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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE Elkins running back Chance Jones (22) cuts upfield through the Fordyce defense Friday on his way to the end zone at John Bunch Jr. Memorial Field in Elkins. Visit for more photos from the game.

ELKINS -- No. 1 seed Elkins got about all it could handle from No. 6 seed Fordyce in the first round of the Class 3A football playoffs, but a strong showing from three offensive stars led the team to the second round with a 44-30 victory Friday night at John Bunch Field.

"From week one we got blown out at Shiloh and we came back and we focused on getting better," said Elkins coach Chad Harbinger. "That's what they continued to do and that's what they'll continue to do going into next Friday."

Elkins 44, Fordyce 30



First Quarter

Elk—Graham 26 pass from McClain (Run good), 11:04

For—Brown 3 run (Kick failed), 6:55

Elk—Jones 34 run (Kick failed), 5:59

Second Quarter

Elk—McClain 4 run (Kick failed), 11:13

Third Quarter

For—Shelton 52 run (Run good), 11:52

Elk—Graham 10 pass from McClain (Pass good), 4:27

Fourth Quarter

For—Brown 7 run (Run good), 11:51

Elk—Graham 7 pass from McClain (Run good), 10:01

Elk—Jones 57 run (Run good), 6:01

For—Brown 2 run (Pass good), 1:12

The Elks (9-2) took it to the Redbugs early, scoring a touchdown on their first possession when sophomore quarterback Quinn McClain found junior receiver Chad Graham for a 26-yard strike. On the play, Graham found separation behind the Fordyce safeties and McClain led his receiver perfectly with the pass.

Graham fumbled on the next possession, which gave the Redbugs good field position and resulted in their first touchdown. The 5-foot-10, 140 pounder made up for his blunder with an interception in the second quarter. Despite the turnover, McClain continued to get Graham the ball and it paid off for the Elks, as he hauled in three touchdown passes on the game. He finished with five receptions for 45 yards.

McClain made plays when it counted. He finished with 95 yards and two touchdowns to go along with a rushing score in the second quarter.

"He's a pretty special player," Harbison said. "I don't think people understand how good he really is. He can throw it a mile and he puts it on the money."

The offense relied on junior running back Chance Jones to take the pressure off McClain, who was pressured throughout the game by Fordyce's stout defensive line, and Jones delivered. His 34-yard touchdown scamper in the first quarter gave the Elks a lead going into the second. His second-half performance was what his offense needed to fend off a ferocious comeback attempt by the Redbugs.

Fordyce freshman running back Quartey Shelton carved up the defense on the first play of the second half to make it a one-possession game. The two-point conversion made it a 20-14 game.

"We had come back before," said Fordyce coach Timothy Rodgers. "I thought we were fixing to turn the corner right there and we just made some mistakes like we always do and we let them get the ball back and score."

A fumble by Shelton on the next possession nixed the Redbugs' comeback, as the Elks responded with Graham's second touchdown on the night. Fordyce responded with a touchdown of their own but Graham scored again to make it a 36-22 game after the two-point conversion.

"They came out and gave us a different look with the front than we saw on film," Harbinger said. "When we saw that we thought Chance could have a big night and he did. Our offensive line did an outstanding job and that dude can go when he gets a crease."

Elkins will host No. 4 seed Atkins next week in the second round of the playoffs.

Sports on 11/11/2017

Print Headline: Elks pop Fordyce, advance in 3A playoffs

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