The Greenwood Bulldogs welcomed in the West Memphis Blue Devils for round 1 of the 6A High School Playoffs. The Blue Devils finished 2-9 in the regular season while Greenwood enters the post season 10-0.
The first score of the game came with 9:22 left in the first quarter when senior running back Hunter Wilkinson would score on a 5-yard touchdown run. The Bulldogs would carry that 7-0 lead into the 2nd quarter as neither team would score for the remainder of the period.
Scoring would pick up in the 2nd quarter. The Blue Devils briefly tied the game at 7-7 but with 9:43 left in the 2nd quarter, Wilkinson would find the end zone for the 2nd time on a 9-yard rushing touchdown up the middle. Greenwood would regain the lead 13-7.
The Bulldog defense quickly stifled the Blue Devil offense and returned the ball to the offense. With 7:41 left in the 2nd quarter, senior quarterback LD Richmond would find receiver Luke Brewer down the middle of the field for a 34 yard touchdown. Brewer needed yards after the catch in order to score and his speed was too much for the Blue Devil defensive backs as he out ran several defenders virtually untouched and gave the Bulldogs a 20-7 lead.
The Bulldog defense came up big in this 1st round matchup and junior defensive back Colin Daggett was a key contributor. With 5:31 left in the 2nd quarter, Daggett made the Blue Devil quarterback pay on an erroneous throw when he intercepted the pass and took it 23-yards for the touchdown. This appeared to be the moment the momentum shifted and the Bulldog defense was hyped.
After Daggett gave the Bulldogs a 27-7 lead, Wilkinson would score his third touchdown of the night on a 3-yard touchdown run with just under 2 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. The Bulldogs scored 27 unanswered points in the 2nd quarter and would lead 34-7 at the half.
With less than 2 minutes gone in the 2nd half, the Bulldogs would add to their lead when LD Richmond connects with senior receiver Caden Brown on a 30-yard touchdown throw and catch. The scoring play was a product of senior leadership and discipline. Fans could see Richmond and Brown communicating when the play broke down and Brown would get open in the end zone. The Bulldogs would convert the 2-point conversion to move the lead to 42-7 and trigger the mercy rule, allowing the clock to run continuously for the remainder of the game.
The Bulldog defense continued to hold strong, not allowing West Memphis to score again. The Bulldog offense, however, was not done. Senior running back Ty Moose would showcase his agility with an 11-yard touchdown run with 5:29 left in the 3rd quarter. Greenwood would extend the lead to 49-7.
The West Memphis Blue Devils would not score for the remainder of the game but the Bulldog defense couldn’t help themselves and had another helping of “pick-6”. On the 1st play of the 4th quarter, senior cornerback Tatum Sadler would step in front of pass and take it 60-yards to the house. Sadler wanted to score, and his teammates wanted him to score as every member of that defensive unit followed him to the end zone.
That would be the final score of the game and the Greenwood Bulldogs would win 55-7. LD Richmond would finish 15/18 for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns. Senior Hunter Wilkinson had 20 rush attempts for 119 yards and 3 touchdowns while Luke Brewer would lead the way for the receivers with 5 catches for 74 yards and 1 touchdown.
Greenwood will play host to the Mountain Home Bombers next Friday night at Smith Robinson Stadium for round 2 of the 6A State Playoffs.