November 26, 2021 – The No.3 ranked Timpson Bears return to the 2A State Division I quarterfinals after an unbeaten battle with the No.7 Beckville Bearcats. Timpson entered the contest with a perfect 10-0 record. The Bearcats were also unbeaten with an impressive 12-0 record. Homer Bryce Stadium on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University hosted large numbers of East Texas football fans on the Friday night immediately following Thanksgiving.
The opening kick went to the Bearcats. In their first practice, Beckville’s offense swept across the field with most of the footage resting on the shoulders of their remarkable senior quarterback Ryan Harris. Harris would end the race with a rushed touchdown to give the Bearcats a 7-0 lead. Timpson was quick to respond with his own remarkable quarterback. After Bearcat’s touchdown, Terry Bussey interrupted a 47-yard touchdown run around the left side. In subsequent practice, Timpson’s defense managed to sack Beckville’s quarterback, which allowed Bears defenseman Logan Depaepe to fall on the ball for recovery.
Just 10 seconds into the second quarter, senior running back Braden Courtney gave Timpson a 14-7 lead with an 11-yard touchdown. Timpson was pulling all cylinders in the second quarter. Their defense provided another turnover, this one on a fourth stop. The Bears walked the field for a one yard goalie for Bussey to bring the score to 21-7. With time running out in the first half, Beckville managed to set up a practice to keep their hopes alive. Harris found wide receiver Tyler Bryan for a 30-yard pass and a deficit-reducing catch to seven before halftime.
Beckville pulled out all the stops when the second half kicked off with a kick out. The Bearcats recovered the kick and capitalized with a score on the next drive. Now tied at 21-21, Timpson regained the momentum and never looked back. Courtney found dirt within two yards, Bussey crossed the goal line following a 24-yard run and Bussey threw a touchdown at Hunter Tipton.
The Bears’ defense also played a big part in the game in the second half. They managed to stuff the Bearcats on another fourth attempt, and defensive back Vosky Howard hit the nail on the head with a big interception.
âIt’s a very good football team. They were 12-0 for a reason. Our children kept fighting, kept fighting even when [Beckville] even retreated with us. They came out with the in-play kick and tied it with us. The kids could have folded, but they didn’t. Some of the games we had earlier in the year helped us with that. I couldn’t be more excited for our guys. There are only eight teams playing next week, and we are one of them. Said Kerry Therwhanger, head football coach of Timpson.
Bussey led the Bears with 193 rushing yards, followed by Courtney who totaled 139 rushing yards. Big numbers sure, but these types of performances don’t happen without the help of the big men up front.
âOur offensive line,â I told them before the game. This game is going to be up to you all. If we can dominate the way I think we can, then they can’t stop us. It also takes some of the pressure off the defense. Said Therwhanger.
Timpson will face Centerville for the Region III Championship on Dec. 3 in Jacksonville.