Fifth-ranked Hogs up­set No. 2 McClel­lan

Texarkana Gazette - - SPORTS - By Ja­son Hop­kins

Arkansas High is one step closer to tak­ing the crown.

With the pos­si­bil­ity of the Con­fer­ence 5A-South cham­pi­onship on the line, the Ra­zor­backs came out of half­time and fought through ad­ver­sity to score 14 unan­swered points in the fourth quar­ter to dethrone pre­vi­ously-un­beaten Lit­tle Rock McClel­lan, 21-15, on Fri­day night at Ra­zor­back Sta­dium.

Arkansas High (6-1, 4-0), com­ing into the game ranked fifth in the As­so­ci­ated Press poll, takes over sole pos­ses­sion of the top spot in the con­fer­ence with just three games re­main­ing: Hot Springs, Hope and De Queen.

“To give your­self a chance to win a con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship and to come out vic­to­ri­ous is big for this pro­gram,” Arkansas High head coach Barry Nor­ton said. “It’s been 12 years since the school has won one. So, to play the way we did and to fight the way we did with a lot on the line, we han­dled it very well tonight and that shows the char­ac­ter these kids have.”

Sec­ond-ranked Lit­tle Rock McClel­lan (6-1, 3-1) shut down the Ra­zor­backs for the most part through three quar­ters. The Crim­son Lions held the home team to just 40 yards be­fore in­ter­mis­sion while ac­cu­mu­lat­ing 120 of their own.

“We had to find a way to win this one,” Nor­ton said. “Cameron Col­lier came up huge for us in the sec­ond half tonight on both sides of the ball. It shows how great of a player he is and how he al­ways finds a way to put us in a po­si­tion to win these tough games.” In­deed.

Af­ter be­ing held to a mere 32 yards be­fore half­time, Col­lier got a spark in the sec­ond half and scored both of the Ra­zor­backs touch­downs to seal the vic­tory.

Down 15-7 to be­gin the fourth quar­ter, Arkansas High needed just two plays to find the end zone. On first down Col­lier had a huge 23-yard rush and fol­lowed it up with a 59-yard score to cut into the deficit, 15-14. On the next McClel­lan drive, a bad snap forced a fum­ble and Col­lier scooped it up for a 41-yard re­cov­ery to give the Ra­zor­backs their first lead, 21-15, which would prove to be enough for the win.

Col­lier fin­ished with a game-high 145 yards and both of the Ra­zor­backs’ of­fen­sive touch­downs on 19 car­ries.

“I told them at half­time, ‘This game is right where we thought it would be,’” Nor­ton said. “We made a cou­ple of ad­just­ments for the sec­ond half, and we told the kids to just keep fight­ing. We have to fight for ev­ery inch, be­cause those inches will turn into a foot, and that alone will help you win these tight games. And we did.”

Nei­ther team found the end zone in the first quar­ter. They traded three­and-outs on their first drives and Arkansas High re­cov­ered a fum­ble in the red zone on the Crim­son Lions’ sec­ond drive.

The Crim­son Lions, how­ever, pumped out 120 yards of­fen­sively in the first two quar­ters and held the ball for nearly 12 min­utes to­tal in the sec­ond. Af­ter tak­ing the punt to open up the quar­ter, the vis­i­tors had a 13-play drive that re­sulted in 68 yards and Lloyd’s first score of the game on a 1-yard run.

Col­lier would help an­swer back on the fol­low­ing pos­ses­sion af­ter the Hogs re­cov­ered an on­side kick at­tempt with 3:56 re­main­ing in the half. Af­ter get­ting their first first-down of the game, Col­lier broke open on the left side­line and found pay­dirt on a 14-yard dash to knot the score.

The Ra­zor­backs bucked the trend of hav­ing a lot of penal­ties and fin­ished with 25 yards on just five flags.

“We didn’t get into a lot of penalty trou­ble tonight,” Nor­ton said. “I thought there were a cou­ple of calls that didn’t go our way, but we got the win and that’s what mat­ters the most.”

Lit­tle Rock McClel­lan got big con­tri­bu­tions on the ground, with run­ning back Der­rick Lloyd Jr. and quar­ter­back Jay­lon Wil­liams com­bin­ing for 142 yards. Wil­liams fin­ished with a teamhigh 76 yards and a score on 19 totes, and Lloyd added 66 yards and a score on 22 at­tempts.

With the win and Arkansas High wins the re­main­ing three, it will be crowned con­fer­ence cham­pi­ons for the first time in over a decade.

“I’m re­ally proud for our kids right now,” Nor­ton said. I told them I was prob­a­bly as ner­vous for this game as I was for the very first game I ever coached, be­cause I wanted for them to win so badly. It’s been so long for this pro­gram”

Arkansas High will be back in ac­tion next Fri­day when it hosts Hot Springs.

Arkansas High 0 7 8 0 — 15

Lit­tle Rock McClel­lan 0 7 0 14 — 21

Sec­ond Quar­ter

LRM-Der­rick Lloyd Jr 1 run (Xavion Mor­gan kick), 3:56 AHS-Cameron Col­lier 14 run (Pa­trick Cook kick), 2:45

Third Quar­ter

LRM-Jay­lon Wil­liams 1 run (Wil­liams run), 1:25

Fourth Quar­ter

AHS-Col­lier 59 run (Cook kick), 11:46 AHS-Col­lier 41 fum­ble re­turn (Cook kick), 9:29 McClel­lan AHS

First Downs 15 6

Yards Rush­ing 197 134

Yards Pass­ing 59 16

Passes A-C-I 8-5-0 11-2-0

Fum­bles-Lost 5-2 2-0

Penal­ties 4-35 5-25

Punts-Avg. 2-23.0 5-29.8 IN­DI­VID­UAL STA­TIS­TICS RUSH­ING—McClel­lan, Der­rick Lloyd Jr. 22-66, Jay­lon Wil­liams 19-76, Xavion Mor­gan 8-3, Brod­er­ick Lacy 2-19, Jeremiah Akins 4-33. Arkansas High, Cameron Col­lier 19-145, DeJor­dan Mask 2-(mi­nus 11).

PASS­ING—McClel­lan, Wil­liams 4-6-0 35, Mor­gan 1-2-0 24. Arkansas High, Sean Fore­back 2-10-0 16, Drake Brown­ing 0-1-0 0.

RE­CEIV­ING—McClel­lan, Bran­don Wil­liams 1-16, Mor­gan 1-16, Lacy 1-3, Wil­liams 1-24. Arkansas High, Brown­ing 1-8, Col­lier 1-8.

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