Cards' defense rules again

CLINTON — Dollarway was 65 seconds away from its fourth consecutive shutout of the season when Clinton finally got on the board Friday night.

Dollarway still walked away with a 48-7 victory Friday night, but the disappointment of not keeping the Yellowjackets (3-3, 2-1 in 2-4A) off the board was visible on the Cardinals’ faces, according to their head coach.

“It was a big disappointment,” Cortez Lee said of the missed shutout. “I kind of see the look in their eyes.”

But if coming close to a shutout is the worst that happens to Dollarway (6-0, 3-0 in 2-4A) every time, the Cardinals will win plenty of games, maybe even march all the way to their first state championship since 1993. They’ve only allowed 10 points in their last five games.

The Cards scored a season high in points and have yet to produce fewer than 34 in a game this season. More importantly, they remain tied with Lonoke for first place in the conference, setting up a pivotal meeting between those two teams next Friday at Cardinal Stadium.

There was a four-way tie for first place going into Friday’s games, but defending state champion Stuttgart was stunned 41-21 at Newport and Dollarway dominated Clinton.

The Cards raced to a 34-0 lead in the first quarter alone. Joshua Liddell, who completed 8 of 12 passes for 122 yards, started the scoring with a 1-yard sneak and followed up with 50-yard touchdown strike to Henry Murphy. Keyshawn Williams and Murphy scored two-point conversions.

Williams rushed 35 yards for Dollarway’s third TD. He finished with 132 yards on 14 carries.

Liddell threw his second scoring pass of the night to Murphy from 32 yards out, and Darius Robinson added a 3-yard TD tote to round out the first 12 minutes. Markel Scott made it 40-0 early in the second quarter with a 1-yard run and Liddell finished off the onslaught with a 64-yard TD run followed by a Cameron Beavers conversion.

Liddell ran six times for 98 yards, Robinson added 72 yards on seven carries and Scott had 42 yards on five totes. Murphy pulled down three catches for 72 yards and Kabion Ento had four for 51 yards.

Lee said Liddell was very efficient passing the ball.

“We’re taking what the defense gives us,” Lee said. “We try to make teams own up and play their part against us.”

Chaderius Avery and DeAndre Payton finished with 11 tackles for Dollarway. Avery forced two fumbles.

Nicholas Woodfork and Kamaree Ento each had three sacks, Donald Robinson Jr. and Woodfork each totaled seven tackles, and Adrian Alford had an interception for Dollarway.