Hor­nets roll Dogs by largest mar­gin in his­tory

The Saline Courier Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Josh Briggs

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

Buck James.

“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.”

Fayet­teville, how­ever,

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.

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