El Dorado comes to pass, holds off run-loving Cabot


Photographs by Thomas Metthe

El Dorado running back Shun Levingston (28) eludes a tackle by Cabot safety Zhane Harper during the Wildcats’ 28-24 victory over the Panthers on Friday at Panther Stadium in Cabot. Levingston led the Wildcats with 4 catches for 104 yards and 2 first-half touchdowns. For more high school football photos, visit arkansasonline.com/galleries.

CABOT -- Once El Dorado's defense solved the tight end reverse Friday night, the Wildcats were able to claim a prized road victory.

Senior Darius Holly completed 16 of 22 passes for 236 yards and 4 touchdowns and El Dorado hung on to defeat Cabot 28-24 at Panther Stadium.

senior receiver Taliq Ellis, who caught six passes for 71 yards, praised Holly's effort.

"I just came here from Nebraska and we're still working on our chemistry, but already I feel like we're close," he said. "I feel like he's getting it done."

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Holly and Ellis hooked up for a 3-yard scoring pass with 4:30 left in the first half. Ellis also made a catch late in the fourth quarter that was just as big. His 30-yard grab with 3:35 remaining came on a third-and-18 play that placed the Wildcats on the Cabot 33, which prolonged the drive and all but ended Cabot's hopes of a comeback.

Cabot's final possession started at its own 31 with 1:56 to play and with no timeouts. The Panthers (1-1) failed to manage a first down, turning the ball over at the 40.

Cabot finished the game 0 for 4 passing with 1 interception.

El Dorado (2-0) led 21-17 at the half and both teams managed one touchdown each in the second half.

"As we went along, the defenses got better," Cabot Coach Mike Malham said. "And we knew they would."

Cabot picked up all of its 336 yards on the ground, the bulk of which came from senior tight ends John Wiens and Ayden Shurley, who combined for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns on 10 carries.

Wiens' first carry resulted in a 13-yard touchdown with 3:01 left in the first quarter. His next two carries went for 38 and 16 yards, respectively. Shurley's first rush went for a 31-yard touchdown with 4:22 left in the third quarter.

Wiens finished with a game-high 85 yards on five carries. Shurley added 60 yards on five carries. But their final four runs resulted in a combined 10 yards.

"We finally stayed at home," El Dorado Coach Scott Reed said of linebackers Tyrek Rucks and Mon-Tre Marshall. "Tyrek and Mon-Tre' ended up making some good plays at the end. That was a huge test for us. That was two good teams going at it. It could have gone either way."

Junior Shun Levingston caught touchdown passes of 22 and 15 yards in the first 13 minutes. He finished with four catches for a game-high 104 yards. Keshun Greene, a 6-4 senior, hauled in six passes for 98 yards, including a scoring pass that wound up being the game-winner. His 7-yard touchdown came with 46 seconds left in the third quarter and it was the game's final score.

"As you can see, I don't think we covered them very close," Malham said. "They caught a lot of balls."

El Dorado compiled 436 yards of total offense, 149 of which came on the ground. Senior Richard Kesee led the Wildcats with 14 rushes for 55 yards.

El Dorado led 21-10 after Ellis' touchdown but Cabot closed out the first half with a five-play drive that was capped by a 4-yard touchdown by junior T.J Rogers with 2:22 left.

Cabot took a 24-21 lead with 4:22 left in the third quarter when Shurley's 31-yard run came on a fourth-and-6 play.

El Dorado responded with a 12-play, 77-yard drive that ended with Greene's touchdown catch.

Sports on 09/09/2017

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