For the first time since Halloween night in 2014, the Corning Bobcats ended a football game victorious.
Corning snapped the state's longest losing streak of 42 games with a 30-8 victory Friday night at Rector.
Robinson’s Gaston player of the week
Joe T. Robinson junior quarterback Buddy Gaston is the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s All-Arkansas Preps Player of the Week.
Gaston completed 17 of 30 passes for 437 yards and 6 touchdowns in the Senators’ 66-58 victory Friday at Rogers.
In two games this season, Gaston has completed 25 of 48 passes for 580 yards with 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
Gaston will be honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday. Former University of Arkansas and Chicago Bears defensive lineman Dan Hampton, who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will be the guest speaker.
Robinson (2-0) is off this week and returns to action Sept. 20 against Camden Fairview.
— Jeremy Muck
Senior quarterback Clay Smith rushed for 84 yards and 4 touchdowns on 15 carries for the Bobcats. He also completed 5 of 8 passes for 57 yards.
The Bobcats forced four turnovers and had four sacks.
Corning's last victory before Friday night was Oct. 31, 2014, a 40-26 triumph at Manila.
Coach Larry Treadway, who was hired at Corning in February after spending 14 seasons at Walnut Ridge, was proud to see his team on the winning side for the first time in almost five years.
"It was really emotional for those kids," Treadway said. "Some of those kids didn't know what to do after the game. I had a kid say, 'I've never had a chance to do this.'
"It was emotional for the fans, kids, grandmas and grandpas."
With Corning (1-0) snapping its drought, Marvell in Class 2A has the longest losing streak in the state at 19 games. Its last victory was Week 10 in 2016 against Brinkley.
Treadway went 76-72-2 in 14 seasons at Walnut Ridge and led the school to the playoffs 10 of his 14 years.
But Treadway was ready for a new challenge, crediting Corning Superintendent Kellee Smith for selling him on the football program and the school.
"I had been at Walnut Ridge for 14 years," Treadway said. "I could have stayed there and retired. But it was time to move on. Kellee did a great job of selling the program for me."
This Friday will be the second consecutive week that Corning and Rector play each other. Corning originally was scheduled to play Brinkley, but that program is playing 8-man football this season.
"[Rector Coach] Dave Hendrix called me in the offseason. He said, 'I don't want to sit home, and I know you don't want to sit home,' " Treadway recalled on how the second game formed. " 'So why don't we just play again?' "
With 36 players in his program this season, Treadway has big goals for Corning.
"We want to make the playoffs," he said. "That's what we've started talking about here. Getting in the playoffs would be phenomenal for this group."
Ready for prime time
Arkadelphia is embracing playing on a Thursday night and on TV.
The two-time defending Class 4A state champion hosts Class 5A Wynne at 7 p.m. tonight at Badger Stadium. The game will be seen live on KARZ-TV in Little Rock.
KARZ, in partnership with the high school football website Fearless Friday, is broadcasting games in the first half of the 2019 season. Fearless Friday, which is run by founder Lanny Beavers, has broadcast two games so far -- Springdale Har-Ber at Pulaski Academy and Hot Springs Lakeside at Lake Hamilton.
Badgers Coach J.R. Eldridge is looking forward to having the Clark County city featured on central Arkansas TV and on the internet.
"I feel like we have a good community and fan base here in Arkadelphia," Eldridge said. "It's good for our players to experience that. We look forward to playing, whether it's Thursday or Friday."
A replay will be shown at 10 p.m. Friday on KASN-TV channel 38 (CW Arkansas). Fearless Friday also will stream the game live on fearlessfriday.com.
The remaining games for Fearless Friday this season are Sheridan at White Hall on Sept. 19, and Hot Springs at Little Rock McClellan on Sept. 26.
Arkadelphia (2-0), which has defeated Class 6A opponents Sylvan Hills and Benton so far this season, will have to go up against a Yellowjackets program that runs the Triple Option. Wynne (1-0) rushed for 290 yards and threw just two passes, both incompletions, in a 27-21 victory Friday night at Marion.
"As we've gone through our defensive sessions in practice, we try to make sure that we have every option covered and every option tackled," Eldridge said. "We have to tackle the dive, the quarterback and the pitch. When they play-action us, we have to be able to cover those guys off the play-action. It's a tough thing to do.
"It comes down to us playing disciplined, defensive football."
Arkadelphia's offense, led by seniors Cannon Turner at quarterback and Kyren Harrison at running back, is averaging 45 points per game.
Harrison has rushed for 236 yards and 8 touchdowns on 30 carries in the Badgers' first two games, averaging 7.8 yards per carry and 118 yards per game. Turner has passed for 137 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions, and has 221 rushing yards and 1 score.
Eldridge said the Badgers' offense will have to be productive tonight, especially with the possibility of fewer possessions thanks to the Yellowjackets' offense.
"Our offense has to take advantage of when we have the ball in our possession," Eldridge said. "We have to do a good job of securing the ball."
The Cabot defense shut down Pine Bluff in the second half after the Panthers trailed by one point at halftime Friday night.
Cabot (1-0) went into halftime down 13-12, but used two key turnovers that turned into 14 Panthers points that helped them pull away from Pine Bluff (0-1).
Senior linebacker Justin Underwood's interception of Pine Bluff senior quarterback Tyler Foots set up junior quarterback Tyler Gee's 5-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver De'Kairo Rudolph with 10:16 left in the third quarter to give the Panthers a 19-13 lead.
Later in the third quarter, Cabot senior defensive lineman Masen Wade recovered a fumble by Pine Bluff senior wide receiver Xavier Turner. Then, Gee threw his third touchdown pass of the game, this one a 20-yarder to senior tight end Gage Morrow for a 29-13 lead with 5:51 left in the third quarter.
Cabot's defense held Pine Bluff to six points in the second half, which came in the final three minutes of the game.
"I thought our defense played really well," Cabot Coach Scott Reed said.
Reed, who faces his former school El Dorado on Friday night at Panther Stadium in Cabot, believes Cabot can build on its season-opening victory.
"I think we're going to get better," Reed said. "We've got a lot of things to clean up. But effort-wise, I'm proud of our kids."
Sports on 09/12/2019