Miners strong 2nd half leads to Showdown win
BAUXITE 28, HARMONY GROVE 7
BAUXITE — The Bauxite Miners continued their reign over rival Harmony Grove on Friday, winning 28-7 in front of a packed house at The Pit while also celebrating homecoming.
Engaging in the fourth annual Saline River Showdown, the win knots the overall record between the two at 2-2 as the Miners have won back-to-back matches against the Redbirds.
Despite the final score, however, the Miners had a tough time getting going in Week 6, playing to an even 7-7 tie at the break.
“The first half, we were too hype and too emotional,” said Bauxite Head Coach Daryl Patton. “We have been doing a good job all year of playing with a lot of enthusiasm, but our kids were probably a little too amped. That is my fault for getting them that way. I didn’t do a very good job of calling plays. I’ll take the blame.”
Harmony Grove struck first, scoring on a 1-yard run from Canyon Clifton with 2:02 remaining in the first quarter.
The Cardinals scoring drive began following a 50-yard interception return from Clifton, one of three picks Harmony Grove would force in the first half.
After causing a punt on the Miners second drive, the Cardinals would quickly give the ball back via fumbled snap, setting the Miners up at the Harmony Grove 10. Bauxite would tie the game two plays later as Logan Debord powered in from 5 yards away to make it 7-7 with 10:37 to play in the half.
Neither team would find the end zone again until the second half as Harmony Grove was forced to punt three times on its remaining drives while also fumbling just before halftime.
Bauxite would turn the ball over twice and punt as well, leaving the scored tied at the break.
The second half, though, was all Bauxite as it tacked on three more touchdowns, including an opening drive score capped with a 60-yard scamper from quarterback Conner Stacy to make it 14-7 Miners with 10:31 to tick in the third.
Facing a fourth-and-8 later in the game, Stacy would convert with an 18-yard pass to Braylon Walker, setting up a 1-yard run from the quarterback later on the drive. Bauxite would lead 21-7 with 7:41 to play.
Looking for insurance late, the Miners tacked on its final score of the game with a 20-yard scrum from Hayden Edwards to make it 28-7 with under two minutes to play.
“I thought the second half we played hard and physical,” Patton said. “To hold that team to seven points is huge. They do a great job over there. Proud of our offense and defense in that second half. Anytime you can win a homecoming victory is big.”
In the past few games, Patton has returned to more of a ground-and-pound offense, using a plethora of running backs.
On Friday, Bauxite rushed for 262 yards with Stacy leading the charge. The quarterback would keep the rock 15 times, rushing for 112 yards on the night.
Fabian Torres followed with 66 yards on nine carries.
Stacy would finish 3 for 10 for 26 yards and three interceptions.
“We want to be balanced,” Patton said. “Tonight, Conner obviously did not throw the ball well in the first half. The second half, he made a big-time throw to Braylon. That was a great rout when we needed it. We want to be balanced and take what they are giving us. But, we also know the strength of our football team and that is those big kids up front. When it came down to the last few quarters, I thought our kids did a good job of being physical and owning the line of scrimmage.”
Bauxite stays perfect in 7-4A Conference action, something Patton and company is proud of.
“We are awfully happy to be 3-0 at the top of the conference standings,” he said. “We just try to take them one at a time and this should go a long way in clinching a playoff berth. We want to come out next Friday night against a good Fountain
Lake team and fight, scratch and claw and find a way to win the ball game.”
Harmony Grove slips to 1-2 in conference play and will take on reigning state champion Arkadelphia at Sykes Stadium in Haskell.
The Cardinals gained a total of 132 yards in Week 6, led by Hayden Hilson with 43 yards and a score on 11 carries.
Quarterback Hunter Williams would be dropped for a sack four times in the loss.
Opening kickoff is set for 7 p.m. for both teams in Week 7.
Bauxite quarterback Conner Stacy prepares to hand the ball off to running back Logan Debord during Friday’s 28-7 win in the fourth annual Saline River Showdown over Harmony Grove. Stacy rushed for 112 yards on 15 carries while scoring two touchdowns.
Harmony Grove running back Jayce Harrison, 2, looks for a hole in the Bauxite defense Friday as he gains yardage in a 28-7 loss.