By ROGER THOMAS
BROOKLYN — Friday night in Brooklyn, the two Class A district six rivals squared off for the second time in three weeks. The BGM Bears won the previous meeting 19-7 and their big defensive effort (129 yards total offense for Pekin) gave them the win with the big payout, 29-8.
There couldn’t have been a Class A game anywhere in the state with a bigger crowd. The fans from both sides were treated to a defensive struggle that was much closer than the final score indicates. The fine Pekin season closes at 9-3. Meanwhile, BGM (12-0) will play Wapsie Valley (Fairbank) (12-0) at 10 a.m. Friday in the Uni-Dome. BGM started the game’s first drive at its own 24.
The Bears ran 14 plays, but the Panther defense kept them out of the end zone. BGM’s leading rusher Jack Kline, one of the top rushers in the state, figured to have a prominent role in the Bear game plan. BGM looked like it was going to go to the air, as it completed four passes in the opening drive. They would only complete one more the entire game.
“I thought our guys really did a good job of shutting down their passing game,” said Pekin coach Joe Donovan.
Kline had one reception for 10 yards and carried the ball four times for 24 yards, but three penalties on the Bears killed the drive. Kline’s biggest contribution of the drive might have been his punt, which was downed at the Pekin 1-yard line. On the first play, the Panther runner was tackled in the end zone for a safety, giving the Bears a 2-0 lead. The teams traded three and outs, but the Bears used an 11-play drive to score with just 10 seconds left in the first. The Bears decided to use their premier running back on the drive. Kline carried seven times for 34 yards, the last of which was a 2-yard touchdown run.