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The Ava Bears suffered their second consecutive loss here last Friday night to a very good Liberty Eagles team, and slipped to 5-2 on the season.
The Bears will be home again this Friday night as they wrap up a four-game homestand. It will be the final home game of the season for the Bears, and it will be Senior Night with Buffalo coming to Silvey Field.
Pre-game activities, which will include recognition of senior players and cheerleaders, will begin at 6:35. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.
Senior band members will be recognized in a special ceremony at halftime.
Liberty scored three touchdowns in the first half and held an 18-7 lead at intermission here last Friday night. The Eagles added three more in the second half, and converted all three 2-point plays, while shutting down the Ava offense for the final score of 42-7.
The Eagles did not punt the ball all night and scored on every possession until the fourth quarter when the reserves turned the ball over on downs with 5:21 left in the game.
Ava’s only score came with 21 seconds left in the first half and completed a 57-yard drive.
Following a Liberty touchdown, Ava’s Chance Boyd picked up the Liberty kick at the Bears’ 26-yard line and made a nice return to the Ava 43 with 3:26 remaining in the second quarter.
Kyle Clinkingbeard picked up a first down at the 25 of Liberty and another at the 14-yard line. The junior runningback, who rushed for 162 yards, got Ava a first-and-goal at the Liberty 1-yard line, and then scored from there. Ben Loge kicked the point-after to trim Liberty’s lead to 18-7.
Liberty’s first score came at 2:47 in the first quarter on a 3-yard run by quarterback Kole Gastineau. The 2-point conversion attempt failed.
Liberty went up 12-0 on a one-yard run by Cody Stringer with 7:50 on the second quarter clock, then made it 18-0 when Stringer went in again from one yard out with 3½ minutes left.
Liberty scored all three second-half touchdowns in the third period, beginning with a one-yard run by Stringer. Gastineau passed to Jaelon Acklin for the 2-point conversion.
Ava fumbled the ensuing kickoff to give Liberty the ball at the Ava 38, and Liberty scored on a 15-yard pass to James Denton.
The Eagles’ final score came with 4:24 left in the third quarter on a 30-yard pass play from Gastineau to Acklin. Gastineau then passed to Denton for the conversion.
Ava was moving the ball on the Liberty bench players late in the fourth quarter but fumbled the ball away at the Liberty 31-yard line. The Eagles ran one play, then freshman quarterback Joey Rodriguez took a knee to run out the clock with no further damage being done.
Senior Dillon Adams had 11 tackles for the Ava defense Friday night.
This week begins a brand new season as the Bears and Bison play the first of three district games.
Next week the Bears will travel to Rogersville, and will finish the regular season at Mtn. Grove on Oct. 28.