The Greenwood Bulldogs played host to the Marion Patriots for the 6A semi final matchup.
The first score of the game came on a 1-yard touchdown run from senior quarterback LD Richmond who went airborne for the score. The Bulldogs take an early lead 6-0.
On the next Marion possession, The Bulldog defense would force a sack-fumble and recover the loose ball in Patriot territory. Richmond would score his second rushing touchdown of the night on a 9 yard rush up the middle. Senior Hunter Wilkinson would lead his quarterback through the patriot defense and Richmond would drag the final defender for the score. Bulldogs move the score to 13-0.
With 4:54 left in the 1st quarter, Richmond connects with sophomore Aiden Kennon who sprung himself open in the right side of the end zone. Kennon left his defender around the 7 yard line and hauled in Richmond’s pass to extend the Bulldog lead to 20-0.
After a Marion touchdown closed the gap to 20-7, Greenwood would strike again with another Richmond rushing touchdown. With 8:18 left in the 2nd quarter, Richmond would sprint to the sideline and outrun Marion defenders as he extends his arm over the pylon for the Bulldog score. Greenwood extends their lead to 27-7.
Kennon would find the end zone for a 2nd time as the sophomore hauled in a Richmond pass and turned his defender completely around, more than once, before sprinting down the sideline for the 24-yard Bulldog score. Greenwood would take a 34-7 lead into halftime.
LD Richmond finished the 1st half with 3 rushing touchdowns to go along with 2 passing scores. Wilkinson would not find the end zone but had 119 rushing yards on 19 carries. Wilkinson is 1 touchdown away from breaking the school record for touchdowns in a season. He is currently tied with former Bulldog standout Drew Morgan.
After the halftime festivities, Greenwood would return to work. Richmond would find senior receiver Jase Strozier late in the 3rd quarter for a 9 yard touchdown. With their eyes on triggering the mercy rule, Greenwood would convert a 2 point conversion on a Richmond pass to Caden Brown. The Bulldogs take their lead to 42-7.
Things wouldn’t get better for Marion as they were punting deep in their own territory when a high snap went out of the back of the end zone for a safety. With the unconventional score, the Bulldogs extend their lead to 44-7.
With 6:48 left in the game, Senior running back Ty Moose would get in on the scoring when he takes the hand off 24-yards for the score. The offensive line opened up a large hole for Moose and he would shake a tackle to get in for the score. the Bulldog lead extends to 51-7.
That would be the final score of the game and the Greenwood Bulldogs advance to their 14th state championship appearance.
Hunter Wilkinson would finish with 27 carries for 146 yards while LD Richmond would complete 14/20 passes for 178 yards and 3 touchdowns. Richmond would also rush 10 times for 64 yards and 3 additional touchdowns. Sophomore receiver Aiden Kennon would lead the receivers with 5 catches for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Greenwood advances to the championship game and faces Lake Hamilton at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. The game is scheduled for Saturday, December 5th at 6:40 p.m.