Ricebirds falter in offensive explosion

LITTLE ROCK — The Central Arkansas Christian Mustangs defeated the Stuttgart Ricebirds 48-40 in the First Security Kickoff Classic at War Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night.

Stuttgart and CAC put on an explosive, yet sloppy and penalized game for the fans on opening week for Arkansas high school football.

The defending 4A champion, Stuttgart, won the toss and elected to receive. It took the Ricebirds only five plays to find the back of the end zone when quarterback Malik Brasfield rushed from 1 yard out. The PAT after was no good as Stuttgart led 6-0.

CAC responded on its next possession when quarterback Jack Thomas found wide receiver Stephen Flanigan for 18 yards late in the drive. CAC added its PAT to take the lead 7-6.

Both teams battled back-and-forth throughout the night with costly penalties and explosive offense. With CAC leading 28-26 near the end of the third quarter, Thomas found a streaking Flanigan for 63 yards to put the ball at the Ricebirds’ 2-yard line. The Mustangs scored on the very next play with a rushing touchdown from running back Braylon Harris to gain the momentum back.

Stuttgart wouldn’t go down without a fight as the Ricebirds managed to score another TD and get a defensive stop late in the fourth quarter. However, the Ricebirds’ final drive ended on fourth down in CAC territory as the Mustangs held on for the victory.