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The Carthage Press
  • Bears confident but facing improving Jasper

  • The Bears just keep on winning.

    Sarcoxie is now 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the Spring River Valley Conference after the Bears won 54-44 at Pierce City, who entered last week 3-0.
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  • The Bears just keep on winning.
    Sarcoxie is now 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the Spring River Valley Conference after the Bears won 54-44 at Pierce City, who entered last week 3-0.
    "We feel pretty good about it," head coach Luke Rader said. "Obviously they're a good football team. It was an exciting win and it's put us in a good spot as far as the conference race."
    Sarcoxie trailed in the game at Pierce City for a chunk of the first half, but the Bears scored 24 points in the second quarter and 16 points in the fourth to hold on for the win.
    "I was extremely proud of our kids for stepping up to that," Rader said. "We didn't make any mistakes offensively there in the second half. We were able to step up and make some plays when we needed to."
    Defensively, Hunter Berry leads the team in tackles with 36 through four weeks, and Marcos Lopez is a close second with 33 stops. Carlos Lopez has recorded two sacks for Sarcoxie.
    And the Bears are pretty good on offense, too. Seven players have combined for 1,596 rushing yards on 218 attempts, an average of more than seven yards per carry. Logan Jones has been the leading rusher, carrying 77 times for 647 yards.
    "Our offensive line has done a tremendous job," Rader said. "People are throwing different fronts at us, trying to cut us and different things, and those guys never make any excuses, they just find ways to get their jobs done. Our backs are doing a pretty good job being patient, letting them get things set up before they find that hole."
    Now Sarcoxie turns its focus to Jasper, who the Bears will host on Friday. The Eagles are currently 0-4, but showed signs of life in a 51-34 loss at Lockwood last week.
    "They are very much improved from a year ago and are getting better every week," Rader said. "I know they're 0-4, but they've played a pretty tough schedule here at the beginning and they may be the best 0-4 team I've ever seen. They're physical, their backs run the ball hard and defensively they do a pretty good job running to the football."
    Jasper's 34 points last week matched the Eagles total from the season's first three games, and running back Jordan Adams was a big reason for that, as the senior accounted for 184 rushing yards on only 16 carries at Lockwood. He's one player the Bears have their eyes on.
    "They're like us," Rader said. "Their offensive line does a pretty good job opening things up, and then Jordan Adams at running back is a pretty tough runner. He's tough to bring down and defensively he plays their middle linebacker and makes a lot of plays for them."
    Page 2 of 2 - A win this week puts Sarcoxie at 4-0 in the conference, with road games at Greenfield and Liberal coming in the next two weeks, but Rader is keeping his team focused on the game in front of them.
    "Obviously a goal every year is to win the conference and we've put ourselves in a position to do that through the first half of the season," he said. "We've just been really hammering the kids to be confident but not overconfident and stay focused."

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