Homecoming at Dollarway High School hasn’t felt this way in 20 years.
For the first time since 1992, an undefeated Cardinals team will take the field for its homecoming game. How they’ve stayed unblemished this season has been impressive, with four blowout victories and a survival of overtime with Newport to begin 2-4A Conference play.
“We’re taking it one game at a time,” Dollarway coach Cortez Lee said. “It’s one of those goals we set at the beginning of the year that we want to win each game.”
Some may have guessed that Dollarway (5-0, 2-0 in 2-4A) would be off to its best start in two decades even after playing two teams in higher classifications (Helena-West Helena Central of 5A and Little Rock Parkview of 6A) and taking on unfamiliar territory in the 2-4A Conference. So far this year, the Cardinals have come away looking dominant almost every game and have established themselves as targeted conference contenders along with another undefeated in Stuttgart.
Dollarway’s best showing of dominance came a week ago at Marianna Lee, a 64-0 victory that wasn’t exactly practice for tonight’s meeting with Clinton (2-3, 1-1).
“Every play we made, we had a big gain,” Lee said. “It’s kind of hard to gauge what you have to work on in a game like that.”
Dollarway was out to a 54-0 lead by halftime and managed to keep Marianna Lee scoreless for the season. The Cardinals scored two touchdowns and a safety on defense while keeping the foot on the pedal offensively without starting quarterback Xavier Long.
Tonight, Long will be back in action for the first time since suffering a bruised ankle against Crossett in Week 3.
Clinton has had an up-and-down up to this point. The Yellow Jackets started with a 54-32 win over Arkansas Baptist, but had blowout losses to Highland and Pottsville before blanking Marianna Lee 62-0 in Week 4. Then, Batesville Southside routed Clinton 31-6.
Still, Lee sees some good things in Clinton.
“Clinton has nice size,” he said. “They’re not overly fast, but they run the ball well. They have nice line play and a good running game.”
Junior Mason Speer could be the Yellow Jackets’ go-to guy in the ground game. He rushed for three touchdowns in Marianna.