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PREP FOOTBALL: Bulldogs nab 54th straight win at home

by Leland Barclay | October 15, 2022 at 3:45 a.m.
Greenwood wide receiver Grant Karnes (3) eludes Lake Hamilton’s Kaleb Williams, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, after catching a pass during the first quarter at Smith-Robinson Stadium in Greenwood. Visit nwaonline.com/221015Daily/ for today's photo gallery..(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)

GREENWOOD -- The Greenwood offense turned a little conservative Friday night, but the defense was anything but that.

The Bulldogs completely stifled Lake Hamilton's run-centric offense in a 24-0 victory at Smith-Robinson Stadium in a game between 6A-West contenders.

Greenwood (6-1, 5-0) won for its 54th straight game at home, which includes four straight over Lake Hamilton (7-1, 5-1) by a combined 146-10.

Greenwood, ranked No. 7, allowed nine first downs and more than one first down on just one of nine possessions by Lake Hamilton, ranked No. 6.

"Lights out," Greenwood Coach Chris Young said. "Lot of preparation, but it's not just those 11 kids and the coaches, the scout team was unbelievable the last two weeks. They got pounded on and hit every day in practice, and just did a great job getting our defense prepared. It takes a lot more than 11 guys to be successful, and we won as a football team."

Greenwood's defense now has seven shutout halves in five conference games.

The win could set up a big game at Smith-Robinson Stadium in two weeks with Pulaski Academy, although Greenwood must travel to Russellville next week.

On Friday, Greenwood punted on the opening possession after three plays that netted 2 yards, but the Bulldogs scored on three of four possessions to end the half to build a 21-0 lead.

Greenwood drove 92 yards in eight plays to take a 7-0 lead on its second possession.

Hunter Houston connected with L.J. Robins for a 25-yard gain to convert a third down and then a 31-yard pass to Grant Karnes on another third down to the 3. Three plays later, on another third down, Huston bowled in from a yard out with 3:10 left in the opening quarter.

Greenwood drove 87 yards on 12 plays on its next series to take a 14-0 lead.

Houston connected with Peyton Presson four times in the drive and then pumped and hit Robins deep for a 31-yard gain to the 1. Jake Glover powered in on the next play with 6:35 left.

After punting on the next drive, the Bulldogs went quick strike right before the half to push the lead to 21-0.

Houston hit Presson at the sideline for a gain of 12 before hitting Karnes across the middle. Karnes shrugged off a couple of defenders and raced 63 yards for the score with 56 seconds left before halftime.

The Bulldogs were driving to add more on the opening series of the second half but lost a fumble, which Lake Hamilton's Justin Crutchmer recovered, at the Wolves' 15.

Greenwood added a 22-yard field goal by Bodey Steinfeldt with 9:29 left in the game.

The Bulldogs relied on Glover and the run game mostly in the second half.

"Part of that was based on the situations," Young said. "You're up 21-0 and you're playing a good football team that you're getting after pretty good. The last thing you want to do is turn it over. We just decided we were going to run the ball. That was more play calling than the kids not playing well."

Glover finished with 27 carries for 108 yards and one score -- including 16 carries for 72 yards was in the second half. Karnes added three carries for 27 yards in the second half on direct snaps at quarterback.

Lake Hamilton had one sustained series, driving to Greenwood's 24 with gains of 21 yards by fullback Kendrick Martin, and 20 and 28 yards by Izic Clenney. The Wolves overcame a holding call and a sack on the drive, but turned the ball over on downs with 4:43 left.

Lake Hamilton finished with 43 plays for 166 yards with almost half on that lone drive.

"They run sideways," Lake Hamilton Coach Tommy Gilleran said. "They don't come up field, they try to run sideways with you. In our offense, we have to get on people and stay on them. We didn't do that. We didn't block very well."

Clenney finished with 12 carries for 86 yards.

Houston was 18-of-23 passing for 255 yards, with just six attempts and five completions in the second half for 48 yards.

Karnes had 5 catches for 113 yards and also ran 4 times for 35 yards.

Greenwood had 425 yards and 20 first downs.


Print Headline: Greenwood stifles Lake Hamilton

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