Hornets roll Dogs by largest margin in history
FAYETTEVILLE – The Bryant Hornets (3-0) once again proved why they are ranked at the top in the state, defeating Fayetteville (1-2) 42-13 on the road Friday – the largest victory over the Purple Dogs in school history.
The previous three meetings had been decided by a total of four points with the Hornets victorious in two of those, including last season’s 7A state quarterfinals.
The reigning 7A champions made easy work of the Dogs in Week 3, pleasing Head Coach
“That has never happened for a Bryant team, I am almost certain,” James said. “I have a lot of respect for that program and I think they have some good players. I thought athlete for athlete, they matched up well with us. They had a lot of speed, but I thought our guys played at a very high level. Our defense bent a little bit, but we didn’t break. Those guys played really well.”
James said this week he expected Fayetteville to throw more often than run. Ready to defend the pass, Bryant started the game with a bang as Darrick Rose Jr. returned a Hank Gibbs’ interception 50 yards for the game’s first score and a 7-0 Bryant lead.
The Hornets would never look back as it continued to tack on score after score.
Running back Ahmad Adams made it 14-0 Hornets with just under six minutes to roll in the first, scoring from 9 yards away.
Still in the opening frame, gunslinger Austin Ledbetter would connect with Tre’vun Herron for a 51-yard TD strike for the 21-0 lead. The reception would pass through a Dogs defender before landing in Herron’s arms for the score.
Punting only once in the first half, Bryant quickly found the end zone again with 6:42 left in the second as Adams again crossed, this time from a yard away.
Up 28-6 following a 1-yard score from Gibbs on the ground, the Hornets turned back to Adams 2
yards away to lead 35-6 at the break.
Needing a score to force the sportsmanship rule for a third straight game, Bryant looked at Ledbetter for the answer. The sure-handed quarterback would find Myles Aldridge for a 60-yard TD with 11:17 to tick in the third quarter, only two plays into the half.
Bryant would lead 42-6. “That keeps us healthy, for sure,” James said. “When you play a 24-minute second half you aren’t going to have just a lot of guys getting beat up. That is good for our team. But it is not good when we get down the road and have to play a fourquarter game. We have to do that stuff on the practice field to make sure we are ready to answer the bell. We have played five games, JV and varsity, and have mercy ruled everybody.”
would add a score on its opening drive of the half, but would not force any more pressure as Bryant rolled to open the season
3-0 ahead of Week 4’s 7A Central opener at Fort Smith Northside (2-1) next week. The Grizzlies defeated Van Buren 44-6 on Friday
“We still can improve in a lot of areas,” James said. “I think we have work to do in our punt game. I think we have to do better in our pass-blocking. (Friday), we run blocked better than we have all year, but we haven’t been doing very good at that. Defensively, I think we have to tackle better. Our D-backs have to stop giving up the big throw and catch – the game-changer.’
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. next week at Fort Smith Northside.
Ledbetter threw for more than 200 yards once again, connecting for two more TDS in the win.
Adams trucked for better than 150, collecting three scores for Bryant.