Wolves persevere to win conference opener over Mountain Home

Lake Hamilton hosts top-ranked Greenwood Friday. Both teams are unbeaten, with the winner capturing the 6A West championship and a top seed in the playoffs.


PEARCY, Ark. – Lake Hamilton fumbles cost the Wolves a potential 28-0 lead in the first quarter on their home field Friday night. Instead, the outcome was not determined until late in the fourth quarter.

Junior running back Owen Miller’s 38-yard touchdown scamper with 5:10 left in the game broke a 14-14 tie, and third-ranked Lake Hamilton (4-0) went on to beat Mountain Home in Conference 6A West action, 28-14.

Junior Owen Miller led the Wolves’ potent running game with 151 yards on 19 carries.

“Mountain Home had some big defensive linemen, and we had a couple of guys out in our offensive line,” said Lake Hamilton coach Tommy Gilleran. “We had to move some kids around, and I started a sophomore center (Brayden Aitken), who did a really good job tonight. Our big left tackle sprained his ankle last week and played every down in this game and did a great job.

“We fumbled on their one, and then went down the field and fumbled again. We can’t do that kind of stuff against good teams. Hopefully we’re going to be getting some kids back. Our quarterback (Layne Warrick) should be back in a couple of weeks. He will make us better on offense, because he creates problems for people.”

Wolves score twice in fourth quarter

Miller, who led all runners with 151 yards on 19 carries, scored on a 48-yard run with 7:29 left in the first quarter.

Defensive end Zach Roberts recovered a Bomber fumble seconds later. Tevin Woodley scored three plays later on a 3-yard run with 5:16 remaining in the first period.

The Wolves piled up 179 yards in the first quarter, only to see Mountain Home dominate the second quarter. Quarterback Bryce McKay was elusive and gave Lake Hamilton’s defenders fits the entire game. He scored the Bombers’ first touchdown on a 1-yard sneak with 8:23 left in the first half.

McKay threw a 31-yard touchdown pass with 2:52 left, and the game was tied at intermission.

Bombers blanked in second half

Mountain Home moved the ball in the second half, but the Wolves threw a shutout the final two quarters.

“We knew coming into the game that McKay was their best players,” said Gilleran. “I thought our kids did a good job of keeping him hemmed up, and did a good job of making him stay in the pocket.

“No doubt this was a game we needed to win. All of these conference games are important for the playoffs. Our kids played hard.”

Former University of Arkansas and NFL star Ryan Mallett is now an assistant coach at Mountain Home.

Junior quarterback Grant Bearden scored the Wolves final touchdown on a 1-yard sneak. He completed two of his four passes for 52 yards. Tight end Isaiah Clenney made both receptions.  Woodley finished with 97 yards on 18 carries, while sophomore Kendrick Martin gained 41 yards on seven totes.

The loss was obviously disappointing for the Bombers’ first-year head coach Steve Ary, and one of his assistants (Ryan Mallett). Mallett is coaching for the first time since retiring from the NFL. He enjoyed a brilliant career playing quarterback for the Arkansas Razorbacks.