Bryant White defense stymies Conway Blue for second shutout

For more photos of this event by Kevin Nagle, go here

Quarterback Pierce Kinley hands off to Daizure Hale. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

CONWAY — The Conway Blue Wampus Cats eighth grade team snapped the ball on offense just 18 times on Thursday evening at Centannial Bank Field at John McConnell Stadium. And of those 18 snaps, the Bryant White Hornets eighth grade team of Bryant Middle School dropped them for losses a whopping 13 times.

The result was the Hornets’ second consecutive shutout as Conway Blue finished with a net of minus-48 yards of offense in the 24-0 loss.

On Monday, Sept. 18, Bryant White blanked Little Rock Forest Heights 28-0.

The Hornets rushed for 245 yards in the game. Quarterback Pierce Kinley accounted for 94 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries as Bryant White improved to 2-2 on the season going into the annual Hornet Bowl against Bryant Blue of Bethel Middle School on Thursday, Oct. 5.

Dylan Haynes (2) tries to turn the corner off a block provided by Gavin Burton (4). (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

The Wampus Cats picked up just one first down in the game. It came on the second play of the game, a second consecutive run by tailback Jabari Davis. But, when Davis carried the ball on the third and fourth plays, he was dropped for losses by Bryan Azpeizia and Chris Elder who refused to be blocked all night.

After a punt, the Hornets’ offense took the field for the first time and benefited right away from an offsides penalty. After Kinley passed to Daizure Hale for the only completion of the game for either team, Hale broke for 21 yards on a speed sweep. The run was negated by a holding penalty but that only delayed Bryant White’s getting into the end zone.

Kenny Jabo (19) uses a block by teammate Dave Lewis (21) to get upfield. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Keyed by an 18-yard gallop by Robert Hendrix and a 21-yard keeper by Kinley, the Hornets drove to the 2 where the quarterback kept again for the touchdown.

Hendrix ran in the two-point conversion to make it 8-0.

Azpeizia and Elder combined for lost-yardage tackles on the first two snaps of the Wampus Cats’ subsequent possession and, after an incomplete pass from quarterback Logan French, another punt gave the Hornets great field position at their own 48.

Bryant White’s Cameron Booth (13) tries to get into position to provide some interference for Robert Hendrix (26). (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Hale’s 16-yard sprint on second down and Hendrix’ 11-yard burst was followed by Kinley’s 25-yard jaunt that set up his 2-yard touchdown keeper. Hendrix ran in the conversion to make it 16-0 with 4:04 left in the half.

In turn, the Cats went backwards again. On a third-and-14 from the 36, French rolled out, pursued hotly by Bryant White’s Thomas Mays who dragged him down. On the way down, French fired the ball upfield to no one and he was called for intentional grounding.

The Hornets had two more possessions before the half was over but both ended with interceptions.

But they got the ball back to start the second half and rolled to a final TD. Kinley started the drive with a 16-yard dash. For plays later, Hale, on another fly sweep, dashed 25 yards for the score. Hendrix ran for two and the final score was on the board with 4:55 left to play in the third quarter.

Conway Blue wound up gaining yardage on just one play in the second, a 4-yard run by Jostin Brown with just over five minutes left to play. A tackle for loss by Mays then a sack by Turner Seelinger spelled the end for the Cats.

The Hornets drained the final 2:57 of the game with reserves in the contest. Kenny Jabo and Roderick Bailey each had good runs as they drove to the 13 before the game ended.

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