Clay Battelle, Local Sports, Sports

Cee-Bees fall in season finale to Magnolia

BLACKSVILLE – In most seasons, the Clay-Battelle football team plays its last regular season game with big stakes on the table – qualifying for the playoffs, or perhaps hoping to earn a higher seed. 

But a heartbreaking combination of catastrophic injuries and close losses derailed those loftier plans heading into the Cee-Bees’ final game against Magnolia Friday night, leaving only the constants to play for, as evidenced by their National Guard Gridiron Series camo-inspired uniforms: Pride, team, and fun.  

And while there was plenty of team, and all kinds of pride, it was Magnolia who had the most fun, as they finished their year on a three-game winning streak with a 40-21 victory. 

The Golden Eagles (3-7) took advantage of a good opening kickoff return to drive into the red zone, but a fumble turned it over and stopped the threat.

But the Cee-Bees (3-7) went three-and-out, and that’s when Magnolia’s fast, elusive tailback Hunter Oates took over. Another short field led to a quick drive and Oates’ 18-yard TD run, then after a CB turnover on downs, Oates’ next touch produced an electrifying 89-yard scoring run as he skirted the left sideline and outraced the CB defensive backs to paydirt. A CB turnover at midfield and a long pass gave Oates a chance to score another TD on his third consecutive carry, this one from the five, to take a commanding 21-0 lead. 

But these Cee-Bees have refused to surrender all season long, and senior running back Zach Hall would not let that happen. It took just 12 seconds for Hall to mimic Oates’ sideline sprint on a 65-yard score. Then the Clay-Battelle defense stiffened, forcing two punts, and Hall scored again late in the half on a patient, instinctive, sweep to the right pylon from the 14 to bring his team to within a single score at the half. 

Deferring to the second half, the Cee-Bees wanted to even the score, but an interception was quickly followed by an untouched 27-yard touchdown run up the gut by powerful fullback Mathew Anderson to restore Magnolia’s two-score lead. A potential 48-yard gadget touchdown pass from Hall to Braden Ponceroff was unfortunately called back on a motion penalty, leading to a CB punt.

The Golden Eagles then took control of the game by grinding out a back-breaking 85-yard, 16-play drive that burned the rest of the third quarter and three minutes of the fourth, capped off by Anderson’s bull rush in from the four. 

Hall’s long kickoff return gave the never-say-die Cee-Bees a chance to get a quick score, and Hall shoved in from 1 yard out with 5:45 left to bring the score to 33-21, but the onside kick failed, and Anderson scored on a six-yard run to close it out.  

After the game, CB coach Ryan Wilson summed up his team’s game and season performance in one word. 

“Gritty,” he answered, with a smile. “We were outsized, but they just kept sticking their noses in there, refusing to back down or give up. It allowed us to compete and have a chance to win just about every time out, even though we were short-handed many times. We were down 21-0 in the first half, and we could’ve thrown in the towel, but they battled back into it. We give up a turnover early second half, give up a score, but then we get a touchdown that gets called back. They score, and still, we respond. They’ve given 100% effort all year, especially our seniors.  

“We never quit,” he concluded,” and we always had each other’s back. That’s a pretty good way to finish out a challenging season, and I’m proud of them all.”  


Magnolia  (3-7)       8    13    6    13 –  40 
Clay-Battelle (3-7)  0    14    0    7  – 21 

1st Q
Mag – Hunter Oates 18 run (try good pass Kingsten Christen to Bradon Kocher) 
2nd Q
Mag – Oates 89 run (try failed) 
Mag – Oates 5 run (Lucas Penn kick) 
CB – Zach Hall 65 run (Kooper Statler kick) 
CB – Hall 14 run (Statler kick) 
3rd Q
Mag – Mathew Anderson 27 run (try failed)  
4th Q
Mag – Anderson 4 run (try failed) 
CB – Hall 1 run (Statler kick) 
CB – Anderson 6 run (Penn kick) 

Mag – Christen 3-8-0 50  CB – Spears 10-21-2 117  
Mag – Oates 23-183 3TD, Christen 1-(-12), Anderson 18-177 2TD, Preston Beverlin 1-5, Total 43-353 5TD. CB- Spears 1-(-20), Zachary Hall 16-117 3TD, Maverick Gum 3-22 Total 20-119 3TD. 

MHS – Preston Beverlin 1-16, Oates 1-2, Conner Dyer 1-42. CB – Hall 4-23, Ponceroff 4-78, Maverick Gum 1-4, Maddox Shriver 1-12.