Emotions running high for HC

Bauxite junior quarterback Seth McDowell races for extra yardage after beating multiple Malvern defenders during a game earlier this season. Bauxite will host Mena on Friday for homecoming. Festivities will begin at 6:15 p.m., followed by kickoff at 7 p.m. GREG DAVIS/Special to The Saline Courier

Emotions will be running high for the Bauxite Miners (3-2, 1-1) come Friday when they play host to Mena (3-2, 0-2) for homecoming.
Less than a week after the unexpected death of Head Coach Daryl Patton’s wife, Tracey Patton, the team has been forced to keep focus on this week’s challenge, despite plenty of distractions.
It is unclear if Patton will be on the sidelines come Friday, but Athletic Director Josh Harrison said his head Miner has not and will not take a leave of absence from the team.
“Coach (Michael) Mattox is serving in a managerial role right now and we will welcome Coach Patton back when he is ready,” Harrison added.
Mena comes to town after dropping back-to-back contests to open 7-4A play, including a narrow 29-28 defeat to Malvern last week.
The Miners stunned the Leopards in Week 4, winning on a last-second TD toss at The Pit.
In Week 5, Bauxite took to the road, holding Ashdown’s high-powered offense to only 21 points after the Panthers had averaged nearly 50 points per contest to start the year.
Senior quarterback Carson Cannon leads the Mena offense in 2017 and has completed 30 of 73 attempts for 593 yards and seven scores to one interception this year.
On the ground, Cannon and senior running back Justin Dean have teamed to rush for nearly 1,200 yards and 10 TDs collectively. Between the two, six runs have gone for 100 yards each time.
Dean is a dual threat as well, leading the Bearcats in receiving with 253 yards on 11 catches.
The senior hauled in three catches for 65 yards while rushing for 111 yards on 14 attempts.
As if his offensive attack wasn’t plenty for the stat sheet, Dean adds to his totals on defense, leading the team in tackles with 44, most come after the line of scrimmage and in the open field.
Homecoming festivities will begin at 6:15 p.m. at The Pit, following by the football game at 7 p.m.