For the first time since 1992, the Dollarway Cardinals (10-0, 7-0 2-4A) finished the regular season undefeated following a 48-7 shellacking of Heber Springs (2-8, 2-5) Thursday night at Cardinal Stadium.
“I thought it was impressive,” Dollarway head coach Cortez Lee said. “Each set, each formation, just about every play was dominant.
“I appreciate the effort the team put in. They came out and handled business.”
With the win, Dollarway has also won its first outright conference championship since 2004 after having to split the title with Stuttgart last season. The Cardinals earned the No. 1 seed in the playoffs after last week’s victory over Batesville Southside.
“It was a great job by everyone,” Lee said. “Thanks to all the support from the teachers, from the athletic director, the school and everyone.
“It is a big thing for our past and present teams and just want for everyone to go and enjoy it.”
Dollarway scored 34 points in the first quarter and led 40-0 by halftime, which allowed the Arkansas Activities Association mercy rule to go into effect.
Heber Springs did not score until about 5:34 left in the third quarter when its running back scored on a 33-yard run for a touchdown. It trimmed Dollarway’s lead to 40-7.
Dollarway answered right back with a 67-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Cordera McDonald with 1:45 left in the third quarter. It gave the Cardinals the 48-7 lead.
“It came down to just execution and guys getting better each week,” Lee said. “Going out and wanting to be a team. Wanting to make everyone proud.”
Dollarway junior running back Keshawn Williams scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, including the Cardinals’ opening score. He ran it from 15 yards out to give Dollarway a 6-0 lead with 7:19 left in the first quarter.
His second score was on a 40-yard touchdown run to give the Cardinals a 20-0 lead with 5:09 left in the first quarter.
Senior quarterback Joshua Liddell, who was named a Landers Award finalist last week, was responsible for two touchdowns in the first quarter.
With 5:52 left in the opening quarter, Liddell completed a 38-yard pass for a score to senior Kabion Ento to give the Cardinals a 14-0 lead.
Liddell ended the first half with a 56-yard run for a touchdown to give Dollarway a 34-0 lead as time expired.
Junior running back Cameron Beavers scored on a 25-yard run with 3:19 left in the first quarter. That made it a 26-0 lead.
Dollarway’s only score in the second quarter was a 1-yard dive by senior fullback Don Lankford. It gave the Cardinals a 40-0 lead with 4:03 left in the first half.
The state playoffs start next week, but Lee said that is not a concern for him right now. Dollarway will host the fifth-place team from the 3-4A next Friday.
“We just want the guys relax and the coaches go do some scouting and get prepared,” Lee said. “Come Monday, we will turn our focus to the playoffs.”
Assistant coach injured on sideline
Near the end of the first quarter, Dollarway assistant coach Fred*** Martin was taken off the field and to a hospital following a hit he took on the sideline during Thursday’s game.
When the Heber Springs quarterback was hit out of bounds by a Dollarway defender, they accidently clipped Martin near the leg and according to Lee, may have dislocated his knee.
“They just went under him,” Lee said. “It was pretty bad.”
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***This article has been corrected from its original version. Click here for the correction notice.