A record crowd was on hand Monday for the weekly Bearbackers luncheon in the Hall of Fame Room at Estes Stadium. At the event, head football coach Clint Conque had high praise for his unbeaten team that is ranked in the Top 15 in every poll in the nation.
Most of the coach’s comments were centered around the rain-soaked Capital City Classic where the Bears jumped out to a big 35-7 lead, then saw UAPB utilize three big plans to get back in the game at 35-28. However the Bears then stiffened and put the game away in impressive fashion by recording a 42-28 win.
“I’m very proud of our players,” Conque said. “They showed a tremendous amount of character, and when we needed people to step up and make plays, they stepped up and made plays. When we got tired in the second half, the guys just sucked it up. I am so proud of them.”
Conque also said the exposure the Bears have received from playing their first two games on Thursday has been invaluable. “You can’t put a price tag on it,” he said.
Specifically of the Capital City Classic, Conque said, “From a fan’s standpoint, it’s a good deal for both universities. I think going to Little Rock is good and playing against a higher classification opponent (UAPB is Division I-AA) is good. Football in this state wins,” he said.
Conque had high praise for Henderson State, Saturday’s Hall of Fame Weekend opponent. The Reddies come to Conway fresh from a 41-35 win against SE Louisiana and a per game rushing attack of more than 300 yards.
In appealing for a big crowd, Conque said, “Let’s hang ’em from the lights. This football team deserves your support.” Kickoff will be at 6 p.m. at Estes Stadium. The Alumni Association Tailgate opens at 4 on the practice field.
Conque said the Gulf South Conference is now 7-0 against the Lone Star Conference and 5-0 against Division I-AA teams after two weeks of action.
Athletics Director Vance Strange introduced Conque and also invited those present as well as the public to attend the banquet and induction for the third class of the Hall of Fame at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, in the Student Center Ballroom. This is a ticketed event and persons may call the Athletics Department for additional information.