Leader Blues

Saturday, November 22, 2008

SPORTS>>Red Devils season ends in Pearcy

By PHIL SKAGGS
Special to the Leader

PEARCY — The fuse never lit for Jacksonville Friday night. Lake Hamilton’s suddenly inpregnable defense saw to that.

After snuffing an early threat, the Wolves posted their third straight shutout in a dominant performance, and David Church and quarterback Phillip Butterfield each ran for two touchdowns as Lake Hamilton rolled into the Class 6A semifinals with a 41-0 quarterfinal rout of the Red Devils at Wolf Stadium.

The win sets up a showdown next Fridat at 6A top-ranked West Memphis, which advanced with a win over Texarkana.

Church pace an effective Wolves ground game with 139 yards on 20 carries. He scored on a 4-yard run to cap the game’s first drive, and from 1 yard out on the 8-3 Wolves’ first drive of the second half.

The fourth of Brett Miller’s five point-after kicks made it 28-0, and the Arkansas Activities Association’s running-clock rule went into effect after Butterfield tossed a 30-play touchdown pass to Tauno Vannucci on the play following Vannucci’s 17-yard punt return.

Miller made it 35-0 with 3:34 left in the third quarter.

“Everybody was just blocking really well,” Church said of his big night, which ended after Kenny Rains recovered a Jacksonville fumble late in the third period. “They just couldn’t stop the run. Don’t stop what’s not broken, you know.”

Jacksonville’s offense, meanwhile, couldn’t get started after it first possession ended on downs at Lake Hamilton’s 27 yard-line.

The Red Devils, finishing 6-6, picked up three first downs on the drive, which started after a 58-yard Lake Hamilton drive for Church’s first TD, but were held to two the rest of the game.

The shutout runs the Wolf defense’s string of scoreless quarters to 13, dating to the fourth quarter of a 38-21 win over El Dorado. Lake Hamilton held Jacksonville to 81 total yards. The Wolves had 334.

Jacksonville’s only threat came after Patrick Geans ran for 24 yards on a fake punt from the Red Devils’ 29.

After two more first downs, the drive stalled at Lake Hamilton’s 27, with quarterback Logan Perry getting rushed into an incompletion by a blitzing D.J. Bell.