Photographs by Special to the Democrat-Gazette/JIMMY JONES
Wynne quarterback Luke Chapman (left) pulls away from Little Rock Christian linebacker Grant McElmurry on Friday at Warrior Field in Little Rock. Wynne won 56-42.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
The Wynne Yellowjackets imposed their will Friday night in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.
Wynne finished with 516 yards -- all rushing -- in a 56-42 victory over Little Rock Christian at Warrior Field in Little Rock.
The Yellowjackets (10-1) will host Morrilton in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs Friday.
Senior running back Ta'von Hicks rushed for 170 yards and 3 touchdowns on 30 carries. Senior Corey Smith finished with 134 yards on 7 carries while Kris Miller, also a senior, had 127 rushing yards and 1 touchdown on 8 carries. Quarterback Luke Chapman, a senior, did not attempt a pass, but rushed for 75 yards and 3 touchdowns on 15 carries.
Coach Van Paschal, whose team ran 75 plays and averaged 6.8 yards per carry, knew his team had to keep Little Rock Christian's high-powered offense off the field and used the triple-option offense to make it happen.
"We had to score every time we got it," said Paschal, who earned his 200th victory Friday. "I'm proud of our guys."
Little Rock Christian Coach Eric Cohu, whose team finished 9-2 and was second in the 5A-Central Conference this season, credited Wynne for its rushing performance.
"We didn't play responsibility football," Cohu said. "You have to do everything right to stop a very good option running attack. That bit us. Hat's off to Wynne, they're a very good football team. They're very good at what they do."
Senior quarterback Jackson Bowersock led the Warriors offensively, passing for 302 yards and 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. Running back Ladarius Burnes, a senior, had 108 receiving yards and 27 rushing yards.
Hicks capped Wynne's opening 13-play, 84-yard drive that took 6:19 off the clock with a 5-yard touchdown run to give the Yellowjackets a 7-0 lead with 5:41 remaining in the first quarter. His scoring run was set up by Miller's 38-yard run on third-and-6 earlier in the drive.
The Warriors tied the game at 7-7 with 3:01 left in the first quarter on Bowersock's 3-yard touchdown run.
But the Yellowjackets responded, driving 62 yards in six plays with Miller's 22-yard touchdown run that made it 14-7 with 23 seconds left in the first quarter.
After a Warriors punt, Wynne extended its lead to 21-7 with 4:40 left in the second quarter. Smith's 27-yard run set up Chapman's 1-yard touchdown run.
Little Rock Christian pulled within 21-14 with 3:01 to play in the first half when Bowersock found sophomore wide receiver Chris Hightower for a 39-yard touchdown.
Wynne stretched the lead to 28-14 with 39 seconds remaining before halftime. Chapman ran 25 yards to the Warriors 1, then scored from one yard out on a keeper.
The Warriors cut the lead to 28-14 with 8:56 left in the third quarter on Bowersock's 4-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Justice Hill. But Wynne extended its lead to 35-21 with 2:56 left in the third quarter with Chapman's 1-yard touchdown run, which was set up by Smith's 35-yard run the previous play.
Hicks scored from 20 yards out with 11:20 remaining to make it 41-21 Yellowjackets.
With 8:37 remaining, sophomore Kavion Alston scored from one yard out and Hicks ran in the two-point conversion for a 49-21 lead.
Bowersock's 7-yard rushing touchdown pulled the Warriors within 49-28 with 7:12 left. But Hicks' 11-yard scoring run pushed the lead to 56-28 with 2:14 to play.
With 1:58 left, Bowersock threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Trey Harris to pull the Warriors within 56-35. Then, after the Warriors recovered an onside kick, Bowersock threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Harris to cut the lead to 56-42 with 53 seconds left.
Sports on 11/11/2017
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