Originally published September 8, 2018 at 07:00a.m., updated September 8, 2018 at 01:00a.m.
SPRINGDALE -- Chops Sanders jumped to his feet and let out a yell as Alma's quarterback lay face-down on the turf.
Sanders' 9-yard sack in the third quarter punctuated a dominating performance by the Springdale High defense Friday night in the Bulldogs' 37-7 win against the Airedales in Jarrell Williams Bulldog Stadium in their final nonconference game of the season.
Springdale High 37, Alma 7
Alma 0 7 0 0 — 7
Springdale 6 3 21 7 — 37
Spring — Vaughan 20 pass from Allen (Pass failed), 11:33.
Alma — Rosebeary 5 pass from Blair (Martin kick), :53.
Spring — FG Martinez 19, :00
Spring — Vaughan 13 run (Martinez kick), 7:46.
Spring — Vaughan 43 run (Martinez kick), 4:59.
Spring — White 1 run (Martinez kick), 2:45.
Spring — Mann 13 pass from Allen (Martinez kick), 9:28.
Springdale (3-0) turned a close game at halftime into a rout by scoring three third-quarter touchdowns in a span of five minutes, but it was the play of the Red'Dogs' defense that set the tone. Springdale did not allow an Alma first down in the third quarter.
"That was really big," Sanders said of his third-quarter sack. "I've been close all year but it seems like every time I get close they throw it too fast, or I get there too late.
"In the second half, we brought it with everything we had."
The Bulldogs led 9-7 at halftime and held Alma (0-2) to a three-and-out series to open the second half. Springdale drove 42 yards on its first possession of the second half, capped by Garrett Vaughan's 13-yard touchdown run with 7 minutes, 46 seconds left in the third quarter. That opened the floodgates.
After another defensive stop, Vaughan scored his third touchdown of the night, breaking loose down the right sideline behind a Brock Pounders block for a 43-yard touchdown and a 23-7 lead.
Sanders' sack on Alma's next possession again got the ball back for Springdale, and the Bulldogs capitalized. Vaughan ripped off runs of 15 and 16 yards and Stoney White punched it in from the one to seal Springdale's perfect start to the season.
"Defensively we played really well all night," Springdale coach Zak Clark said. "Those guys kind of carried us. We've got to clean some stuff up. We didn't play bad offensively, but you can't have a selfish penalty that wiped out a touchdown, had a turnover and just did not convert in the red zone. That's frustrating, so there are plenty of things we can fix."
Weather delayed the start of the game for 45 minutes, then a power outtage that turned the stadium into darkness delayed it even more. The game finally started at 8:33 p.m.
Springdale took the opening kickoff and used just 27 seconds in two plays to get on the board. Grant Allen (14-of-21, 229 yards) hit Pounders for 25 yards on the second play, and Vaughan out of the backfield for a 20-yard touchdown with 11:33 left in the first quarter. Vaughan added 151 yards rushing on 16 carries, his third straight game over 100 yards.
Bulldogs had several promising drives in the first half that ended by penalty or mistakes.
Alma's Grayson Bailey keyed the Airedale's only touchdown drive by returning a Springdale punt 23 yards to the Bulldogs' 41. On back-to-back plays, the Bulldogs forced Alma turnovers, the first a fumble and the second a Jujuan Boyd interception, but both times the plays were negated by major penalties.
Alma took advantage as Landon Blair moved the Airedales inside the Springdale 10, then capped the drive with a 5-yard shuffle pass to Keegan Rosebeary and a 7-6 lead.
A short kick after Rosebeary's touchdown gave the Bulldogs the ball at their own 46 with under a minute left in the half and Springdale moved quickly as Allen hit Pounders twice for gains of 12 and 10 yards to the Alma 32.
With under 15 seconds left, Allen hit Jeffrey Mann with a pass in the left flat. Mann fought to get in the end zone as the clock expired and Alma held him short, but was called for a face mask penalty. By rule, the half cannot end on a defensive penalty, so Springdale was given one more play and Silvestri Martinez booted a 19-yard field goal to give Springdale a 9-7 halftime lead.
Sports on 09/08/2018
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