GREENWOOD -- Greenwood has earned another opportunity to add to its list of state championships.
Kenny Wood scored four touchdowns as the Bulldogs built a big halftime lead and rolled past West Memphis 45-14 Friday in a Class 6A semifinal game at Smith-Robinson Stadium. Greenwood will advance to face Pine Bluff in the championship game on Dec. 1 at War Memorial Stadium.
Greenwood 45, West Memphis 14
Green — Wood 21 pass from Noland (Ennis kick), 9:05
West — Troxler 5 run (Burton kick), 7:10
Green — Holt 18 pass from Noland (Ennis kick), 4:04
Green — Ennis 26 FG, 11:57
Green — Wood 20 pass from Noland (Ennis kick), 9:51
Green — Wood 17 run (Ennis kick), 6:29
Green — Wood 14 run (Ennis kick), 8:04
Green — Barlow 11 pass from Noland (Ennis), 4:00
West — Troxler 1 run (Burton kick), 1:56
It will be the third consecutive appearance in the state final at Little Rock for Greenwood, which lost to Russellville last year and Pine Bluff the previous year. The Bulldogs have won seven state championships, the last in 2012.
"We've had a great season but we've got to finish our business," Greenwood coach Rick Jones said. "Our guys are hungry and they've been there before. They know what it takes to get the job done."
Greenwood (12-0) dominated West Memphis (10-2) from the outset and spoiled a homecoming of sorts for West Memphis coach Billy Elmore, a Mansfield native and former Greenwood assistant under Ronnie Peacock when the Bulldogs went 13-1 and won the Class AAAA state championship in 2000.
Wood scored four touchdowns on runs of 17 and 14 yards and catches of 21 and 20 yards. He finished with 128 yards rushing and caught four passes for 56 yards. Connor Noland completed 21 of 30 passes for 220 yards and four touchdowns.
"You've got to have somebody in front of Kenny to keep him from falling forward," Jones said of Wood, who kept drives alive with tough inside running. "He breaks tackles and he's been so tough as a runner."
The Greenwood defense, which shut out Texarkana 30-0 the previous week, only allowed short touchdown runs by quarterback Michael Troxler in the first quarter and late in the forth quarter. West Memphis was able to get an early start home after Josh Barlow caught an 11-yard touchdown pass with four minutes left in the third quarter to put Greenwood ahead 45-7.
The rest of the game was played with a running clock via the 35-point mercy rule.
"We played great in all three phases," Jones said. "We didn't give them anything easy and I was real proud of that."
Greenwood built its big halftime lead on three touchdown passes by Noland, a touchdown run by Kenny Wood, and a 26-yard field goal from Grant Ennis. West Memphis came nowhere close to the flawless game the Blue Devils needed to beat Greenwood on its home field.
West Memphis fumbled on its own end to set up a 30-yard touchdown catch and run by Wood to put the Bulldogs ahead 24-7 in the second quarter. Wood added a 17-yard touchdown run before West Memphis drove all the way to the Greenwood 1 with two minutes, 37 seconds left before the half. But the Blue Devils fumbled at the goal line and Greenwood took over with a 31-7 lead.
West Memphis had little success in slowing the Greenwood passing game and Wood picked up valuable yards on running plays to keep drives alive.
Sports on 11/25/2017
Print Headline: Greenwood in the finals again after whipping West Memphis