Photos by Kevin Nagle
Ahmad Adams returned kickoffs for touchdowns of 88 and 80 yards and Gage Stark returned an interception 63 yards for a score as the Bryant White Hornets eighth grade football team of Bryant Middle School swamped the Little Rock Cloverdale Lions Cubs, 42-8, at Bryant Stadium Tuesday night.
Adams added two touchdown runs of 22 and 1 yards and Jace Freeman capped the scoring with a 15-yard TD tote.
Now 4-0, the Hornets have outscored their opponents 132-38 but face their sternest test to date in their next outing when they take on Bryant Blue of Bethel Middle School in the annual Hornet Bowl on Thursday, Oct. 8.
Against Cloverdale, Bryant White ran just 11 plays on offense (compared to 30 by the Lion Cubs). Meanwhile, the defense allowed just four first downs and a net of 49 yards rushing including eight plays for lost yardage. The lone Lion Cubs’ touchdown came on a 55-yard pass that the Hornets’ Arlon Jenkins nearly picked off.
By then, however, Bryant White had already piled up a 22-0 lead.
Adams got that started right away, taking back the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown. Quarterback Derrick Rose ran in the two-point conversion.
With its first possession, Cloverdale picked up a first down by converting a fourth-and-2. But, a play later, Catrell Wallace dropped the quarterback for a 3-yard loss and, on the next snap, Hudson Trusty came through with a sack for a loss of 8. That led to a short punt that gave Bryant White possession at its own 47.
Adams slashed for 23 yards and, two plays later, bolted 22 yards for his second TD.
The Hornets tried to pass for the conversion. Though Wallace made a eye-popping catch in the left-corner of the end zone, he was out of bounds and the lead remained 14-0 with under a minute left in the first quarter.
A bad snap on a Cloverdale punt attempt forced the kicker to have to run. He was tackled for a loss at the Cubs’ 15. It took two carries for Adams to get into the end zone again. Rose threw to Brantley Thomas on the conversion and it was 22-0.
Cloverdale answered with its lone touchdown on the only play of their possession from the 45. The catch was made off the ricochet near the Bryant 25.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Adams touched the ball for the last time on the night and streaked 89 yards for an answering score. A try for two failed and it was 28-8 with 4:11 left in the half.
The ensuing series for the Cubs started at their own 46. They tried to run the same play that scored moments before but, this time, Jenkins knocked the ball down.
They were able to pick up a first down on the ground but, on first down at the Bryant 42, a pack of Hornets led by Taylor Martin stacked up a run for no gain. On the next snap, Stark stepped in front of a pass to the outside and sprinted 63 yards for a pick-6, making it 34-8.
Cloverdale got the ball to start the second half and picked up a first down by converting a fourth-and-4. Moments later, the Cubs faced a fourth-and-7 at the Bryant 47. A fumbled snap undermined the play and Korbin Bailey recovered for the Hornets.
With Freeman carrying on five consecutive snaps, the Hornets put the finishing touches on the victory. Some of his 16-yard touchdown run was negated due to a holding penalty but, on the next play, he scored from 15 yards out. He also ran in the conversion to set the final score with 6:37 left to play.