SOUTHSIDE — This season, the 2-4A Conference championship entirely belongs to Dollarway.
A year after sharing the title with eventual state champion Stuttgart, Dollarway earned a No. 1 seed in the upcoming 4A playoffs by thrashing Batesville Southside 52-8 Friday night. Dollarway (9-0, 6-0 in 2-4A) will try to complete its first unbeaten regular season since 1992 on Thursday when it hosts Heber Springs.
But for now, the Cardinals have the outright 2-4A crown to savor in their second year in the league.
“It’s a good feeling,” Dollarway coach Cortez Lee said. “It’s one of the goals we set early in the season. It’s a great accomplishment for our guys and the coaching staff.”
The Cards came close to their fourth shutout of the season, but the Southerners (2-7, 1-5) scored on a 21-yard touchdown run with 5:31 remaining. It is the sixth game this year, however, the Cards have allowed fewer than 10 points.
“Our guys understand the speed of the game better,” said Lee, whose team recorded three straight shutouts in weeks 3-5 against Crossett, Newport and Marianna. “We could be more aggressive at the point of impact. Once we do that, it should be even better.
“But in most areas of the game, we improved. I’m pleased with that.”
While Dollarway’s defense stood strong again, Keshawn Williams was just as strong rushing the ball for the Cards. He turned in touchdown runs of 68 and 45 yards in the first half, helping Dollarway build a 22-0 lead.
Williams finished with 132 yards and the two scores on six carries.
Quarterback Joshua Liddell, who was just named a finalist for the Landers Award (honoring the state’s top high school player), threw only one pass the entire game. It went for 33 yards and the opening score to Henri Murphy. Williams ran for the extra two points.
Markel Scott scored his first of two conversions after Williams’ 45-yard run. Liddell ran 1 yard for a touchdown and Cameron Beavers added the extra two points to make it 30-0.
Later in the second quarter, Chaderius Avery blocked a punt and Darius Robinson returned it 20 yards for another score. Scott’s two-point run made it 38-0.
With 6 seconds left before halftime, Beavers ran from 2 yards out for a TD and Jordan Davis added the conversion to make it 46-0.
Dollarway’s final score came in the third quarter on a 2-yard Cordera McDonald carry.
Beavers finished with 76 yards on seven carries, Scott had 106 yards on six carries and Robinson totaled 42 yards on three rushes. Avery had 10 tackles (one for loss and nine solo), Kabion Ento registered three sacks, and Robinson and Adrian Alford each had an interception for Dollarway.