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Caddo football off to its best start in nearly a decade

Kevin Farr,
The Bryan County News
Junior running back Hunter Speers turns the corner leaving a Wetumka defender in his tracks on the way to one of his three touchdowns and 193 yards in the Caddo victory.

Since returning to the eight-man football ranks a few years ago, success has been mixed for the Caddo High School football team while trying to recapture their dominance of 2011, when the Bruins rolled to the Class B state championship.

Don’t look now, but the 2020 Bruins are taking early strides in that direction.

Caddo improved its record to a perfect 4-0 on the season last week with a 50-28 homecoming victory over Wetumka for the best start to a season since that state-title team finished 14-0.

“We haven’t been 4-0 since 2011, so it’s pretty special to the kids and the community,” head coach Jeremy Proctor commented. “The kids are starting to believe in what we want to do and really working hard together. There’s a lot of unselfish play and we are actually able to get people off the field at times because of our depth, which hardly has ever happened here.

“You can feel the atmosphere though. The kids are excited, and the community is excited. You could just see by the crowd we had for homecoming. The stands were full, and people were sitting all around the end zone in lawn chairs. We just want to keep it rolling as we head toward the district season in a couple weeks when things get tougher.”

Through the early portion of the 2020 schedule, big plays especially by the defense and special teams have provided the spark to runaway victories. Even though they forced a couple of Wetumka turnovers in the homecoming win, it was up to the Caddo offense to do the scoring work.

It still looked as if the Bruins might roll easily to the victory however as they built a commanding 22-0 lead just eight minutes into the contest, slicing through the Chieftain defense on each of their first three possessions.

Junior running back Hunter Speers rumbled 63 yards to paydirt on the opening play of the game, and younger brother Coltin chipped in a nine-yard touchdown run moments later as well as the two-point conversion.

Austin Tomson got in on the scoring on Caddo’s next possession, racing 46 yards to the end zone on the opening play of the drive before also snagging the following two-point pass.

Wetumka showed life with a 77-yard touchdown run on the very next play to trim the deficit.

Jacob Jenkins’ fumble recovery at the Chieftain six yard line on the initial play of the second period set up a Coltin Speers to Kash Pope scoring pass. Hunter Speers chipped in another 66-yard touchdown burst on Caddo’s next series and with two extra point kicks from sophomore Kaden Danderson the Bruins appeared to be pulling away with a 36-6 lead.

Things slowed down a little the remainder of the half and the visitors made a game of it by scoring on the final possession of the first half as well as first of the second half narrowing the gap to 14 points.

Bruin injuries also began to mount a little after intermission, forcing them to show their depth even more while battling back and forth in a defensive struggle until Coltin Speers found Pope again for a 19-yard touchdown pass in the closing seconds of the third quarter.

A Tyler Malone sack and fumble recovery thwarted a promising Wetumka march and Konnor Williams also snagged a fumble at the Chieftain 2 for a short touchdown blast by Hunter Speers to cap the scoring for Caddo.

Hunter Speers tallied 193 yards and three scores on the ground to pace the Bruins, who have a road trip to Quinton this week before opening district play against Southwest Covenant, who has already had three games canceled due to COVID-19 contact tracing.

“We didn’t play our best but made plays when we needed to,” Proctor said of the Wetumka triumph. “This was the first game we’ve really had to overcome some adversity, but the kids hung in there and battled even when it got a little tighter in the second half.”

Caddo head coach Jeremy Proctor watches the action intently with Bruin team members on the sideline last week. The Bruins toppled Wetumka, 50-28, to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2011.