Magnolia, trailing Hot Springs 21-10 midway through the second quarter on Friday night, rolled off five unanswered touchdowns on the way to a 52-33 Class 5A-South football win.
The Panthers improved to 1-1 in conference and 4-2 overall, with two regular season games left in the COVID-19 shortened season. The Trojans are 3-3, 2-1.
Magnolia has a planned open date for Friday night, but Coach Mark King is looking for an opponent to make up for cancelled games against TexARKana and Hot Springs Lakeside.
Hot Springs scored first during its homecoming game on a three-yard run by Devon Johnson. Juan Martinez kicked the extra point.
Magnolia responded with a 52-yard touchdown by Garrion Curry. Curry took a handoff from sophomore quarterback Dalen Blanchard around left end and motored along the visitor’s sideline for the score.
Jay Don Baker kicked the extra point from Tanner Nielson’s hold.
The Magnolia defense made an impressive stand after a Panthers punt was blocked at the Magnolia 7. Marcus Snider broke up a pass in the end zone on fourth down to set up a 96-yard scoring drive. A key play was a 49-yard reception of a Blanchard pass by Jaikeim Warren.
Jay Todd Baker kicked a 30-yard field goal with 8:38 left in the half for a 10-7 Magnolia lead.
Hot Springs put Magnolia in a hole with two quick scores, including a 47-yard run by Johnson, and a 45-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by the Trojans’ Anthony Island.
With 1:54 left in the half, Blanchard found Curry for a 67-yard touchdown pass. Baker’s PAT cut the Hot Springs lead to 21-17.
Magnolia scored the next four touchdowns.
Blanchard ran for a 4-yard score with 9:49 left in the third period.
Blanchard connected against with Curry – this time going down the middle to his wide-open receiver on a 74-yard play with 5:36 left in the third.
Deray Williams scored on a one-yard run as Magnolia took at 38-21 lead.
Hot Springs was driving for a score when Magnolia’s Marcus Harper hit Hot Springs QB Issac Shelor and separated him from the ball. Shawn Bell returned the fumble 78 yards for a touchdown. He was helped again by Harper, who raced downfield to throw a block against a Hot Springs Trojans player who was gaining on Bell.
Magnolia led 45-21.
Shelor scored a two-yard touchdown for Hot Springs but a conversion failed.
Kendrick Carey scored Magnolia’s final touchdown on a six-yard run with 4:59 to play.
Shelor threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to Kaimani Gray for the last score of the game.
Friday’s win was Magnolia’s fourth consecutive victory against Hot Springs.