Badgers dominate early session, Lake Hamilton rallies late to salvage split

Lake Hamilton coach Tommy Gilleran talks to his team after Monday night's scrimmage with the Arkadelphia Badgers.


ARKADELPHIA, Ark. — Lake Hamilton and Arkadelphia combined for more than 100 points and 1,000 yards in Monday night’s scrimmage at Badgers Stadium.

The Badgers dominated the first part of the scrimmage, outscoring 5A’s second-ranked Wolves, 28-14. They then played two quarters under game-like conditions. Lake Hamilton rallied with three unanswered touchdowns to win that part of the scrimmage, 35-28.

Arkadelphia turned the glorified practice into a track meet early behind senior running back Jaishon Davis (6-1, 230), and junior quarterback Donovan Whitten (6-2, 215). Senior Braylon Bailey (5-10, 190) contributed three touchdowns, including two 65-yard scoring plays.

Whitten, a defensive starter in 2020, finished with five touchdown passes and more than 300 yards. Davis scored four touchdowns with nearly 200 total yards.

An official almost kept Lake Hamilton’s Kendrick Martin from scoring.

Badgers duo gives Lake Hamilton fits

“Defensively we’ve got to get better at the back end,” said Lake Hamilton coach Tommy Gilleran. “Safety (Justin) Crutchmer was sick and didn’t play tonight, which hurt us a little bit. We’ve also got to get better up front. Their back (Davis) has already got offers from several Division I schools, but we’ve still got to tackle better. We don’t practice against backs that big. Our backups weigh around 150, and that’s who we face in practice.

“We can be good on offense as you could see tonight. Arkadelphia really never stopped us, we stopped ourselves (three interceptions and a fumble). If we can just complete some passes we’re going to be more successful, and people won’t crowd the line-of-scrimmage.”

The Wolves’ wing-T picked up where it ended last December. Senior fullback Tevin Woodley (5-9, 205) scored four touchdowns, while running for more than 100 yards. Junior wingback Kendrick Martin also had a big game. Senior Owen Miller had trouble with the new turf field at Badger Stadium, but still scored twice.

Wolves had little success throwing ball

“We tried to throw it more than we usually would,” said Gilleran. “It was a scrimmage, and we wanted to give our quarterback chances to make throws. He’s got to do a better job.”

Both Lake Hamilton quarterbacks had passes dropped, too.

Gilleran credited his offensive players for wearing down the Badgers’ defense.

“When defenses get tired, it opens bigger holes,” he said. “We want to be fresh in the fourth quarter, so we don’t want kids going both ways if we can help it.”

Lake Hamilton kicks off its regular season Aug. 27 at home against arch-rival Hot Springs Lakeside.