Vaughan bolsters Springdale

SPRINGDALE -- Springdale moved to 2-0 for the second year in a row with a 34-19 victory against Alma behind Garrett Vaughan's career-high 143 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns.

In the fourth quarter, he saw an Airedales defensive end crash toward the middle of the play, and Vaughan bounced outside and outran defenders for a game-clinching 79-yard score.

"I said, 'Nobody is catching me. Nobody is catching me,' " Vaughan said. "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 victory at Alma (1-1), Vaughan ran for a then career-high 81 yards and a score. But his big night Friday didn't consist solely of big runs. He also led the Bulldogs with a team-high seven receptions for 72 yards -- all in the first half.

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"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 3 passes -- 2 for first-down yardage -- for 44 yards, then capped it off with a 1-yard touchdown, his second of the season. His second score, a 30-yarder, put the finishing touches on a 21-point first quarter after Springdale 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 3 yards out to extend the lead to 15. Layne Hutchins, who threw two interceptions in the first half, bounced back on the drive, leading Springdale down the field with first-down runs of 23 and 24 yards, and completions to Jaden Cornelius, Kamond Robinson and Riley Totten.

Springdale's defense was stout for the second consecutive week, holding its opponent under 20 points. The Bulldogs' defense stopped Alma five times on fourth down, and linebacker Tray Tolbert recovered a fumble on special teams.

Alma receiver Brayden Johnson, who caught nine passes for 186 yards and a score against Springdale last season, was prevented from hitting on big plays. He finished with eight catches for 75 yards but did not score.

"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 against Russellville, which beat the the Bulldogs 24-17 last season. The Cyclones (1-1) defeated Rogers Heritage 43-20 on Friday night.

Sports on 09/09/2017

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