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Daily Citizen SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2011



SECTION B Sports Editor Kyle Troutman 501-268-8621

High school football more than just a game

It was an up-and-down season for White County football teams this year, but the ups certainly outweighed the downs. Searcy had its greatest season in recent memory at 9-3, going undefeated at home during the regular season and reeling off five consecutive wins before falling to Pine Bluff in a heartbreaking 6A state quarterfinal. Harding Academy won its division, marking 11 wins on the year before falling to Charleston on the road in the 3A state quarterfinal Friday. Riverview started slow, but a four-game midseason win streak pushed the Raiders into the playoffs. Bald Knob started slow as well, but also reached the playoffs led by the arm of quarterback Cordell Crisp. Beebe stayed consistent, reaching the playoffs but finding a tough road. The Badgers earned a first-round upset before falling to a tested Camden Fairview squad. Rose Bud’s youth led to a tough year, but the experience gained means the young Ramblers stand to blossom in years to come. Yes, the seasons were memorable, but football here is more than just a game. It is an annual ritual that brings our communities together.

KYLE TROUTMAN Even though the year was a positive one, it is always sad to to see a season come to an end. Everyone involved in White County football should take pride in how much their support means to the players. From Dezmond Stegall to Nick Cartwright, from Seth Ransom to John Diaz and from Josh Roach to Tyler Gilmore (and every teammate in between), all football players feed off the support. When it comes to shaping young minds, the gridiron provides a base from which these students can grow. Football may be the most joyous game, or the most devastating game week in and week out, but the sense of community trumps wins and losses on every occasion. Kyle Troutman is the sports editor of The Daily Citizen. He can be reached at, or (501) 268-8621.

Jacob Brower/

Harding Academy junior quarterback Will Francis (left) and sophomore wide receiver and defensive back Lane Carger embrace following the Wildcats’ 35-9 loss in the state quarterfinals at Charleston Friday night. Harding Academy ends the season with a 11-2 record.

Players: Team about more than wins and losses BY KYLE TROUTMAN

CHARLESTON — The stadium lights stayed on long after Harding Academy’s game in Charleston ended Friday night, as Wildcat players, parents, friends and fans shared some bittersweet moments after the seasonending loss. Junior quarterback Will Francis said the game is not only about winning, although the result was not what they wanted. “It’s tough,” Francis said, “But, it definitely shows that football is not the most important thing. There are things more important than wins and losses. The people everywhere and the support we have is amazing; and we have one thing that keeps us bound together in Jesus Christ.” Senior wide receiver Landry Shipman looked past the game and put his thoughts on the relationships he has formed over the years. “I feel bad [about the loss],” he said, “but I’m happy deep inside because it’s not about the game. It’s about the relationships with my brothers on the football team. These relationships will go on for the rest of our lives and being a part of Wildcat football is something special.” Senior wide receiver and defensive back Jay Bona was hurting after the season-ending loss, but said the team is bigger than the game. “I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like a bad dream and I just want to wake up,” he said. “But my teammates mean everything to me. They’re like my brothers and the coaches are like other dads to me. I can feel the love and it’s the best atmosphere to be in.” Having been involved with this year’s group of seniors for six years, Head Coach Roddy Mote said the loss is rough, and he will miss the departing class. “Any time you compete as we have and come up short, it’s not a good feeling,” he said. “It’s like this every year unless you can win it all. I’m going to miss [these seniors] next year. They were in sev-

Jacob Brower/

Harding Academy defensive lineman David Brooker attempts to block a pass from Charleston quarterback Dustin Shelby during the first half of the Wildcats’ 35-9 loss in the state quarterfinals at Charleston Friday night.

Harding Men Upset Division I ULM, 71-68 School reports

MONROE, La. — Coming off an 11-day layoff, Harding men’s basketball showed no signs of rust. Junior DeAntra Scott scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Bisons to a 71-68 upset over NCAA Division I foe ULM on Saturday at FantEwing Coliseum. It was Harding’s first-ever win in the regular season against a Division I opponent. Since Harding joined the NCAA in 1997, the Bisons were 0-10 against Division I teams, including a 74-61 loss to ULM in 2009. Harding improved to 1-1 on the season, and ULM lost its sixth straight and remained winless at 0-6. Harding got off to a great start, shooting 56 percent in the first half. The Bisons made six 3-pointers, led by as many as 19 points, and took a 40-24 lead into halftime. ULM, a member of the Sun Belt Conference, trimmed the Harding lead in the second half, shooting 55 percent after the break. The Warhawks, who made eight of their 11 3-pointers in the second half, scored five straight points and cut the Bison lead below 10 at 55-47 with 7:33 left. Harding built the lead back up to 12 points on a 3-pointer by Hayden Johnson with 5:29 remaining. The Bisons maintained a lead of at least six points until the game’s final minute. A pair of ULM 3-pointers in

the game’s final 40 seconds left Harding with a 70-68 lead with 19 seconds left. Harding’s Weston Jameson made 1-of-2 free throws, and ULM’s Marcelis Hansberry missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Bisons cooled off to 41 percent shooting in the second half but shot 49 percent for the game. Scott was 6-of10 from the field, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range. He made all seven of his free throw attempts, as Harding shot 16-of-19 (84 percent) from the free throw line. ULM went to the line only six times, hitting five. Harding junior center Zach Roddenberry tied a career high with 13 points. He made all six field goal attempts and his only free throw and led the Bisons with seven rebounds. Johnson and Bradley Spencer both scored 10 points. Charles Winborne led ULM with 18 points and Fred Brown had 17 points. Harding will play its third straight road game to open the season Monday when it meets Alabama-Huntsville, the No. 2-ranked team in Division II.

Seniors card lower scores in Wednesday tourney The Daily Citizen

Jacob Brower/

A Charleston ball carrier sheds one Harding Academy defender while Wildcat linebacker Seth Ransom (No. 58) and defensive linemen David Brooker (No. 11) and Barrett Henderson pursue during the first half of Harding Academy’s 35-9 loss in Please see WILDCATS | 2B the state quarterfinals at Charleston Friday night.

Adjusted tees and more players resulted in lower scores at The Course at Rivers Oaks Senior Members Golf Association’s tournament Wednesday. The first place team, with a 59 score was Waylon Holloway, Tom Statom, Bob Lashlee, L.V. Phiefer and Wayne Blickenstaff. The second place team, with a score of 62 was Bob Puckett, Glen Olree, Gordon Sizemore, Steven Brackins and Billy Bell. Two teams tied for third place with a 63 team score. The first team included Ver-

non Lovelady, Ferrel Stokes, Henry Huckeba, Ken Clay and Bob Raynor, while the second team consistd of David Martin, Charlie Hill, Jim Newman, Jesse Sharp and Mike Roberts. Golfers also competed in a closest-to-the-hole competition on five holes throughout the course. Jim Gowen won hole No. 5, Sid Tate won hole No. 8, Don Baugh won hole No. 11, Tom Statom won hole No. 13 and Bob Lashlee won hole No. 14. The next senior members’ tournament will be Wednesday.

Page 2B • Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Daily Citizen


Richardson powers No. 2 Bama past Auburn, 42-14 BY JOHN ZENOR Associated Press

WILDCATS: ‘The fans gave us tremendous help’ CONTINUED FROM 1B

enth grade when I came to Harding Academy. They’re a special group.” Francis told seniors what was on his mind before the game even kicked off. “I told them before the game no matter what happens, I love them and that love will not change,” he said. “Win or lose, I’ll cherish them forever.” More than 100 fans made the three-hour trek to Charleston Friday, and

senior wide receiver David Brooker, even after the loss, said he was glad to see the support the Wildcats received on the road. “The fans gave us a tremendous help,” he said. “They lifted our spirits up and the support is everywhere, no matter if we win or lose.”

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Francis said the involvement of the parents and fans has made this season even better. “We’ve got moms that fix us lunch on game days and dads who go on retreats with us,” he said. “It’s all a part of Wildcat football and the family will never change.”

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Associated Press

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) reacts near the end of a 42-14 win over Auburn in the game at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday in Auburn, Ala. handled the rest. He gained 142 yards on 13 carries in the second half against a defense ranked 98th nationally against the run. It was more than enough to end Auburn’s streak of 14 straight wins at JordanHare Stadium. The Tigers’ biggest offensive weapons were mostly nonfactors. Tailback Mike Dyer, the SEC’s No. 2 rusher, had three carries at the half and finished with 13 for 48 yards. Clint Moseley completed 11 of 18 passes for a paltry 62 yards and the pick-6. Freshman backup Kiehl Frazier played much of the game but didn’t complete either of his two pass attempts. The Tigers did threaten an offensive touchdown in the fourth but stalled on downs after getting it

to the 5. Then Richardson scampered down the left sideline and sprinted to the other side of the field for the 57-yarder. Auburn managed to hang around for three quarters. Then Milliner intercepted a badly overthrown pass by Moseley, who has now had three passes returned for TDs in Auburn’s three biggest games against LSU, Georgia and Bama. The two-point play made it 35-14, and Auburn couldn’t come close to a second straight huge Iron Bowl comeback. Like last season, Alabama led 24-7 at the half. This time the Tigers didn’t have Cam Newton pulling the trigger on a comeback en route to a Heisman and a national title.

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AUBURN, Ala. — Trent Richardson and No. 2 Alabama turned the Iron Bowl into a statement game. Now, they’ll wait and see what happens in the national title and Heisman Trophy races. Richardson rushed for a career-high 203 yards and AJ McCarron threw three first-half touchdown passes to lift the Crimson Tide to a 42-14 victory over rival Auburn on Saturday. The Tide (11-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) has a week before finding out if its resume is good enough to secure a shot at a second national title in three years. No. 3 Oklahoma State and No. 1 LSU have big games remaining against No. 12 Oklahoma and No. 13 Georgia, respectively. Richardson ran 27 times and caught a 5-yard touchdown pass in his final chance to impress Heisman voters. He had runs of 35 and 57 yards to set up second-half scores. Fans began chanting first “Heisman” and then “LSU” in the fourth, with a sizable contingent wearing crimson and white remaining in the stands afterward clamoring for a rematch. By then, there wasn’t all that much orange and blue left. The Tide fell to LSU 9-6 in an overtime game that ‘Bama fans at least feel didn’t settle the matter of which one is better. It’s pretty clear who’s best in the state. In the end, the win might have given the Tide enough style points to hold onto No. 2 in the BCS rankings whatever happens next week. The Tide dominated statistically but didn’t put Auburn (7-5, 4-4) away until Dee Milliner’s 35-yard interception return early in the fourth quarter. Alabama entered the quarter with a 309-44 advantage in total yards but also gave up touchdowns on a fumble recovery and a kick return. McCarron completed 18 of 23 passes for 184 yards but only attempted five second-half passes. Richardson


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