Badgers shut out Pirates in first round
ARKADELPHIA — Arkadelphia took control of the game early Friday as the Badgers rolled to a 37-0 win over Gosnell in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs at AllCare Field.
The Badgers (6-5) allowed just 168 yards for the Pirates (6-5) while cruising to 345 yards in the win. Arkadelphia will travel to Warren (9-1) in a rematch of last year’s Class 4A state final after the Lumberjacks defeated Central Arkansas Christian (5-6), 44-14.
Gosnell struggled in the opening possession, but a muffed punt by Victor Tademy allowed the Pirates to extend their drive to seven plays before having to kick it away.
The Badgers needed six plays to move the ball 61 yards, thanks in part to a pass interference penalty against the Pirates. Zion Hatley carried the ball in from the 9 to put the Badgers on the scoreboard. On the conversion play, Cannon Turner tossed the ball back to Buster Thomas, who completed the halfback pass to Tademy for the conversion to make it 8-0 with 6:40 left in the first half.
Eight plays later, Cole Turner took down Gosnell’s Cadarius Young, stripping the ball, and Kyren Harrison picked it up and carried it 50 yards back to the end zone for the second Badgers’ touchdown. Cannon Turner tucked the ball on the conversion play to make it 16-0 with 1:54 left in the first period.
Arkadelphia took a 23-0 lead into the break after Hatley found the end zone once again with 4:05 left in the half, Gabe Goodman kicking the PAT.
The Badgers scored twice more in the third frame to secure the shutout.
Turner was 4-for-10 passing for 73 yards with one touchdown, and Thomas stepped in after the mercy rule came into play, completing 2 of 2 for 70 yards.
Turner also led the Badgers’ ground game with eight carries for 108 yards. Hatley had 13 carries for 69 yards and two touch-
downs, and Thomas had 3 carries for 19 yards.
Alec Ruble had two catches for 83 yards and a touchdown, and Thomas had two for 52.
Barbaree was 2-for-8 passing for 39 yards, and Jydarian Young had 14 carries for 57 yards to lead the ground game for the Pirates. Cydarius Young had 16 carries for 34, and Devin Burks had five for 26.
Druw Reynolds led the Pirates’ receivers corps with one catch for 31 yards.