The Alma defense overwhelmed Huntsville on Friday.
Alma allowed just 46 yards through three quarters in an easy 35-14 mercy-rule win.
“We thought they were big and physical up front, and knew they were going to run their wing-T stuff,” Alma head coach Doug Loughridge. “We knew we were going to have to play disciplined football and make sure our backside guys didn’t run off on any kind of counters, misdirection or boots. I thought our guys kept everything in check and underneath.”
Alma (5-2, 4-0 5A-West) forced Huntsville to punt six times in the first half and gave the Eagles their lone first down on a 5-yard penalty on its second series of the game.
“We’re so little and they’re really good defensively,” Huntsville head coach Tom Tice said.
Alma was balanced with 262 rushing yards and 122 passing yards for 384 total.
“We came out with a game plan we thought we could run it,” Loughridge said. “We saw some things we liked. We had a couple of drives where we shot ourselves in the foot, but our guys rebounded and made the plays when we needed to and put the ball into the end zone.”
Evan Burris led Alma’s ground game with eight carries for 98 yards and two touchdowns and completed 6-of-9 passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Beneux added 70 yards on 10 carries.
“The quarterback played really good,” Tice said. “We didn’t respect him probably as much as we should have, but we were real concerned about (White). When we get out in space, we have problems. They can get you out in space with their read option and things like that.”
Alma answered Huntsville’s first three-and-out with a 22-yard touchdown run by Evan Burris for the Airedale’s opening score.
After a six-play drive by Huntsville and a punt, Alma went 85 yards in eight plays before Burris scored again on a 1-yard burst with 1:54 left in the first quarter. Alex Beneux had a 19-yard run and Burris hit Tyler Mlaker made a sliding 17-yard catch at the 1 to set up the score.
Alma went 75 yards on its next scoring possession with Burris hitting Thomas Hall on a 15-yard touchdown down the middle right after Alex Burris took a screen pass 31 yards to the 24.
Heath Friddle set up Alma’s fourth touchdown of the first half with 36-yard punt return to Huntsville’s 25. On the first play from scrimmage, Junior Edwards took a pass from Burris away from a Huntsville (2-5, 0-4) defensive back in the end zone for a 28-8 halftime cushion.
Malachi White started the continuously running clock on the Arkansas Activities Association’s mercy rule with a 4-yard touchdown run with 7:54 left in the third quarter.
Huntsville added a couple of fourth-quarter touchdowns on a 10-yard run by quarterback Jakota Evans and a 5-yard by Jeffrey Canion.