Magnolia scored on four first-half Hot Springs turnovers as the Panthers won their Homecoming game in a rout, 45-0.
Friday’s victory places Magnolia (3-1 conference, 3-5 overall) in an excellent position to earn a No. 2-seed and a first-round home game in the Class 5A football playoffs. The Panthers are off next week and have more time to prepare for their final regular season home game against De Queen, followed by a contest at Hope.
After the visiting Trojans punted away their first possession, the Panthers Kendrick Carey ran 58 yards on second down from his own 12. Still, Magnolia had to convert a fourth down in Hot Springs territory. Dalen Blanchard threw a bomb to Garrion Curry, who turned around in the end zone and scooped the ball with a two-handed catch for the 41-yard touchdown. J. Todd Baker kicked the extra point from Blanchard’s hold with 7:19 left in the first quarter.
Magnolia’s Jacob Hebert intercepted an Issac Shelor pass along the Trojans slideline, slipped around one defender and ran untouched for a 56-yard score with 5:25 to play in the first. Magnolia was twice penalized on the extra point kick and the resulting 30-yard attempt was blocked.
Magnolia got the ball back three plays later. Shelor threw a 41-yard completion to T.J. Brogdom. The Panthers Kamarion Burton came up from behind and knocked the football from Brogdom’s grasp. The football bounded downfield and Karadious Williams fell on it for the recovery.
Two plays later from the Magnolia 37, Blanchard ran over center and suddenly found himself alone in the Hot Springs secondary. From there, it was a footrace as the junior quarterback did his best to outrun Hot Springs Zay Wilson. Wilson finally tripped Blanchard, who fell at the Trojans 1. Deraylen Williams dove in from the 1 for the score. Blanchard threw a conversion pass to Kendrick Carey with 3:34 left in the first.
Hot Springs’ next possession ended when Kadarious Williams recovered a fumble at the Hot Springs 43.
Curry scored three plays later on a 10-yard run down the home sideline. Baker’s PAT gave Magnolia a 28-0 lead with 11:37 left in the second quarter.
Hot Springs lost the ball on downs midway through the second quarter. A 38-yard run by Blanchard set up a 20-yard touchdown run by Deraylen Williams. Baker kicked the extra point with 6:00 left in the half.
Hot Springs coughed up the football with another fumble, recovered by Magnolia’s Joshawa Carroll at the Magnolia 35.
Da’Kota Dismuke rushed for 24 yards to the Hot Springs 41, setting up a highlight reel touchdown for Garrion Curry.
Curry took a pitch from Blanchard around right end. He eluded one tackler in the backfield, and cut back inside against another defender at the Hot Springs 37. This slowed him down, and allowed Trojans defenders to catch up with him. Two defenders and Curry fell into a heap at the 25. Curry and the football went down into the back of one defender on the ground. But Curry maintained his balance and the football, and was escorted into the endzone by teammates with 2:39 left in the half.
Baker’s extra point gave Magnolia a 42-0 lead at the half.
The 35+ point lead at the half put the mercy rule into effect. Magnolia received the second half kickoff and maintained possession for all but one play of the rapid third quarter.
Hot Springs ran out of downs midway through the fourth quarter. This set up the final score of the game, a 30-yard Baker field goal with 3:52 to play.
Magnolia won, 45-0.
In other Class 5A-South games Friday:
Camden Fairview 63, De Queen 3
Hot Springs Lakeside 43, Hope 25
Arkansas High had a bye week.
The current Class 5A-South standings:
Team Class 5A-South Overall
Camden Fairview 4-0 7-1
Magnolia 3-1 3-5
Hot Springs 1-1 3-3
Lakeside 2-2 3-4
Hope 1-2 1-6
De Queen 0-2 1-5
Arkansas 0-3 1-5
Camden Fairview at Hope
Hot Springs at Arkansas High
Lakeside at De Queen