Program defining win

By Mike Genet The Examiner
Posted: September 23, 2016 - 11:38 PM

With his team’s collective back to the goal line, the ball on the 1-yard line, William Chrisman quarterback James Bailey wasn’t thinking about steering his team away from danger against Staley’s defense as the upstart Bears nursed a two-point lead late in the third quarter.

“I wasn’t thinking,” Bailey said. “I just knew I had to make a play for the team, and that’s what I did.”

When Bailey eluded a tackle at the goal line to get the edge, juked a defender and stiff-armed two more on his way to a 99-yard touchdown, it gave the Bears a 28-19 lead over one of the metro area’s perennially solid programs and sent a little shockwave across Norman James Field.

Bailey then added two more touchdown runs in the fourth quarter to help Chrisman hold off Class 5 No. 3-ranked Staley and remain unbeaten with a 43-39 victory that clinched the program’s first winning season since 1981.

Another sequence from the 1-yard line loomed just as large for the Bears (6-0, 3-0 Suburban Middle Six) in their upset win.

Chrisman had jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on short touchdown runs by Bailey and Jordon Woods, the latter set up by Staley’s muffed punt return.

But Staley (4-2, 2-1) stormed back in the second with its hurry-up offense, as running back Julian Ross scored three times to make it 19-14 and the Falcons appeared poised to make it a two-score game heading into the locker room.

Then, on first-and-goal Daniel Carson stopped Ross for a 3-yard loss. Two more stuffs by the defensive front, and the Bears trailed but still had plenty of confidence at halftime.

Carson, who gave Staley’s offensive line fits all night and tallied five tackles for loss, called that stop and the ensuing win “unbelievable.”

“When adversity hits, we have to come together,” Carson said. “Bend but don’t break, that’s our philosophy.”

Chrisman took the lead for good midway through the third when when Tre’-Vaughn Sisco hauled in a Bailey deep ball and broke a tackle for a 57-yard touchdown.

“We were struggling a bit,” Bailey said, “but it was a play we’d been working on all week in practice, and I was able to dial it up.”

Defensively, Chrisman settled down in the second half and produced four straight punts, a Kelvyn Mason interception and Carson and DerRiq Moore’s fourth-down sack.

Bailey scored from 7 yards out on fourth-and-one and extra-point holder Joshua Horn added the two-point conversion on a designed fake to make it 36-19 with 4:39 left in the game.

Staley made a furious charge, as John Raybourn threw touchdown passes of 40 yards to Zach Elam and 6 yards to Ross sandwiched around Ross’ 49-yard touchdown run. But Chrisman covered all three onside kicks, the last one with three seconds showing, and it found the end zone one more time when Bailey’s 42-yard run set up his final 1-yard plunge to make it 42-26.

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