PINE BLUFF- A controversial call on an onside kick late in the fourth quarter preserved a 34-19 victory for the Dollarway Cardinals at Cardinal Stadium.
Helena-West Helena took the opening drive down to the Cardinal 13 on 12 plays, but the drive stalled . However, three plays later, the Cougar defense put Helena-West Helena on the board with a safety, and Central had a 2-0 lead.
On the ensuing possession after the free kick, the Cougars drove the ball down to the Cardinal 5-yard line on seven plays. However, once again the drive stalled and Sagar Patel kicked a 26-yard field goal to put Helena-West Helena up 5-0 with 2:35 to go in the first quarter.
Then, Dollarway got its first break. On 3rd and 18, Quarterback Joshua Liddell hit Kabian Ento for a 73-yard touchdown reception. The try for two failed and Dollarway led 6-5.
On the second play of the ensuing possession, the Cougars fumbled and Dollarway recovered. However, the Cougars recovered a fumble on the ensuing play, only to fumble it to Dollarway again two plays later.
Then, Liddell hit Ento again for a 35-yard touchdown pass. The try for two was no good and the Cardinals led 12-5 with 10:07 in the second quarter.
After forcing a punt, the Cardinals went 50 yards on 8 plays. Keyshawn Williams scored on an 8-yard touchdown run and ran in the two point conversion as well to push Dollarway's lead to 20-5.
After another Cougar drive stalled and Helena-West Helena was forced to punt, Liddell took the opening play of the ensuing possession 68-yard for a touchdown with 1:01 to go in the half. The two-point conversion try failed and the Cardinals led 26-5.
Helena-West Helena got a break on the final possession of the half. The Cougars went 63 yards on four plays. Curly Brewer hit Malik Arnett on a 28-yard scoring pass to make it 26-11 at the half.
After a scoreless third quarter, Helena -West Helena had a 14-play, 73-yard drive on its first possession of the fourth quarter. Brewer scored on a 1-yard run with 4:41 remaining. Brewer hit Sandy Wright for the 2-point conversion to cut the lead to 26-19.
The ensuing onside kick bounced off a Dollarway player and was recovered by the Cougars. However, the officials had a long discussion and just decided to have a rekick.
Dollarway recovered the second onside kick and then Liddell scored on the next play on a 50-yard run. Liddell hit Ento for the two--point conversion to make the final 34-19.