Cedarville was without four starters on defense, but found a way to fend off a determined Waldron squad as the Pirates won 33-26 on Homecoming night at Glen Wisely Field.
The starters were part of the Pirates linebacker corp as two were sick and two were suspended for the week due to school rule infraction.
The Pirates (3-0) head to Atkins (3-0) for the 3A-4 Conference opener for both teams next week.
The Bulldog (0-3) offense pounded Cedarville for 342 yards on the ground with quarterback Marshall Inge and Garron Carpenter leading the way.
Marshall had 18 carries for 151 yards and two touchdowns including one for 40 yards that put the team within seven, 33-26 with 3:31 remaining in the game.
The Bulldogs force Cedarville to punt, in the guise of a field goal attempt, on the Pirates ensuing possession and began on their own 41. Three plays later, Cedarville’s defense came up with its biggest play as Casey Sanders intercepted the No. 15’s third pass of the night with 51 seconds left.
Carpenter finished with 140 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown.
Cedarville mounted a quick 14-0 lead on its first two possessions, but the Bulldogs cut the lead in half with Inge’s first touchdown run.
The Pirates next possession was nixed as Carpenter had a 50-yard interception return. In a span of three minutes Cedarville led 14-0, only to have Waldron pull within one after Abraham Hernandez blocked the PAT, 14-13 at the 5:08 mark in the second quarter.
Cedarville responded in kind on its next possession with a 65-yard drive capped by Corey Fincher’s 1-yard score. Fincher finished with 99 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns.
Kendall Pittman also had 99 yards for Cedarville on six carries. Pittman was also rather stellar on kickoff returns covering between 30 and 50 yards, only to have them reduced to 10 yards or less after a penalty.
The Pirates finished with 375 yards of offense with 291 yards on the ground.
Mountainburg 20, Decatur 0
The Dragons won their first game of the season and evened out their conference record (1-1) as they defeated Decatur on the road Friday night.
Coach Tom Harrell said the defense played great after spending the week going back to the fundamentals and working on technique.
Samuel Copeland scored on Mountainburg’s first possession with a 12-yard run. Trey Allen scored from five yards out early in the second quarter while Josh Skattebo scored on a one-yard run in the fourth. Skettebo kicked the first two PATs.