The Dollarway Cardinals did not let poor conditions get in their way Friday night as they handled Ashdown 44-7 and advanced to the third round of the 4A state playoffs.
“Both teams played on it, so we aren’t going to gauge it too much,” Dollarway head coach Cortez Lee said. “Because of both of us had to execute our game plan … it kind of got a little messy towards the end.
“But we got several styles. This can fit our style also.”
For the first time since trailing Helena-West Helena Central 5-0 in the first quarter in the first week, Dollarway (12-0) fell behind 7-6 after Ashdown (9-3) scored on its second possession of the game.
Following a touchdown by the Cardinals, the Panthers marched down the field in nine plays and scored on an 8-yard touchdown pass from senior Jake Alexander to sophomore Chris Alexander.
The extra point was good and Ashdown had a one-point lead with 3:01 left in the first quarter.
The lead didn’t last long as Dollarway scored on its next possession. A 9-yard keeper by senior Joshua Liddell gave Dollarway a 12-7 lead with 9:40 left in the first half.
Liddell was responsible for four touchdowns including a 70-yard touchdown pass to Kabion Ento that gave Dollarway a 20-7 lead with 4:14 left in the first half.
“It was a big effort,” Lee said. “I am just proud of the guys. All around, I think we played every facet of the game well.
“Our tenacity and our toughness is better than theirs. I just appreciate the effort from the guys.”
In the third quarter, Liddell scored again on a 4-yard keeper and Ento converted the two-point attempt as the Cardinals took a 28-7 lead with 4:31 left.
The 21-point lead forced Ashdown into a passing situation and with Friday’s weather it made it almost impossible to get anything going.
“It is a hard situation, especially when you are coming out of the gun,” Lee said. “They were kind of deep in there sets and by the time they started making their progress, we were there making the play.”
Dollarway junior Keshawn Williams scored his only touchdown of the night in the fourth quarter.
Following a turnover on downs by Ashdown, Dollarway scored six plays later on Williams 4-yard run for a score. It gave the Cardinals a 36-7 lead with 8:16 left in fourth quarter.
Senior Kabion Ento got his second interception of the night with 6:20 left in the game to prevent a touchdown.
Dollarway capitalized on the turnover, scoring with 11 seconds left in the game thanks to a touchdown by senior Darius Robinson. It gave the Cardinals the 37-point victory.
The touchdown was set up by a 55-yard run by sophomore Markell Scott.
Star City defeated Gosnell 28-23 Friday night to advance in the playoffs. The Cardinals will host the Bulldogs next week at Cardinal Stadium.