WATERLOO - A nailbiter turned into a heartbreaker for the Lynn Bears Friday night, Sept. 27, when they lost by only two points to the Waterloo Cougars 30-28 in a griddy matchup showcasing strengths from both sides.
The Lynn Bears raked in a total offense of 297 yards, including 175 rushing and 122 passing.
Griffin Lynn led the Bears with eight tackles, Carson Legg six tackles, two for a loss. Evan Lamb had six tackles for two losses on the night.
Quarterback Brandon Hill was 4-9 in the passing department for 122 yards and one touchdown.
On the receiving end, Jacob Rivera was one for 76 and one touchdown, Gavin Darty two catches for 39 yards and Joe Aldridge one reception for seven yards.
Rushing, Carson Legg had 12 carries for an impressive 101 yards, Lynn had four carries for 62 yards and a 16-yard touchdown run.
The Bears took the opening kickoff with Dalton Gilbert taking control from their own 47-yard-line
Hill couldn’t get past scrimmage on a tough Cougar take-down behind the line, for a loss to the Bear 42.
The Bears recovered a loose ball on a low snap on a 4th and long situation, but the ball was deep in the backfield, forcing them to punt.
Following a short break due to the scoreboard not working, the game resumed with the Cougars taking good field position at the Bear 41.
Colby Remmers broke through with the quickness and darted to the uprights with 9:34 left in the first quarter. Remmers also pulled down the ball for the two point conversion, and the score was 8-0, Cougars.
John Linley returned the ball for the Bears to near midfield. Legg literally found some “Legg room” as he maneuvered up the middle and across into foe territory.
An offsides call for the Bears came at bad timing, but was immediately followed by the same call against the Cougars, giving the Bears a first down at the Cougar 40.
Legg found more ground for a first down at the Cougar 35, but Cougar defenders were ready to keep the next play short.
A few plays later, Hill was sacked for a loss, after the Bears had fought their way out to the Cougar 26, and the Cougars took over on downs after a Bear holding call was declined.
The Cougars immediately used swiftness on the grid with a complete pass to Gabriel Adams who found another 20 yards for a big first down play near the Bear 37.
Bear defenders popped the next carry attempt, but Remmers was too quick on the next play, gaining ground to a first down at the Bear 19.
The next play found Caleb Scott connecting with Hayden Hester for the score with 1:51 left in the first quarter. Scott connected with Hester again, this time for the two point conversion. The score was 16-0.
The Bears pulled out some fancy footwork on their next drive, which put points on the board before half time.
The Bears took the ball from their own 25. Hill tried the carry on the keeper but was wrapped around by a host of Cougars.
An illegal motion call set the Bears back but not before a pass sailed deep and complete to Rivera who went another 40 to score with 20 seconds left in the first quarter. Hill’s keeper was good for the two point conversion, and the score was 16-8.
As the game entered the second quarter, Bear defenders held on strong, forcing the Cougars to punt after three negative yards on the set.
The Bears took over with a shout, as Legg kept his stride, rushing deep to the Cougar 27- yard-line.
The Bears soon found themselves third and long after the handoff to Linley was met at the line.
A pass sailed complete to Michael Darty, and the Bears had a first down deep at the Cougar 10.
However, a loose ball was recovered by the Cougars at their own 10.
The Cougars then took advantage with Remmers darting 97 yards to the uprights with 8:01 left in the second quarter. The play was brought back on a Cougar holding call, and the Cougars had the ball from their own 10.
Bear defenders swarmed in with a passion, keeping the Cougars deep and taking over on downs from their own 30.
The score at half time remained 16-8.
The second half of play lit up the scoreboard on both sides of the ball, with the Cougars opening the half with possession from their own 40.
Hester caught the ball for a first down into Bearland. The Cougars were facing 4th down, when a Bears offsides call gave the Cougars a first down at the Bear 35.
Three plays later, on a third down situation, Richard Parrish plowed through a host of Bear defenders to cross the line with 7:56 left in the third quarter. Gabriel Adams was down, so the two point conversion failed and the score was now 22-8.
The Lynn Bears quickly answered the score with Hill taking off on a big 80-yard return to score with 7:42 left in the third quarter. Hill got the ball to Micah Cagle for the two point conversion and the score was now 22-16, as the Bears were gaining ground.
Bear defenders were in control, forcing down the play as well as forcing the punt after surrounding Parrish’s carry attempt.
The Bears were in control from their own 27, when Griffin Lynn darted on a big gain good for a first down at their own 42.
A big take down on Linley had the Bears at their own 46, when Griffin took off again, this time gaining to the opponent 30 in a key drive of the ball game.
Legg again found space pushing the Bears deeper and Hill’s keeper crossed the line with 2:28 left in the third quarter. The PAT was no good, and the score was now tied 22-22.
The Bears used the same aggression on defense, forcing the punt and putting themselves back in control from their own 11.
The Cougars also had a strong defense, stopping the Bears and forcing them to punt early in the 4th quarter.
After a fair catch at the Bear 48, Remmers darted on a carry good for a first down near the Bear 20 yard line.
Quarterback Campbell Parker’s keeper took the Cougars to a first and goal situation deep at the Bear 5, when Parker broke through to score with 7:34 left in the ball game. The two point conversion was good, and the score was now 30-22, Cougars.
Marcus Meeks took the ball to near midfield on a return for the Bears. Michael Darty lived up his name darting left for a first down.
Griffin also darted, but went left, to put the ball in play from the Cougar 27-yard-line.
The Bears were facing a 4th down situation, when Hill’s keeper made it first down near the Cougar 16.
Griffin then used fancy footwork to carry the ball 16 yards and cross the line to score with 4:03 left in the ball game. A toss-sweep pattern was no good, so the two point conversion failed and the Bears were trailing by two, 30-28.
After the Cougars failed to make it on downs, the Bears took over with 48 seconds left in the game.
Hill couldn’t connect with Darty, as tensions were rising on both sides of the stadium.
The Bears were facing 3rd down with 36 seconds left and had backed up on a delay of game penalty, when a pass was picked off by Colton Vaden, who rushed to the Bear 30, and the Cougars took the knee to finish out the game with the 30-28 victory.
The loss puts the Bears 2-3 on the season, 1-2 on the region as they suit up for a key region game this Friday, Oct. 4, against the Berry Wildcats.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.