Bears outlast Eagles 62-41 in district opener


The Canton Eagles got their first taste of District 7-4A action last week, hitting the road to take on the Brownsboro Bears. The Eagles and Bears had met each of the past two seasons in non-district play with Canton scoring a 56-34 win in 2016 and Brownsboro bouncing back with a 26-21 win in 2017.

Due to the most recent UIL redistricting shuffle, Canton and Brownsboro will be paired each of the next two seasons in district play. Despite a gritty effort from an injury-plagued Canton team, Brownsboro would pull away late to score a 62-41 win over the Eagles.   

Brownsboro opened play on offense taking possession of the ball at their own 39-yard line. Four different ball carriers in the first four plays helped push the Bears opening drive deep into Canton territory.

After several short gains, Cole Williams found the end zone from 11 yards out to give Brownsboro its first lead of the night. Jorge Vicente added the PAT, making score 7-0 in favor of the Bears.

Canton began its first drive of the night at the 37-yard line. Facing a third down and five to go after two plays, Cooper Smith exploded through the Bear defense for a 34-yard run to move the Eagles into Brownsboro territory. An untimely penalty looked as though it might derail Canton’s momentum but McGwire Martin connected with Chris Cade on a 37-yard touchdown pass to pull Canton within one. Justice Collier added the ensuing PAT to tie the score at 7-7.

The Eagles attempted an onside kick but the ball failed to travel the necessary 10 yards giving Brownsboro excellent field position.

The Bears continued to rely on their run-centric offense to move the ball on their second drive of the night, methodically marching their way down to the three-yard line before Cole Williams added his second rushing touchdown of the night. Jorge Vicente added his second PAT of the first quarter to re-establish a seven-point lead on Canton.

A short Brownsboro kick, coupled with a strong return by Jon Anderson, gave Canton possession fo the ball near midfield for their second drive. The Eagles would reach the Bear 10-yard line before turning the ball over on downs to Brownsboro with 54 seconds left in the opening quarter.

Brownsboro looked to be well on its way for another touchdown, marching down the field with their ground game to reach the Eagle 30-yard line. With their backs against the wall, Canton's defense stepped up to force a fumble that would be picked up and returned 70 yards by Caleb Phillips to pull to within 14-13. The Eagles would go for and succeed on a two-point conversion attempt moments later to take their first lead of the game with less than three minutes to play in the half, 15-14.

The lead was short-lived however as the frantic first half pace continued with Cole Williams taking Canton’s kickoff following the score and returning it 75 yards for a touchdown. With the PAT, Brownsboro led 21-15 with 2:33 left.

The Eagles continued to answer every Brownsboro scoring drive with big plays of their own, getting completions from McGwire Martin and Jon Anderson to bully their way deep into the red zone. Canton would cap its drive with an 18-yard score to Anderson following a Brownsboro timeout to tie the score at 21-21. The Eagles misfired on a two-point conversion attempt moments later to keep the score even with 1:21 to play in the half. 

Brownsboro kepts its foot on the accelerator on its next drive, getting their final points of the first half by turning to its passing game. Gage Wehrmann completed a pair of passes to move the Bears to within three yards of the Canton end zone before finding Chris Simons with 35 seconds left. Another successful Jorge Vicente PAT made the score 28-21 in favor of the Bears.

The Eagles wasted little time in responding, getting a solid return from Jon Anderson and a big run from Cooper Smith and a McGwire Martin to Anderson completion to push the ball into Bear territory. With time winding down, Martin hit an Cooper Smith for a touchdown to pull the Eagles to within one-point. Canton went for and and succeeded on a two-point conversion, making the score 29-28 in favor of the Eagles heading into the half.

The break in action did little to stifle Canton’s momentum in the third quarter with the Eagles again marching down the field for yet another scoring drive. Canton’s drive would be punctuated with a 15-yard screen pass from McGwire Martin to Cooper Smith to make the score 35-28. The Eagles misfired on the two-point conversion attempt at the end of the drive to remain in front by seven points.

Brownsboro countered Canton's scoring drive with one of their own, marching 54 yards in eight plays to pull to within one. Dakota Harmon ran the ball in from five yards out to end the drive and Jorge Vicente added his fifth PAT of the evening to tie the score at 35-35 with 8:23 left in the quarter.

The run of scoring drives continued on Canton's second possession of the third quarter with the Eagles covering 65 yards to retake the lead. McGwire Martin once again found a streaking Cooper Smith for a 40-yard touchdown pass to put the Eagles in front 41-35. The Eagles misfired on their two-point conversion to retain a six-point advantage.

Canton rolled the dice once again on the following kickoff, attempting another onside kick that would go out of bounds short of 10 yards to give Brownsboro possession with excellent field position. The Bears would reach the end zone two plays later as Gage Wehrmann punched it in from 15 yards out. With the Vicente PAT, Brownsboro took a 42-41 lead.

The Eagles suffered their first misstep since the early stages of the first half, reaching Brownsboro territory before stalling out and turning the ball back over on downs to the Bears. Buyoed by their stop, the Bears again marched down the field in impressive fashion for another touchdown. Cole Williams, who scored three times in the first half, added another touchdown to his total with an 11-yard run to end the drive. Following the PAT, Brownsboro led the Eagles 49-41.

The Bears would gradually take control of the game late into the third and throughout the fourth quarters as the wear and tear of being shorthanded began to grind down the Eagle both offensively and defensively.

Brownsboro would tally two more scores before the final buzzer as Cole Williams scored his fifth touchdown of the night on a two-yard run and Gage Wehrmann added a three-yard insurace score to close out play. Jorge Vicente hit one of his final two PATs of the night, making the score 62-41 in favor of Brownsboro.

The Eagles will be off this week for their by, returning to action Oct. 26 for a home date against the rival Wills Point Tigers. Wills Point currently boasts a 3-3 record overall, getting blitzed 53-13 against the Bullard Panthers Oct. 12. The Tigers will be at home this week taking on the Brownsboro Bears.



Eagles 1

Photo by David Kapitan

The Canton Eagles will have the opportunity get back to full strength this week with their bye Oct. 19. Canton is scheduled to return to action Oct. 26 with a rivalry game against the Wills Point Tigers.


Eagles 2

Photo by David Kapitan

Jordan Humphrey and Canton Eagles traveled to Brownsboro Oct. 12, putting up 41 points overall against a Bears team that had allowed at least 29 points in each game this season.