WHITE HALL — Following a touchdown that trimmed Hot Springs Lakeside’s lead to just one point, the White Hall Bulldogs made a gutsy decision to go for an onside kick attempt.
White Hall recovered the kick and seven plays later scored on a 17-yard touchdown reception by Kaseem Smith. The Bulldogs took a 19-14 lead with 6:48 left in the second quarter.
“I don’t make those decisions,” White Hall head coach Mike Vaughn said. “Coach (Skip) Carr make those decisions.
“He didn’t bother to tell me and I don’t ever want to know. … But that’s a whole possession right there and it turned the ball game around.”
White Hall (5-1, 2-1 5A-South) would go on to defeat Lakeside (1-5, 0-2) 56-33 at Bulldog Stadium thanks to an offensive line that allowed about 540 yards of total offense.
“I thought offensively, we played really well,” Vaughn said. “But the bunch that I was proud of more than any other was our offensive linemen.
“They came a mile this week. Kirk (Baugh) stood back there for the most part all night long.
“And when you give him that amount of time, he is pretty good.”
Baugh finished 9-of-11 for 267 yards with five touchdowns and he had nine carries for 98 yards with one touchdown. Smith had seven catches for 174 yards with four touchdowns.
“They had a good night,” Vaughn said. “We caught them sneaking up a few times and Kirk threw it over the top of them.
“We played really well, but again it goes back to our offensive line,” Vaughn said.
White Hall took its final lead of the game in the second quarter.
Following a kickoff return to their opponents’ 47-yard line by Kendrick Edgerson, the Bulldogs capped off the eight-play drive with a 40-yard field by junior kicker Joseph Failla.
It gave the Bulldogs a 22-20 lead with 42 seconds left in the first half.
A fumble by Lakeside on its opening possession of the second half led to a 19-yard touchdown run by Edgerson and the Bulldogs increased their lead to 29-20 with 9:07 left in the third quarter.
“Give Lakeside credit,” Vaughn said. “Offensively, we knew they were potent. They’ve been scoring points on everybody and they moved the ball against Camden Fairview.
“We knew that going in.”
Lakeside trimmed White Hall’s lead to 29-27 with 5:14 left in the third quarter thanks to a 10-yard pass from Clint Smedley to Marcus Fisher.
“Defensively, we were there,” Vaughn said. “But realistically, penalties and mistakes is what gave them two touchdowns, maybe three.
“We had them stopped two or three times on two or three different series, then an interference would be called.
“We got to clean that up but that’s going to happen some when they throw it as much as they do.”
Smeadley finished 8-of-15 for 87 yards with an interception. He also had 76 yards on 18 carries. Smeadley replaced starting quarterback Garrett Carson in the third quarter after Carson was ejected for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Carson still managed to finish 8-of-15 for 107 yards.
After Lakeside trimmed the lead to just two points in the second half, Baugh answered right back with a 44-yard touchdown pass to Smith. It gave the Bulldogs a 36-27 lead with 5 minutes left in the third quarter.
“I thought our kids did the same thing they have done every week, which is play hard for four quarters,” Vaughn said. “That’s the key. You got a chance, if you play hard.”
Lakeside scored again a 17-yard pass by Smeadley in the fourth quarter. The Rams had a chance to make it a one-possession game but back-to-back penalties forced Lakeside to attempt the two-point conversion from the 20-yard line. The pass fell incomplete and the Bulldogs had a 43-33 lead with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
White Hall sealed the win with less than 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Following an interception at Lakeside’s 1-yard line by junior Courtney Anderson, Edgerson ran 99-yards for a touchdown. It gave the Bulldogs a 56-33 lead with 1:40 left in the game.
Edgerspm finished with 19 carries for 237 yards with two touchdowns. He also hauled in a 23-yard touchdown pass from Baugh in the fourth quarter.
“Edge is an exceptional athlete,” Vaughn said. “But that goes back to our offensive line again. We blocked everybody on the line of scrimmage and I knew once he got into the secondary, they were in trouble.”
Lakeside took an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter. After the Rams turned the ball over on downs at the 5-yard line, White Hall fumbled a snap in the end zone and Lakeside fell on it for the touchdown.
It gave Lakeside the lead with 5:09 left in the first quarter.
White Hall will travel to face conference rival Watson Chapel next week.