Today's Paper Digital FAQ Obits Newsletters 🎄Community Christmas Card Donation Covid Classroom Coronavirus Cancellations NWA Screening Sites Virus Interactive Map Coronavirus FAQ Crime Razorback Sports Today's Photos Puzzles

GREENWOOD -- Once again, Greenwood showed how its football program can be an embarrassment of riches.

When quarterback L.D. Richmond was injured early in the second quarter, Coach Chris Young inserted Hunter Houston, who threw four touchdown passes to carry the Bulldogs to a 49-13 victory over Mountain Home in the Class 6A quarterfinals Friday at Smith-Robinson Stadium.

Greenwood (11-0) now will host Marion, who beat Van Buren on Friday, in next week's Class 6A semifinals. The Bulldogs will attempt to reach their fifth state finals in the past six years and the 12th finals appearance in the past 17 seasons.

Greenwood schools switched to online learning Thursday and Friday, so the usual practice routine was off for Friday's game.

"We had a bad practice on Thursday, and we normally don't do that," Young said. "So, we had a walk-through practice Friday morning and they were more focused and dialed in. It showed tonight."

Houston finished 11-of-12 passing for 182 yards and 4 touchdowns, including 3 in the second quarter as the Bulldogs built a 35-13 halftime lead.

"He is unbelievable. I cannot be prouder of Hunter Houston tonight," Young said. "The guy works his tail off every day. He prepares every day for a moment like this. He was outstanding."

Though he has played in a lot of varsity games, Houston has mostly played in mop-up time. So, coming in at a critical moment was special for the sophomore quarterback.

"Getting ready is practicing throughout the week -- Monday through Wednesday," Houston said. "I feel like I'm always ready to go in. It's fun to get in the game and play. A lot better than just taking a knee."

Running back Hunter Wilkinson also was a key cog for Greenwood as the senior rushed for 137 yards on 19 carries and scored 4 touchdowns (3 rushing, 1 receiving). The Bulldogs' offense gained 455 total yards and scored touchdowns on seven consecutive possessions.

Mountain Home, which won its first playoff game since 2006 last week, finishes the season at 6-5.

After Wilkinson's first score, Mountain Home quickly answered when quarterback Bryce McKay kept for a 64-yard touchdown run with 3:24 left in the first quarter. The extra point failed. McKay finished with 136 yards rushing on 11 carries and 2 touchdowns.

Wilkinson responded with a big play, scoring on a 53-yard run with 2:39 left in the opening quarter for a 14-6 Bulldogs' lead.

Four plays into the second quarter, Houston entered the game when Richmond was injured on a keeper. Two plays later, Houston's first pass was a fade to senior Caden Brown for a 20-yard touchdown.

"[Brown] is a great receiver and is able to get by his defender," Houston said. "I just have to throw it up and give him a chance. On the first score, the corner was in press [man-to-man] coverage and inside so it was an easy line to throw a fade."

On the Bulldogs' next possession, Houston hit Brown again, this time on a 51-yard pass for a 28-6 lead with 4:57 left in the first half.

"He can throw the deep ball," Young said. "We've been fortunate that we have a lot of guys who can throw the football. The thing with Hunter is that he can throw it and knows where to throw it. He is so smart."

Houston added touchdown passed to Wilkinson and Luke Brewer to increase the lead to 42-13 after three quarters. Wilkinson added his fourth score on a 5-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

Sponsor Content


COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with our commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. Our commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.