The Dollarway Cardinals scored 20 points on their first three possessions en route to a 47-21 win over Jonesboro Westside Friday night at Cardinal Stadium in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.
“That’s one thing we couldn’t let happen,” Westside head coach Chad Mitchell said. “Dig yourself a hole and you couldn’t get out of it.
“They were making the plays and our kids just aren’t used to that kind of speed.”
Dollarway (11-0) opened the scoring with a 37-yard touchdown pass from senior Joshua Liddell to senior Kabion Ento on the Cardinals’ first possession of the game. It gave Dollarway an 8-0 lead with 10:05 left in the first quarter.
Following an interception by senior Deandre Payton, Dollarway scored again on a 31-yard touchdown run by Liddell on a sweep play. It gave the Cardinals a 14-0 lead with 7:02 left in the first quarter.
“We are talented in a lot of areas, we aren’t just one dimensional,” Dollarway head coach Cortez Lee said. “With that said, Josh is our leader. So many things that he does ignites other players and frees them to make plays.
“All year long, we’ve had multiple players step up at incredible times.”
On its next possession, Westside (6-5) turned the ball over on downs at Dollarway’s 20-yard line and on the very next play the Cardinals scored on an 80-yard run by Markell Scott to take a 20-0 lead with 2:39 left in the first quarter.
“They are a heck of a football team,” Mitchell said. “Our kids played hard in the second half and they didn’t lay down.
“We’ve come a long way at Westside.”
With 3:41 left in the second half, Westside was able to cap a 10-play drive with a 7-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Chase Mann. It trimmed the Cardinals’ lead to 20-7.
Dollarway answered with a 7-yard touchdown run by Keshawn Williams as the Cardinals took a 28-7 lead with one minute left in the first half.
“I thought we played well,” Lee said. “We tried to incorporate a little bit more variety approach.
“But a few calls here and there, made us revert back to some of the plays we are more familiar with.
“Overall, I thought we played well, just got a little sloppy at times.”
Westside opened the second half with an onside kick and the Warriors recovered at Dollarway’s 47-yard line. They were able to move the ball down to the 25-yard line before the Cardinals forced a turnover on downs.
“I thought they fought hard and doing a play like that, it could have given them momentum,” Lee said. “… Our defense held and scored eventually after that.”
Liddell scored his second rushing touchdown of the night on a 68-yard run down the left side. It gave the Cardinals a 35-7 lead with 5:06 left in the third quarter.
A touchdown by Williams to begin the fourth quarter gave Dollarway a 41-7 lead with 11:30 left in the game. The Cardinals missed the extra point attempt and a chance to initiate the mercy rule.
Westside answered with a 2-yard touchdown run by Tyke Taylor. It trimmed Dollarway’s lead to 41-14 with 6:36 left in the game.
Darius Robinson returned the kickoff 80 yards and Don Lankford scored on an 8-yard run to give Dollarway a 47-14 lead with 6:05 left in the game.
Westside’s Mickeal Quillman scored with 3:02 left in the game for the game’s final points.
“I don’t know too many people who score 21 points on Dollarway,” Mitchell said. “… We saw some things tonight that we can build on for next year.
“We just got to get over this one right here.”
Dollarway will host Ashdown next week in the second round of the 4A state playoffs after Ashdown defeated Farmington 30-0 Friday night.