photo by GEORGE “CLAY” MITCHELL
Alma’s Jacob Davis (44) gets ready for his 77-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the junior high contest against Ramsey at Jim Rowland Stadium in Fort Smith. The Rams scored on the final play of the game to get the win, 27-20.
photo by TRACY KAZY
Bryton Letter (34) avoids a tackle during Saturday’s third-grade game at Greenwood.
photo by KENNETH FRY
VBFA’s Malik McElwee (4) looks for extra yardage during Thursday’s River Valley Contest against Kimmons at Blakemore Field. The Raiders held off a second-half surge by the Pointers to win 18-14.
The Rams scored on the last play of the game to topple Alma 27-20 at Jim Rowland Stadium in Fort Smith Thursday night during the River Valley Conference match-up.
The game was tied 20-20 for the final 6:13 after Ramsey tied up the game when quarterback Graves Schmidly hit a wide-open Ryan Horn near the end zone for a 32-yard strike. The ensuing PAT went wide, so the game remained tied.
Alma recovered the attempted onside kick, but for the first time in the game the squad went three-and-out and had to punt.
Ramsey took over on their own 33 with 4:02 remaining in the game.
The Rams (2-2, 1-1 RVC) had to convert a fourth-and-inches to keep the game-winning drive alive and eventually reached the Airedale 5 after a 25-yard pass to Daeveon Johnson with less than a minute remaining. Three plays and four timeouts later, Ramsey scored to give itself its first league win of the season.
Schmidly was 13-of-19 passing for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
The loss was the first for the Alma (4-0, 1-1 RVC) squad since they’ve started playing together in the seventh grade.
“We’re going to find out if this is the kind of team that can overcome adversity,” said Alma coach J.D. Coursey. “Junior high games are just too short to give up turnovers. We had two. One of which put points on the board for Ramsey. That was a huge difference.
“We didn’t have trouble moving the ball. Since we only had to punt once, but we put the ball on the ground too much.”
Alma suffered four fumbles during the contest and lost two. Johnson stripped the ball from a carrier on Alma’s second possession and ran it back 80 yards to tie up the game 14-14 with 2:48 left in the half.
Another fumble set up another Ramsey drive that tied up the game 20-20.
The Airedales began the game with a 77-yard kickoff return by Jacob Davis to put the first points up on the board. The PAT was blocked as Alma led 6-0 with 7:49 left in the first quarter.
Alma forced Ramsey to punt its opening drive. The Airedales then pounded out a 12-play drive that was capped with a 13-yard run by Noah Dotson and after Dillon Higgins’ two-point conversion, Alma led 14-0.
Dotson added another 13-yard run in the second half and the Airedales regained the lead, 20-14.
Dotson had 19 carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns and he completed 4-of-8 passing for 38 yards.
Next week, Alma hosts Darby (4-1, 2-0) and Ramsey visits Shiloh Christian (1-3, 0-2).
Mountainburg 38, Hartford 8
Quency Pixley completed 5 of 11 passes for 100 yards and three touchdowns in the Dragons win at home Thursday night.
“The defense played well,” said coach Mitchell Barton. “The A-teamers have only given up one touchdown all year.”
Riley Dollard finished with eight carries for 40 yards and a touchdown, and Robert Roxin broke free for a 45-yard touchdown run and had four totes for 71 yards.
Kyle Harris caught a 56-yard TD pass while Elijah Wilson and Kendall Seratt added 15- and 20-yard touchdown catches respectively.
Austin Hillburn added five carries for 35 yards.