Two touchdown receptions by Keyon Burrell put the Helena-West Helena Central Cougars (1-0) over the Earle Bulldogs 22-14 on a wet, muddy field at Bulldog Stadium.
wo touchdown receptions by Keyon Burrell put the Helena-West Helena Central Cougars (1-0) over the Earle Bulldogs 22-14 on a wet, muddy field at Bulldog Stadium.
The Cougars needed only 23 seconds to put points on the board as Armonie Calhoun took the first play from scrimmage 60 yards for a touchdown. Terrance Calhoun ran in the 2-point conversion to put Helena-West Helena up 8-0 with 11:37 to go in the opening quarter.
Earle needed only four plays to go 63 yards and answer. Gerry Bohannon scored on an 18-yard run to cap off the drive. The try for two failed and the Cougars led 8-6 with 10:17 to go in the first.
Helena-West Helena took the ensuing possession 65 yards on six plays. Caldreekious Harrell found Burrell for 52 of those yards and the score. Harrell ran in the 2-point conversion to make it 16-6, but it would be the last score for the Cougars until the fourth quarter.
The two defenses settled in and battled until the Bulldogs scored on a 1-yard run from Bohannon with 1:03 to play in the half. Bohannon ran in the 2-point conversion to make the score 16-14.
It was a defensive struggle for most of the second half until Helena-West Helena broke the logjam when Burrell caught a 37-yard pass from Armonie Calhoun on fourth and 20 with 9:25 remaining to cap off a 13-play, 78-yard drive. The try for two failed and the score was 22-14.
Earle took the next possession from their own 8 to the Cougar 30-yard line and appeared to have caught a pass to set up a first and goal at the 1-yard line, but the play was nullified due to an illegal participation penalty. The last gasp pass fell incomplete on fourth and 10 and the Cougars escaped with the victory.
Coach Russell Smith was glad to get the win.
He said, “We have a lot of work to do. We made too many mistakes. But we are glad to get the win”