photo by GEORGE “CLAY” MITCHELL
Alma’s Drake Pendergraft (1) works with the misdirection during Thursday’s game against Van Buren Freshman Academy. The Airedales won 30-6 after leading 8-0 at halftime.
The Van Buren Freshman Academy managed to hold off Alma for one half, but the Airedales scored on three consecutive possessions in the second half to grab the River Valley Conference win, 30-6.
After being limited to 86 yards and one TD in the first half, Alma quarterback Noah Dotson finished with 215 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns and he threw for another.
“We didn’t play well in the first half. The first drive was great, but for the rest we didn’t play physical, we overthrew stuff,” said Alma coach JD Coursey. “Our game plan changed for the second half and we just used our running game.”
Alma opened the game with a 68-yard run by Dotson, two plays later he scored from two yards out. Dillon HIggins added the two-point conversion and Alma led 8-0 with 4:40 remaining in the first quarter.
VBFA had 133 yards of offense in the first half and was able to stall out Alma for the duration.
The Pointers even came away with an interception in the end zone as the errant pass was bounced from Cameron Ferguson to Josh Aden and back to Ferguson again, who ran the ball back out to the Van Buren 12.
VBFA sole score was in the second half as Kyan Rose connected with Caleb Christenson on a 35-yard strike to make the score 16-6 with 4:59 left in the third quarter.
“Van Buren is just getting better. I’m glad we don’t play 20-week football seasons, because Van Buren would be really good by then. Adam (Pendergrass) is doing a great job with them,” Coursey said. “I saw (Van Buren) at the start of the season, and this is a completely different football team.”
Alma made it 16-0 on Dotson’s 20-yard run on Alma’s opening second-half possession. Dotson added a 39-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Davis to extend the lead 24-6, and Dotson scored on a 56-yard run for the final margin.
Alma (4-1 River Valley Conference) faces Shiloh Christian (0-5) next week before the Week 10 showdown with Greenwood (5-0) for a share of the conference title.
Van Buren (0-5) hosts Greenwood before it heads to Shiloh next week.
Mountainburg 35, Western Yell County 8
The Dragons extended their record to 7-1 with the win at home Thursday night.
Quincy Pixley was rather efficient with his passing as he completed 4 of 5 passes for 106 yards and three touchdowns.
On the first play of the game, Pixley connected with Elisha Vanourny for a 64-yard touchdown. Pixley also threw two touchdown passes to Elijah Wilson for 5 and 30 yards.
Vanourny added a 15-yard touchdown run. Riley Dollard, who finished with six carries for 80 yards, added a 15-yard run for a score as well.
The Dragons travel to Magazine next week for their final game of the season.