FARMINGTON -- Harrison ran away with a 35-6 win against Farmington on Friday night, but many in attendance won't remember the game as much as the memories from the past 68 seasons at Allen Holland Field.
It was the last game at the stadium that was named for legendary coach Allen Holland, who was honored along with former head coaches Jay Holland, his son and now superintendent of Lamar schools, and Bryan Law, who's now superintendent of Farmington schools. Law coached here from 1999-2005 before current coach Mike Adams took the helm. The program began with six-man football, then eight-man before eventually having enough to field an 11-man squad in the mid-60s.
Harrison 35, Farmington 6
Harrison 21 14 0 0 – 35
Farmington 0 0 6 0 – 6
Harr – Huskey 6 run (Payne kick), 10:30
Harr – Huskey 25 run (Payne kick), 9:53
Harr – Huskey 4 run (Payne kick), 3:52
Harr – Huskey 80 pass from Johnson (Payne kick), 10:17
Harr – Ballard 25 pass from Johnson (Payne kick), 8:02
Farm – Turner 84 run (pass failed), 4:39
"Big Al" Holland and more than a hundred alumni arrived early for a chili supper to kick off the festivities. With a capacity crowd looking on, hundreds more former football players, cheerleaders and band members were recognized during a halftime ceremony. The group formed a huge line across the field that was painted with the years "1950-2018" below the traditional Cardinals' logo at midfield. Historian and assistant principal Clayton Williams listed accomplishments for each decade as he introduced each group.
Using a smash-mouth, wishbone offense, Allen Holland led the Cardinals to a 189-37 record, state championships in 1972 and 1973, four state semifinal appearances and 13 consecutive district titles during his tenure from 1961-91. Allen Holland recalled many memories from those days such as a successful two-point conversion to win a playoff game in the closing seconds against Atkins, which included current Springdale Har-Ber coach Chris Wood at tight end.
"I haven't seen so many of these guys in 40 years," Holland said. "I remember mowing that field with a push mower. Thanks goodness we couldn't afford to irrigate, so we didn't have to mow too often. We never had a lot of speed, so we wanted the grass to be high anyway.
"This has been a great time and a lot of fond memories and a lot of players who, as a coach, you remember the most."
Several players from those state title teams were in attendance such as Doug Edwards, Ricky Lewis, Floyd Shelley, Ronnie Hudson and Eddie Woods. Other former stars included hard-hitters like brothers Donny and Tommie Edwards, Marcus Nastasi as well as quarterbacks like Dennis Fletcher, Jerrod Fraley and Colby Casey. Jay Holland, who coached from 1991 to 1998, also should be noted as a player because he is believed to still hold the school's record for most tackles in a single season.
Other notables were three generations of the Benish family (Keith, Amy and Kynleigh) as well as longtime assistant Tom Dodson and current assistant Steve Morgan, who began his career at Farmington in 1984 and has coached more games on the field than anyone.
"I came out (of the locker room) as the last ground was filling the field," Morgan said. "I was very proud to see such a big turnout and very excited to see a lot of old friends. I'm very excited to be coaching my second and almost third generation of players. Seeing all those guys I coached with the former players, it was just really emotional."
The $15-million project will feature a new turf field called Cardinals Stadium, a football facility, a 60-yard indoor workout field and a track next to the new high school on Highway 170, less than a mile south of the current field.
"We're really excited," said athletic director Brad Blew. "We will be starting women's and men's soccer this spring once we get the turf in, and the track will go down in seven-to-10 days, so the track team will be able to practice on it when they come back for the spring semester. We've been running track and field for 50 years, but we've never had an actual track.
"We've been really pleased with the turnout for this. It's been great, and as athletic director, we should have been doing more things like this because it is really a neat, special thing to see so many people come back for this."
Due to the Arkansas Activities Association sportsmanship rule, the clock ran continuously through the second half after the 5A-West champion Goblins (10-0, 7-0) marched out to a 35-0 halftime lead behind four Gabe Huskey touchdowns -- three rushing and one receiving.
Farmington (4-6. 2-5) ended the shutout bid when Reid Turner raced 84 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Sports on 11/03/2018
Print Headline: PREP FOOTBALL: Cardinals fall in final game at Allan Holland Field