Beulah wins Coal Bowl
By Jarann Johnson
It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. It’s easy to imagine that was said during the 36th Coal Bowl last week.
Beulah started off struggling to stop the Hazen offense and fumbled their first two red zone possessions of the game. Luckily, Beulah finished better, scoring 22 unanswered points to win 22-6 last Friday in Hazen.
Hazen started the game offensively with a manageable 3rd-and-4, but a penalty before the play made it 3rd-and-9. Hazen didn’t panic, though, and converted the down on a passing play.
Starting quarterback Wyatt Carr passed the ball to Jakob Parisien, who caught the ball one-handed for the conversion. After the catch the Bison faced another third down and came through.
The second third down conversion came on 3rd-and-7, a Carr run. Beulah’s defense kept having trouble solving Carr on third downs during the drive.
The next third down was a third-and-8, which Carr completed with a big passing play to Chase Bruner. Bruner added to the pass by eluding two Beulah defensive backs and was tackled at the 3-yard line.
Fittingly, the Miners had no trouble stopping Hazen’s first two plays near the goal line, putting themselves in another third down. This time it was 3rd-and-1, but yet again Carr and the Hazen offense came through.
Carr tossed a play-action pass to Bruner for a touchdown. The extra point kick after the score was no good but feelings were positive on the Hazen sideline.
The Bison had a 6-0 lead and used a seven-minute drive to take control of the game with their opening kickoff.
The Miners started their chance to answer strongly, moving the ball into the red zone. But a fumble ended the promising drive with about two minutes left in the first quarter.
Hazen recovered the ball at the 14-yard line, ending the drive. Hazen’s quarterback continued to play well going 5-for-5 to start the game passing, but without a strong run game the Bison’s drive died out and ended in a punt.
The Miners first drive of the second quarter started at the 12-yard line, 88 yards away from the end zone. The Miners quickly moved the ball across midfield then, faced a dilemma after an incomplete pass on 3rd-and-7.
“Do you go for it or try to make the opponent’s offense start 99 yards away from the end zone?”
Miners’ Head Coach Jim Dooley elected to go for it. Casey Walcker, quarterback, found Mikey Morris on a passing play for the conversion, keeping the drive alive.
Shortly after the dramatic conversion the Miners hurt themselves, fumbling the ball for a second time in the red zone. Hazen recovered the ball on the 18-yard line, making it seem like it was the home team’s fate to win the game.
The funny thing about fate is that it can be deceiving. The Bison’s next play was a run, which Jonah Zimmerman fumbled on, giving the ball right back to Beulah.
Beulah didn’t waste their third chance near the red zone and scored. Walcker passed to Cory Alt for a 25-yard touchdown, during which Alt broke one tackle.