Saturday, September 9, 2017
SPRINGDALE -- All it took was one false step and Garrett Vaughan was gone.
Springdale moved to 2-0 for the second year in a row with a 34-19 win against Alma behind Vaughan's career-high 143 rushing yards and four touchdowns, also a career-best. In the fourth quarter, he saw an Airedale defensive end crash toward the middle of the play and bounced outside, outrunning defenders for a game-clinching 79-yard score.
Springdale High 34, Alma 19
Alma 6 0 6 7 19
Springdale 0 21 6 7 34
Alma — Jensen 4 run (pass failed), 8:56
Spring —Robinson 40 pass from Mueller (Barroso kick), 7:35
Spring — Vaughan 1 run (Barroso kick), 5:41
Spring — Vaughan 30 run (Barroso kick), 3:27
Alma — Jensen 8 run (kick failed), 6:07
Spring — Vaughan 3 run (pass failed), 4:15
Alma — Alexander 2 pass from Jensen (Walker kick), 6:08
Spring — Vaughan 79 run (Barroso kick), 5:01
"I said, 'Nobody is catching me. Nobody is catching me,'" Vaughan stated with a grin. "I've just got to give all the glory to God, and my linemen. My linemen played a big part."
In last season's 27-26 win at Alma, Vaughan ran for a then career-high 81 yards and a score. But his big night Friday didn't consist solely of touchdown runs. Vaughan also led the Red'Dogs with a team-high seven receptions for 72 yards -- all in the first half.
"We think he's going to be one of the best backs in the conference, if not the best back," Springdale coach Zak Clark said. "He's reliable, he's a tough kid and he's got a little home-run pop in him. He made some holes there early when we didn't block it up right, but when we did he had the big run that pretty much closed it out."
On Springdale's second scoring drive, he caught three passes -- two for first-down yardage -- for 44 yards, then capped it off with a 1-yard touchdown, his second of the season. His second score of night, a 30-yarder, put the finishing touches on an impressive second quarter offensively for Springdale, who was held scoreless in the first quarter for a second consecutive week.
In the third quarter, after Alma cut Springdale's lead to 21-12, Vaughan scored from three yards out to extend the lead to 15. Layne Hutchins, who threw a pair of interceptions in the first half, bounced back on the drive, leading Springdale down the field with crucial first-down runs of 23 and 24 yards, and completions to Jaden Cornelius, Kamond Robinson and Riley Totten.
Backup quarterback Will Mueller had the best performance of his young career in the first half, finishing 15-of-20 passing for 212 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Mueller connected with Robinson on a 40-yard score in the second quarter to give Springdale a 7-6 lead. Robinson finished with six catches for 61 yards while Alex Thompson added five grabs for 86 yards.
Springdale's defense was stout as well for a second straight week, holding its opponent under 20 points. The Red'Dogs forced Alma into five turnovers on downs and linebacker Tray Tolbert also recovered a fumble on special teams.
Alma's all-state receiver Brayden Johnson, who caught nine passes for 186 yards and a score against Springdale last season, was largely contained outside of his lone catch in the second half -- a 24-yarder. He finished with eight catches for 75 yards and was held out of the end zone.
"I'm real proud of our effort," Clark said. "We're 2-0, and if there's anybody that's earned it it's these guys. ... The defense played really well. That's a good football team and an experienced bunch and they've got a lot of weapons. Our defense, we've got to keep coming, keep getting better, but they're going to compete and my hat is off to them."
Springdale makes its first road trip of the season next week to Russellville, who beat the Red'Dogs 24-17 at home in 2016.
Sports on 09/09/2017
ACCESS. ANYTIME. ANYWHERE.
We hope you've enjoyed your preview of NWADG.com.
You've now read the maximum number of stories available without a subscription.
Subscribe now for complete and uninterrupted access to NWADG.com