SPRINGDALE -- When the Fayetteville Bulldogs took the field against Springdale Har-Ber, they were taking on a team that had much more riding on the game than anticipated.
After the Wildcats were forced to forfeit three games for playing an ineligible player, a home loss in the final game of their regular season would end their postseason hopes, and they put up a first-half fight that showed their determination.
Fayetteville 42, Springdale Har-Ber 14
Fayetteville 7 14 14 7 — 42
Springdale Har-Ber 0 14 0 0 — 14
Fay—Stuckey 1 run (Richardson kick), 6:13
Harb—Evans 25 pass from Wittschen (Rodriguez kick), 11:06
Fay—Flannigan 68 pass from Bowers (Richardson kick), 10:56
Harb—Molina 2 run (Rodriguez kick), 8:22
Fay—Stuckey 2 pass from Bowers (Richardson kick), 3:45
Fay—Flannigan 19 pass from Bowers (Richardson kick), 5:02
Fay—Bowers 8 run (Richardson kick), 2:05
Fay—Sharits 1 run (Richardson kick), 7:54
Still, the Bulldogs got big plays from quarterback Darius Bowers and receiver Connor Flannigan when they needed to, and they went on to play a dominant second half in a 42-14 victory Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.
"It was a good first half, physical game," said Fayetteville coach Billy Dawson. "They got a couple kids hurt that hurt them late, but two physical teams, and it was kind of a back-and-forth game early."
When Har-Ber junior quarterback Blaise Wittschen went down with an apparent leg injury midway through the third quarter, the Wildcats' offense effectively stalled from that point on. His 9-for-18, 141-yard performance through the air opened up running lanes that allowed him to keep his team in the game.
Har-Ber played without its leading rusher Jay Burns, who ran for 356 yards in a win against Rogers last week. It marked Burns' second 300-plus yard rushing game this season.
With no real threat looming from the other side, Bowers and Flannigan took control and connected for their second score of the game on a 19-yard strike. Bowers finished with a 20 of 29 passing for 204 yards and three scores. Flannigan hauled in nine passes for 145 yards.
"We knew that they left the middle of the field open a lot, and they were crashing on single moves, so we knew that we could expose some double moves toward the middle of the field, and that's what we did," Flannigan said.
At the end of the first half, Fayetteville missed a 45-yard field goal attempt that would have increased its lead to two possessions. The Wildcats kicked the ball to open the game, so they got the ball first in the third quarter with a chance to tie things up. An interception killed the drive, and they punted on their second possession of the half before Fayetteville scored.
The road victory is a momentum-builder for the postseason, Dawson said.
"I think it adds a building block to the three or four weeks that we've had, and we've played pretty well," Dawson said. "I didn't think we played as well tonight, but we'll take the win."
Sports on 11/03/2018
Print Headline: PREP FOOTBALL: Fayetteville downs Springdale Har-Ber