PEARCY, Ark. – Sheridan did its best on Friday the 13th to turn Lake Hamilton’s football season into a nightmare.
The Yellowjackets rallied from a three-touchdown deficit to take a 36-35 lead in the third quarter, only to see the second-ranked Wolves come back and win, 49-36.
Junior running backs Owen Miller and Tevin Woodley scored on short runs to keep Lake Hamilton (9-1) alive in the 6A playoffs.
“It was hard for the kids to get up emotionally up after the Benton and Greenwood games,” said Lake Hamilton coach Tommy Gilleran. “We didn’t play with emotion tonight. Our kids have to realize from here on out that this is it, win, or go home. We have to execute on both sides of the ball. We didn’t compete much tonight — defensively.
“Sheridan played a really good game. They executed and did things right. We didn’t match that emotion. We just kind of went through the motions. They scored right before the half. We have to play better than that. Hopefully this is the last game we play without some kind of emotion.”
Sheridan defense did struggle
It was hard to find fault with Lake Hamilton’s offense, which piled up 484 yards. The Wolves rushed for 378 yards, while quarterbacks Layne Warrick and Grant Bearden completed 5 of 7 passes for 106 yards.
Warrick was making his first appearance of the year after injuring his right shoulder during the preseason. He threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Martin in the first quarter, and scored on a 1-yard sneak on the final play of the opening period. Warrick’s day turned unlucky in the second quarter when he reinjured his shoulder while trying to throw a pass away.
The Wolves led 28-15 at that point. Bearden led Lake Hamilton on a 76-yard scoring drive to make it 35-15. Sheridan answered quickly on a 10-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Konner Canterbury to senior Trey Davis with eight seconds left before intermission.
Sheridan (3-8) took the second half kickoff, scoring in 10 plays on a 6-yard run by Peyton Edwards. More bad luck for the Wolves would follow. Brodie McElroy’s PAT attempt hit the crossbar and bounced over for an extra point.
Yellowjackets led in third quarter
Edwards hauled in a 39-yard touchdown pass shortly after a 15-yard punt by the Wolves. McElroy’s put the Yellowjackets on top, 36-35.
Junior Owen Miller accounted for more than half of Lake Hamilton’s yardage with three touchdowns and 252 yards. He also caught two passes for 26 yards.
It was Miller’s 62-yard touchdown jaunt in the first quarter that put the Wolves on the scoreboard after falling behind, 8-0. Martin’s touchdown reception followed, and Lake Hamilton led, 14-8. Noah Tiernan intercepted a Yellowjacket pass that set up Warrick’s scoring plunge that made it, 21-8.
Sheridan wouldn’t bow down. Caleb Pikington broke free for a 51-yard touchdown with 9:21 left in the first half. Woodley and Miller scored on the Wolves’ next two possessions to give Lake Hamilton its biggest lead at, 35-15.
The Yellowjackets finished with an impressive 388 total yards. Canterbury completed 11 of 22 passes for 226 yards.
Lake Hamilton will host a second round game next Friday against El Dorado. The Wildcats advanced with a 54-33 win oveer Siloam Springs.
In other 6A playoff action, top-ranked Greenwood eliminated West Memphis, 55-7. Van Buren sent Jonesboro packing, 37-14. Mountain Home rallied from a 14-0 deficit to beat Pine Bluff, 24-20. Little Rock Parkview dominated Searcy, 42-7. Sylvan Hills stopped Russellville, 54-19. The real shocker was Benton’s forfeit to Marion because of the coronavirus.