ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – Junior running back Jaishon Davis (6-2, 230) sparked a 30-point first quarter explosion for Arkadelphia Friday night at Badger Stadium.
Davis rushed for more than 100 yards, and scored three of his four touchdowns in the first 11 minutes to lead the Badgers past Hot Springs, 44-14. The games was scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m., but didn’t start until 8:35 because of several lightning strikes in the area.
“We looked young and didn’t do a good job,” said the Trojans’ disappointed coach Darrell Burnett. “We didn’t do a good job of tackling. You’ve got to tackle the big guy (Davis), and their very athletic quarterback (Braeden Thomas). We kept fighting after falling behind 30-8, and that was a positive.
“You could tell Arkadelphia played with energy, discipline, fundamentals, and they won. Davis is a DI dude, but we’re going to be facing those type of guys and you’ve got to be ready. We’ve got to be ready, and have a better showing than what we had tonight.”
Trojans struggled to tackle Davis
It didn’t take the Badgers long to turn the first quarter into a nightmare for Hot Springs.
Arkadelphia (2-0) took the opening kickoff, scoring less than three minutes later on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to senior Kyleer Phifer.
The Trojans muffed the ensuing kickoff and started their first possession at their own 1. A first down run was stuffed, resulting in a safety with 9:17 left in the first period.
Davis scored his first touchdown less than two minutes later on a 12-yard run.
Good field position was wasted by the Trojans when Isaac Shelor’s first pass was intercepted. A 32-yard run by Davis set up his own 29-yard TD jaunt. That made it 22-0 with 4:27 left. The Badgers had ball again seconds later, but a fumbled snap was kicked around and recovered by Hot Springs’ Pierce Smalley at the Badgers’ 2.
Trojans’ first score comes after fumble
Senior Kaimani Gray scored on the next play, while also adding the two-pointer.
That momentum disappeared quickly when Davis scored again with 1:24 left in the opening quarter. The PAT attempt was fumbled, but holder Alex Loy completed a pass to Donavan Whitten for two points.
Turnovers and penalties stopped both teams in the second quarter until the final seconds. Davis scored on an incredible 15-yard run when he ran over four Trojan defenders.
Davis sat out the second half, but Arkadelphia’s running game didn’t miss a beat with junior Braylon Bailey taking over. Bailey appeared to score on a 42-yard run, but the play was wiped out by a holding penalty. Seconds later he scored on a 15-yard run to make it 44-8, which kept the clock running.
Hot Springs scored the game’s final points on Devin Johnson’s 1-yard plunge.