WHITE HALL — For the Sheridan offense, it has been the tale of two games in the first two weeks of the season after the Yellowjackets put up 42 points and 355 yards against Little Rock Hall but managed just six points and 129 yards last week against Arkadelphia.
“I think we will see the Sheridan squad that played against Hall,” White Hall head coach Mike Vaughn said. “(Sheridan head coach Louis Campbell) is a good coach and he won’t let that kind of game happen two weeks in a row.”
The Bulldogs (2-0) will host Sheridan (1-1) Friday night at Bulldog Stadium beginning at 7 p.m. Counting the season opener against Monticello at Golden Lion Stadium, Friday’s game will be the third straight home game for the Bulldogs.
“I expect to see a real good effort from both sides,” Vaughn said. “There is a lot of history between these schools, so both will be excited.
“I think it will be a great ball game.”
Last week, Braden Lunday led Sheridan with 12 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown. He scored on a 64-yard run with four minutes left in the second quarter for the Yellowjackets’ only score of the game.
“He brings it every week and he plays the same no matter who we are playing,” Campbell said. “He gives our running game a chance and hopefully demands a little respect.
“He is a great competitor and anytime you can put up almost 100 yards against a team like Arkadelphia, you’ve done nice work.”
Sheridan’s defense has struggled — to say the least — in its first two games. The Yellowjackets have given up 96 points in the first two games including last week’s 56-6 loss to Arkadelphia in which they gave up 494 yards of offense.
“For one thing, Arkadelphia is a really good team, if not the best team in the 4A,” Vaughn said. “Secondly, Sheridan had some turnovers and made some mistakes.
“We did the same thing last week (against Little Rock Christian).
“Mistakes and turnovers are going to happen to you sometimes, especially when your opponents are quicker than you.”
Sheridan turned the ball over four times last week — all fumbles.
“With four turnovers you aren’t going to win very many games, especially against a good team like Arkadelphia,” Campbell said. “We got beat by what I think is an excellent football team and they beat us in every aspect of the game.”
Arkadelphia’s Kris Oliver had 12 carries for 163 yards with three touchdowns and Jakahari Howell was 17-of-21 for 239 yards with one touchdown and an interception.
“When you consistently do that poorly on defense, you tend to get desperate,” Vaughn said. “You have to decide if you want to try to change what you’re doing or stay where you are and get better.
“It is not fun. Defense is a lot harder to coach than offense especially when you aren’t very fast.”
Against Little Rock Hall, Sheridan gave up 554 yards of offense and allowed 14 points in the fourth quarter, which almost cost them the game. Sheridan won 42-40 with Lunday carrying the ball 16 times for 96 yards with two touchdowns, while Mackenzie Jones had six carries for 78 yards and a touchdown. Yellowjackets quarterback Dustin Reid was 16-of-21 for 165 yards with two scores in the win.
“There is no question, Arkadelphia has a better defense than Hall,” Campbell said. “They intimidated us early and continued to intimidate us throughout the game.”
Campbell said Sheridan has been spending the week trying to improve its defense by making things simpler.
“We want to try to simplify some things and not give them more than they can handle,” Campbell said. “We want to get everybody on the same page.”
Campbell said Sheridan might have a chance to win, if it can limit the missed tackles and not give up the big plays.
Last week, White Hall defeated Little Rock Christian 31-28 despite not scoring in the second half.
“We need to fix what we did wrong,” Vaughn said. “We had some penalties at some crucial times including some third-down situations.
“There was like four different series where we made a mistake or have a penalty. That’s what cost us in the second half.
“Mistakes are key, I don’t care who you are.”
Vaughn said White Hall did what “we were supposed to do” in the first half and in the second half they didn’t.
“When adversity hit, we didn’t deal with it very well,” Vaughn said.
Junior running back Kendrick Edgerson had 151 yards on 18 carries with three touchdowns in last week’s win over Little Rock Christian. It was his second straight game with three touchdowns.
Senior Irvin Tisdale had eight carries for 39 yards and three catches for 48 yards with one touchdown. Junior quarterback Kirk Baugh was 10-of-15 with one touchdown and had six carries for 61 yards.
“They have some great skill people and are big up front,” Campbell said of White Hall. “They graduated a lot of people from last year, but they still don’t look a lot different than they did last year.”
White Hall has beaten Sheridan five of the past nine seasons, but two of the past three games (both Sheridan wins) were decided by a total of six points.
Vaughn said the Highway 270 Classic trophy is handed out to the winner at the end of the game.
“So that is exciting,” Vaughn said. “Our kids have been talking about it all week and I’m guess so has Sheridan’s kids.
“It is going to be an exciting time.”