Yerger Middle School eighth grade football team provided a big defensive effort on the gridiron last Thursday night in defeat by visiting Hot Springs Lakeside 8-0 in junior high action at Hammons Stadium.

Yerger Middle School eighth grade football team provided a big defensive effort on the gridiron last Thursday night in defeat by visiting Hot Springs Lakeside 8-0 in junior high action at Hammons Stadium. In the first quarter, both teams held a tough defensive battle against each other that resulted a scoreless period.

YMS picked up two key first downs on the ground from Erik Haynie, but the series of drives forced Hope to punt to fall short of converting for the first down. In the second quarter, Lakeside posted the game's only touchdown score and end zone trip at the 2:52 mark on a 3-yard run and converting the 2-point conversion to give them the 8-0 lead over Hope. As time melted down off the clock in the quarter, Lakeside held the final possession under a minute to play, but YMS defense caused a quarterback sack for loss of yardage in the closing seconds. At halftime, Lakeside led Hope, 8-0.

In the second half, Lakeside started out with possession in the third quarter, but YMS came up with big stops from Tyler Young, Davian Durden and Ladarious Allen on tackles. Hope also stopped a fourth down conversion at the 5:23 mark to force Lakeside to turnover on downs for possession. In the fourth quarter, the YMS defense made more sparks to hold Lakeside from entering the end zone including another sack for loss of yardage on the Jr. Rams quarterback. YMS quarterback Ammorrion Dempsey picked up two key first down drives on QB keepers, but Lakeside would show their defensive sparks by hold Hope scoreless for the shutout victory.

This Thursday night, Hope eighth grade squad will travel on the road to face Camden to conclude their season meetings in junior high football action. Kickoff set for 5:30 p.m., in Camden.