LITTLE ROCK The first play of Pulaski Academy's Class 5A quarterfinal game against White Hall probably didn't make Bruin fans comfortable.
After scrambling out of the pocket, quarterback Lawson Vassar was hit as he threw a screen pass, with the ball landing into the out-stretched hands of Bulldogs' linebacker Justin Lantrip, who took it to the Bruins' 3-yard line. They scored two plays later on an Irving Tisdale 8-yard sweep.
Vassar would go on to throw three first-half interceptions and fumble once, but Pulaski Academy was able to shake off a bad start en route to a 77-35 victory over White Hall at Rector Field at Joe B. Hatcher Stadium.
The Bulldogs (10-2) relied heavily on their pass rush to start the game, sacking Vassar three times and forcing the four turnovers along with countless quarterback hurries. But they weren't able to continue the pressure and the Bruins (10-2) countered by utilizing the running game behind Jairus Porter, who finished with 80 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
With White Hall forced to account for the run, Vassar was able to get more time passing. From the midway point of the first quarter until halftime, receiver L.J. Wallace caught 10 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns. He would finish with 11 receptions for 244 yards and 3 scores. Vassar finished 27-for-41 for 532 yards and six touchdowns in three quarters of work.
Pulaski Academy led 48-21 at halftime and a 12-yard pass from Vassar to Wallace on the team's first possession of the third quarter invoked the Sportsmanship Rule.
The Bruins will play Batesville at home next Friday.
Read more about this game in tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.