The Pine Bluff football team played maybe its best game of the season on Friday when the Zebras beat Benton 63-7. Two weeks ago, Pine Bluff beat the same Benton team 43-6, which shows a considerable amount of improvement in a short span.
But Pine Bluff coach Bobby Bolding still knows he can find ways for his team to get better for this week’s semifinal matchup with Jonesboro.
“It wasn’t perfect and I can hit this film and on the first play show you some mistakes,” he said. “We are not perfect yet, but we did some things that we needed to get better at.
“We were consistent with our run game, defense was dominating and special teams were good.”
While Bolding said the team has things it needs to improve on, he could not point out the specifics right away because they were minor things.
“I am going to have to look at the film and we are getting down to details this late in the year,” he said. “We are going to have some details that we are going to need to fix. A step here, a step there, insecure football.”
One thing Bolding did notice that has to be fixed was on a run by quarterback Rickey Clements, who was not protecting the ball but also did not fumble it.
“I can tell you one, the quarterback running with the ball with one hand,” he said. “We can’t do that. It was a great run, but take care of the football.
“But that’s just one. There are others and we are going to go through the film and find mistakes filtered all through there.”
Trouble with stopping PA
White Hall coach Mike Vaughn could not recall being part of a game where an opposing team scored 77 or more points before Friday’s 77-35 loss at top-ranked Pulaski Academy in a 5A quarterfinal.
Quarterback Lawson Vassar completed 29 of 45 passes for 507 yards and seven touchdowns to lead PA, which will host Batesville this coming Friday for a spot in the championship game.
“When you play someone like that, if you’re not experienced in the secondary, it’s pretty hard to stop them,” Vaughn said. “We’d stop them, stop them, stop them on the ground and then they had a 20-yard completion.”
White Hall has played the top two teams in 5A this season, losing also to No. 2 Camden Fairview 47-8 in Week 5. Vaughn said it was hard to compare the two teams because of their different styles of play. Camden Fairview is more balanced with the pass and run than pass-happy PA.
“If they happen to meet, it’s going to be a good game,” Vaughn said. “I want to be there to watch it, that’s for sure.”
Cardinals fall short of title game
Dollarway’s season came to end with a 9-2 record after a 34-24 loss to Highland, a No. 1 seed, on Friday.
While the goal for Dollarway was win a state title a year after being knocked out in the Class 4A semifinals, Dollarway coach Cortez Lee is still pleased with how the season went.
“Overall, I thought we had a great season,” he said. “In the end, that’s how the playoffs go, but the guys put forth a great effort this season.”
The thing that did Dollarway in was turnovers. The Cardinals threw five interceptions, which was too much to overcome even though they outscored the Rebels 18-7 in the second half.
“Wasn’t so much what they did but we did because five interceptions is very uncharacteristic of us,” Lee said.
This season may be over, but the expectations and goals are already being set for next year.
“Same expectations. Nothing changes with how we are going to prepare,” Lee said. “Just going to go to the drawing board and work hard in the offseason.”