NEWPORT — The winner of this 2-4A Conference opener would establish itself as a firm favorite to win the league.
Dollarway left no doubt who the favorite is now.
Keyshawn Williams rushed for three touchdowns and 135 yards on 15 carries Friday night, leading the 4A third-ranked Cardinals to a convincing 42-0 win over No. 8 Newport, handing the Greyhounds their first loss of the season.
“I’m not so much surprised” by the outcome, Dollarway coach Cortez Lee said. “I thought we were a very good team, and I thought Newport is a very good team. I thought we executed and played a complete game.”
Lee was looking for a complete game from his reigning 2-4A co-champion Cardinals (4-0, 1-0 in 2-4A), who have won each of their games this season by double digits. The Greyhounds (3-1, 0-1) came into the game with high hopes of finally taking down a team that’s been a nemesis in the postseason since 1988, when Dollarway won the first of back-to-back state championship games against Newport. (Dollarway won a third title in 1990 after beating Newport in the semifinals.)
Last season’s meeting in Pine Bluff went into overtime, and Dollarway survived with a 44-42 victory.
Friday’s victory was more resounding.
“We put all phases of the game together,” Lee said. “Sometimes things come together just right.”
Joshua Liddell, who’s committed to playing next season just a drive away from Newport at Arkansas State, got the scoring started Friday with a 1-yard quarterback sneak. Williams followed that up with the first of his two-point conversion runs.
Williams made up all of Dollarway’s second-quarter scoring. He had touchdown runs of 7 and 20 yards to put the Cards up 20-0, the score at halftime. The Cards, however, failed to score extra points after those two scores.
Darius Robinson ran 24 yards for a TD in the third quarter, and Kabion Ento ran for the extra two to make it 28-0. Williams extended the lead with a 15-yard carry and conversion run.
Keshun Cross*** capped the scoring with a 4-yard tote in the fourth quarter.
The game capped a three-game road swing for the Cards, who will host Marianna next Friday.
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***This article has been corrected from its original version. Click here for the correction notice.