VIDEO: Football: Litzinger, Bowers lead Fayetteville to rout of Van Buren

Posted: November 4, 2017 at 5:54 a.m.

VAN BUREN -- Will Litzinger had a three interception game once in eighth grade at Woodland Junior High. Now he has two.

Behind his strong secondary play and quarterback Darius Bowers' six total touchdowns, Fayetteville rolled to a 55-14 mercy-rule win at Blakemore Field Friday to extend its winning streak to five games entering postseason play next week.

Fayetteville 55, Van Buren 14

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Van Buren^0^7^7^0^–^14

First quarter

Fay — White 3 run (Richardson kick), 6:45

Fay — Gray 27 pass from Bowers (Richardson kick), 3:40

Fay — Mulinga 22 pass from Bowers (Richardson kick), 2:26

Second quarter

Fay — Jackson 4 pass from Bowers (kick blocked), 11:21

Van — Sharp 4 pass from Salisbury (Recinos kick), 7:36

Fay — Gray 29 pass from Bowers (Richardson kick), 5:05

Fay — Bowers 60 run (Richardson kick), 1:39

Third quarter

Van — Salisbury 1 run (Recinos kick), 4:23

Fay — Mulinga 15 pass from Bowers (Richardson kick), 2:47

Fourth quarter

Fay — Farmer 2 run (Smith kick), 10:10

"He's around the ball all the time," Fayetteville coach Billy Dawson said of Litzinger. "He makes a lot of tackles, and he's got a knack for it, however you want to describe it. He's a good football player. He stays around the ball; he's kind of a ballhawk, and you saw it tonight."

All three of Litzinger's interceptions -- two in the first quarter -- turned into Fayetteville points. His first interception, which he returned to the Van Buren 22, came with the Purple'Dogs up 14-0. On Fayetteville's next play, Bowers hit Kris Mulinga for the first of two touchdown catches.

The senior returned the second pick 55 yards for a touchdown, but the score was negated by penalty. However, Bowers eventually connected with Jackson White for a four-yard score. Later, with under two minutes to play in the first half, Litzinger's final pick set up Bowers' 60-yard touchdown run, his sixth of the season, to set the halftime score at 41-7.

The Purple'Dogs defense held Van Buren (0-10, 0-7 7A-West) to 4-of-14 passing for 65 yards in the win. Thirty-two of the yards came on the Pointers' first pass attempt of the second half. Fayetteville also held running back Walter Green to eight yards rushing on 14 carries.

"We knew coming in that we blew some really close games and knew we were a way better team than that," Litzinger said. "It was just really good to show the rest of the state that it's not a down year for us and we're going to turn it on when it matters.

"It really doesn't matter who's on the other side of the ball," he added. "The main focus is on the Purple'Dogs. We've just got to focus on ourselves and it'll take care of itself."

Bowers -- 333 total yards -- tied his season-high with five touchdown passes (vs. Rogers High) in the win. The six total scores are the most in a single game this season as well. The junior found his top targets early and often, too. Cody Gray finished the night with eight grabs for 116 yards and two touchdowns while Mulinga reeled in five balls for 92 yards and a pair of scores.

"All three of those guys have done it all year," Dawson said. "It's a different speed for them, and you saw it tonight. It's a mismatch at times, and Darius does a nice job getting it to them. I saw some things that we're still getting better at, and some things we've got to get fixed, so it was a good night."

Staying in the River Valley, with Fort Smith Northside's 35-13 win against rival Fort Smith Southside Friday, the Purple'Dogs will host the Mavericks (3-7, 2-5 7A-Central) at Harmon Field to begin the playoffs with the winner traveling to Bryant.

Sports on 11/04/2017