Efficient Mustangs rain TD’s on Trojans
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
By ROB PATRICK
HOT SPRINGS — The Bryant Junior High Mustangs’ offense got the ball seven times in their game against the Hot Springs Junior Trojans at Tommie Holt Stadium Thursday, Sept. 6. They scored on six of them.
The Junior Trojans had no answer for the Mustangs who had three different quarterbacks lead touchdown drives in their 42-6 romp that was played, for awhile, in a downpour.
The Mustangs were hardly fazed as they rolled to their second lopsided victory of the season. They host Vilonia this Thursday.
Hot Springs managed just 105 yards of total offense in the game on 25 snaps, with 78 of that coming on the Junior Trojans’ lone touchdown, a run by Keith Wilcots late in the third quarter. Take away a 21-yard run by Jamelle Craven early and a 15-yarder by Johnny Jones on the last play of the game, and the Junior Trojans were left with a net of minus-9 on 22 plays.
The Mustangs, meanwhile, rushed for 130 and passed for 127. Their trio of quarterbacks — Bryan Griffith, Anthony Mask and Rett Hatcher — combined to complete 7 of 8 passes.
A 28-yard pass from Griffith to Todd Bryan set up Bryant’s first score three plays into the game. Griffith sneaked in from the 1 and Bryan added the extra point to make it 7-0.
Hot Springs managed it’s lone first down of the first half on Craven’s run during it’s first series. The Junior Trojans reached their 49 but the Mustangs pushed them back. Zack Young dropped Wilcots for a loss of 2 on a sweep then Kevin Carr and David Hollis met at the quarterback, dropping David Nealey for a 4-yard loss on a third-down play.
Under pressure from Bryant’s B.J. Thompson, Hot Springs punter Dennis Dunhentell shanked a 4-yard punt and Bryant’s offense was in business again. Behind the running of Landon Bullock, who carried the ball on each of the seven plays in the drive, and a face mask penalty against the Trojans, the Mustangs found paydirt again. Bullock scored on a 5-yard blast. He would be Bryant’s top ballcarrier with 84 yards on 12 carries.
Hot Springs went backwards again on the subsequent possession. Brett Solonycze caught Craven for a loss of 3 on first down then combined with Thompson on an 11-yard sack back to the 2. Wilcots got back out to the 6 on third down to give Dunhentell room for another short punt, a 19-yarder.
Bryant covered the 27 yards to another touchdown in three plays, two of which were passes. The first from Mask to Josh Rice covered 13 yards. The second, from Mask to Travis Wood, went for the score from 10 yards away.
Hot Springs lost a net of 4 yards in three plays on it’s next possession. Bryant regain possession at the Trojans’ 36 and scored again on two plays. Bullock bulled for 7 yards then Griffth and Rice connected for a 29-yard TD toss.
It was 28-0 at the half.
After a long interruption for an injured Hot Springs player on the second-half kickoff, the two teams traded punts. On the Hot Springs possession, Hunter Nugent and Zach Hannahs made tackles for losses.
Bryant head coach Scott Neathery started substituting a bit and a procedure penalty forced Bryant’s lone punt of the game. In turn, Wilcots got loose after appearing to be stopped in the backfield but never going down. A try to tack on a two-point conversion failed, leaving it 28-6.
Bryant answered after a strong kickoff return by Nugent, driving 50 yards in six plays. The drive, which included the lone incomplete pass of the game by the Mustangs, was keyed by a 27-yard pass from Griffith to Ritchie Wood. The touchdown came on a 13-yard Griffith pass to Travis Wood.
Daniel Griffin and Spenser Barksdale combined on a lost-yardage tackle and Nugent had another one in Hot Springs’ next possession as Bryant turned the Trojans back after they had a second and 2 situation.
In all, the Mustangs dropped Hot Springs backs for losses 11 times.
Hatcher took over at quarterback when the Mustangs got the ball back at the Trojans’ 43. He completed a 7-yard pass to Colby Landers along the way and Young covered 34 yards on nine carries including the final touchdown, a 5-yard run with 1:30 left in the game.