By Sam Pierce
OF THE COMMERCIAL STAFF
For tonight’s game against the Ashdown Panthers, the Dollarway Cardinals have been trying to implement a few new “wrinkles” as well as continuing to fine tune itself on both sides of the ball.
“We put in a few different wrinkles and sets that we are going to employ for this game,” Dollarway head coach Cortez Lee said. “Just make sure we sharpen up our game and put in a few more wrinkles.”
And while Lee didn’t let on to what exactly new wrinkles will be used, he did say Ashdown (9-2) is probably one of the toughest opponents Dollarway (11-0) has faced this season.
“I think it is going to be one of our tougher opponents,” Lee said. “Just based on their playoff positioning, based on their conference and based on that they are still in the playoffs.”
Ashdown’s 30-0 win over Farmington last week was its first in the playoffs since advancing to the quarterfinals in 2010. Panther junior LaMontrick Turner has rushed for more than 1,000 yards this fall, including 229 yards against Farmington.
“They are multiple in their run sets,” Lee said. “They have three or four running backs capable of going the distance.
“We have to make sure we are in the right position and we are tackling.”
Dollarway advanced to tonight’s second round playoff game following a 47-21 win over Jonesboro Westside last week at Cardinal Stadium. The 21 points scored by Westside is the most the Cardinals have given up all season.
“It was 47-7 going into the fourth quarter,” Lee said. “They scored 21 points, not to discredit them but that’s neither here nor there for me.
“I’m not going to go against our team just because we gave up 21 points in that scenario.”
By the fourth quarter, Dollarway had taken out almost all of its starters and so Lee said he “didn’t think that would have been the case otherwise.”
Dollarway managed 572 yards of total offense including 307 yards rushing. Senior quarterback Joshua Liddell rushed for 105 yards on six carries with two touchdowns. He was also 3 for 6 passing for 102 yards with one touchdown.
Lee said Ashdown has a formidable defense.
“They have nice size on the interior and long guys at the corner back positions,” Lee said. “I just see them as a solid defense.”
Dollarway allowed just 203 total yards last week including just eight yards passing. Senior linebacker Deandre Payton led the team with 11 tackles and an interception while Nicholas Woodfork was second on the team with eight tackles.
Junior Chaderius Avery, who leads the team with 86 solo tackles on the season, had six tackles in the win over Westside.
“We just need to make sure the things that we do well, we keep correcting them and getting better at those things,” Lee said.
Liddell and junior Keshawn Williams each have more than 1,000 yards rushing this fall. Williams, who averages about 100 yards a game, rushed for 65 yards on 11 carries with three touchdowns last week. It brings his season total to 17 rushing touchdowns.
Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.