Special to The Commercial/Bo Rogers
Percy Arnold of White Hall goes backward into the end zone against Little Rock Christian last Friday.
Special to The Commercial/Mike Adam
Tyler Raney of Sheridan hauls in a catch on the final drive of the first half against Little Rock Hall on Aug. 31.
White Hall can say it’s going into Friday’s rivalry game at Sheridan undefeated. Sheridan can say it’s won the last two meetings.
Sheridan coach Louis Campbell doesn’t care about the streak. White Hall coach Mike Vaughn does.
“Streaks don’t mean anything to anyone other than the fans,” Campbell said. “Every year, it’s a new game.”
And this year, there’s a new prize. The winner will keep the Highway 270 Trophy for a year.
“It certainly adds a little more to the rivalry,” said Campbell, who’s 2-0 against the Bulldogs. “It’s something you want to take pride in and have at your place for the first time.”
The Bulldogs — officially 1-0 after their game last Friday at Little Rock Christian was declared a no-contest — are in it for more than just the trophy.
They’ve dropped the last two to Sheridan in heartbreaking fashion. In 2010, a 34-yard pass on fourth-and-10 for the Yellowjackets led to a touchdown run with 3:44 left and a 16-15 victory. The next year, the Yellowjackets were outgained 412-163 in total yards, but won 13-8.
“It will be a war,” Vaughn said. “It always is for us. We’ve lost the last two. We had a chance to win those football games and didn’t. It’s our turn. We’ve got to do something to turn this around.”
The Bulldogs think better preparation will be a key.
They got off to a slow start against Little Rock Christian and trailed 7-0 after one period, but pulled within a point and was driving for a go-ahead score when play was stopped in the middle of the second quarter due to lightning in the area.
“It’s kind of a big thing because we didn’t get to finish the game,” White Hall wide receiver/safety Percy Arnold said. “You never know the outcome and that point we were down. We don’t know how to take that.”
Yet Vaughn said the Bulldogs have put the incomplete game behind them.
Sheridan’s last game also wasn’t finished, but its 48-22 loss at Arkadelphia is official after it went three quarters. Sheridan (1-1) fell behind 21-0 after the first quarter and gave up 409 yards of offense for the game.
“The bottom line, defensively we didn’t play well against Arkadelphia,” Campbell said. “We didn’t tackle and we had some missed assignments.”
Vaughn said the Yellowjackets won’t beat themselves in their first home game of the season because they get the most out of their ability.
“They’re hungry for a victory,” Vaughn said. “They’re at home for the first time. I’m sure they’re excited.”
While White Hall hasn’t allowed more than 15 points in a game this season, Arnold expects Sheridan to provide a physical challenge for the Bulldogs.
“I expect them to make up for what they don’t have in physicality,” Arnold said. “So I think they will come out and try to hit us in the mouth a little bit, assert their dominance, but we’re going to be ready for it.”