears Head Coach Eric Parker

“The kids played hard…lights out. We lost our quarterback, and that was tough, but the guys rallied around and we did what we had to do to win. We caught that break we always talk about… needing a ball to bounce our way and we did it tonight.

“Griffin has a great ball club with a playoff type atmosphere. Both teams just would not quit. They would not ‘just go away,’ and our kids wouldn’t either. Our guys just never quit.

“We always pray and hope that we won’t have injuries, but we knew it was going to be physical. You don’t get this caliber of football without it being football. We’ll lick our wounds and see what we can piece back together and hopefully live to play another day.”

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