DeWitt Dragons defeat Billies 49-39 in 8-4A Conference opener


The Monticello Billies opened 8-4A Conference play on Friday, September 8, at Hyatt Field, hosting the DeWitt Dragons.

Monticello entered the contest with an overall record of 1-1, coming off a road win over then #10 Bauxite. 

The Dragons entered the contest going 2-0 in their non conference schedule.

Monticello would kick the ball off to begin the contest with DeWitt receiving the ball at their own 20 yard line, but Curtis Barrow would drive the returner back, dropping him for a loss at the DeWitt 15.

After moving the ball out to the DeWitt 40, Trey Riley would hit DeWitt’s Justin Ross causing a fumble that was recovered by Blaine Hayden to give the Billies possession at the DeWitt 35 with 10:16 remaining in the first quarter. 

On Monticello’s first offensive play of the contest, Brooks Bowman would connect with Evan Bealer on a 35-yard pass for a Billie touchdown with 10:09 remaining in the quarter.

Joseph Rojas would add the extra point to give the Billies a 7-0 lead. 

DeWitt began their next drive at their own 20-yard line after Joseph Rojas kicked the ball into the endzone for a touchback.

The Dragons would march downfield to cover the 80 yards, capping off the drive with quarterback Carson Mitchell connecting with Griffin Whitmore for the five-yard score. 

David Pena added the extra point to tie the contest 7-7 with 4:41 remaining in the quarter. 

Monticello couldn’t get their offense together on their second possession, being forced to punt the ball away where DeWitt would take over on the Monticello 49.

DeWitt’s next possession would carry over into the second quarter.

The Dragons would reach the Monticello 31-yard line at the start of the second quarter, but a personal foul penalty against the Billies would move the ball down to the Monticello 16.

Korri Graham would get the carry for the Dragons and would gain the 16 yards for the score to give the Dragons the lead. 

After the Pena kick, DeWitt led 14-7 with 11:46 remaining in the half.

The Billies came right back on the kickoff after Quay Rhodes took the DeWitt kick at the Monticello five-yard line, returning the ball back 95 yards for the Monticello score. 

Rojas would add the extra point as the Billies tied the score at 14 with 11:31 on the clock.

Each team was forced to punt on their next two possessions with DeWitt taking over at the Monticello 36 with 4:04 remaining in the half.

Korri Graham moved the ball to the Monticello 33 before Mitchell connected with Travis London Jr. for a 33-yard touchdown strike.

Pena added the extra point to take a 21-7 lead.

The score would remain for the remainder of the half.

Monticello received the ball to start the second half of play at their own 39 yard line. 

Bowman would connect with Tejon Tensley to move the ball into DeWitt territory to the Dragon 47 and with an added facemask penalty, the Billes would have a first down at the Dragon 42.

Jon Jackson moved the ball to the 36 with an offsides penalty against DeWitt giving an extra five yards to the Dragon 31.

Jackson moved the ball to the 27 followed by a completed pass to Tensley to the 23.

Jackson once again got the carry to the DeWitt 16 with Bowman connecting with Tensley for the 16-yard touchdown.

Rojas added the extra point to tie the score at 21 with 9:21 remaining in the third quarter. 

DeWitt would get a good return on the kickoff, taking the ball from their own 20 yard line, advancing into Monticello territory to the Billie 44.

The consecutive running plays would get the ball to the Monticello 31 yard line.

Monticello would be flagged for a pass interference call on an incomplete pass on the next play, giving the Dragons possession down to Monticello 16.

A run to the 14 and an offside call against Monticello would give the Dragons possession at the nine-yard line. 

Three consecutive runs would get the Dragons into the endzone, but Pena would miss the extra point to make the score 27-21 in favor of the Dragons.

Monticello would turn the ball over on downs on their next possession at the DeWitt 49 yard line with 3:46 remaining in the quarter.

DeWitt would go up by two scores on their possession, scoring from 12 yards out with 2:54 on the clock. 

DeWitt added the two-point conversion to increase the lead to 35-21.

Monticello would be forced to punt the ball away to give the ball back to the Dragons. 

DeWitt added another touchdown with 49 seconds remaining in the quarter after a 63-yard touchdown pass. With the extra point the Dragons led 42-21.

Going into the final quarter of play, Monticello would have the ball at the DeWitt 49 when Bowman connected with Tensley for the 49-yard strike. 

The extra point was not successful as the Billies cut the lead to 42-27 with 11:10 left in the contest. 

After forcing DeWitt to punt on their next possession, the Billies would take over at their own five-yard line with 9:36 showing on the clock.

The DeWitt defense backed the billies to the three before Bowman connected with Rhodes for a first down to the Monticello 40.

DeWitt would be charged with a pass interference call that gave the Billies a first down at the 50.

Three passes to Evan Bealer moved the ball to the DeWitt 22 followed by an offside penalty against the Dragons to that placed the ball at the 17.

A holding call against the Billies moved the ball back to the 27 where Bowman connected with Rhodes for a 27-yard strike with 7:14 left in the contest. 

After a failed two-point conversion, Monticello trailed 42-33.

Eli Ruehle would execute a successful onside kick for the Billies on the kickoff with Curtis Barrow recovering the ball at the DeWitt 48.

Bowman’s pass to Bealer would lose two yards on the next play, with Bowman’s next pass being intercepted at the DeWitt 20-yard line by Hayden McCarley who would return the ball back 80 yards for the defensive touchdown. 

After the extra point, DeWitt increased the lead to 49-33 with 6:51 remaining. 

Monticello Would get one more score in the contest on a 22 yard pass from Bowman to Bealer to set up the final score of 49-39.

With the loss, Monticello falls to 1-2 on the season and 0-1 in the 8-4A Conference. 

DeWitt improves to 3-0 and 1-0 in conference play.

Monticello would have two players to have over 100 yards in receiving with Evan Bealer leading the way with 104 yards and two touchdowns and Tejon Tensley having 102 yards with two touchdowns.

Brooks Bowman was 19 of 35 for 265 yards, five touchdowns on an interception.

The Billies will continue conference play on the road in McGehee on Friday night against the Owls. 

Kickoff is set at 7 pm.