Bulldogs blowout Panthers at Siloam Springs

Bulldogs blowout Panthers at Siloam Springs

Greenwood 61, Siloam Springs 7

Article By:Richard White
Photos By: Ross Fujibayashi

The Greenwood Bulldogs moved to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in 6A West conference play with an overwhelming 61-7 victory on the road at Siloam Springs last Friday night. The ‘Dogs led the Panthers 54-0 at the half after scoring 34 points in the first quarter alone, aided by several Siloam Springs’ turnovers, two of which were turned into instant points for the visitors. During one brief stretch at the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second, Greenwood scored three touchdowns in just over 30 seconds. Up next for the Bulldogs is Mountain Home next Friday, also a conference opponent. The game will serve as Greenwood’s 2022 homecoming game.

The Panthers kicked off to start the contest, sending the ball into the end zone. From their own 20 the Bulldogs then needed just four plays to reach the end zone, largely on the efforts of senior tailback Jake Glover, back from injury. Glover opened with a 36-yard dash to the Panthers’ 44. Two snaps later he caught a pass from quarterback Hunter Houston good for 11 yards to the 32. Houston then lofted a touch pass down the field and over the shoulder of receiver Grant Karnes for the touchdown. The extra point try failed and Greenwood led 6-0 (11:06).

Siloam Springs started well on offense, picking up a first down on their initial possession of the game, reaching midfield before Greenwood’s Landon Nelms picked off a Panthers’ pass and returned it 46 yards to the home 7-yard-line. It would be the first of three critical turnovers by the home team. Glover then ran to the five before Houston pitched the ball to Karnes, who raced around right end for the score. The kick by Steven Duran was good, 13-0 Greenwood (7:35).

The GHS defense then flexed its muscles, forcing a quick punt by the Panthers, returned a short distance to the Siloam Springs’ 49 by Greenwood’s L.J. Robbins. The receiver then caught his first pass for 13 yards to the 36. Houston completed two more throws to Peyton Presson and Grant Karnes, reaching the 20.

After a penalty moved the ball back to the 25, and facing fourth-and-nine, Houston found Presson again at the 11, moving the sticks. A wide-open Robbins then hauled in a touchdown pass on the next snap. Duran’s extra point kick was good for a 20-0 GHS lead with 5:12 showing on the scoreboard clock.

Yet another defensive stop by the Bulldogs ended with a Panthers’ punt to the Greenwood 46 after a penalty. On first down, Houston passed to Presson at the 38, but a holding penalty on the next snap moved the ball back to the 42. Two more catches by Presson advanced the ball to the 26-yard-line, before a third consecutive pass to Greenwood’s tallest receiver was good for six points. The extra point made it 27-0 (2:21).

But if things weren’t bad enough for the Panthers, it was about to get much worse and in rapid succession. Another punt gave the ball back to Greenwood with time running out in the first quarter. From the visitors’ 44-yard-line, Jake Glover took the handoff on first down and raced almost untouched 56 yards up the middle for another touchdown. Duran’s kick was true with just six seconds left in the period and Greenwood leading, 34-0.

Then on the first play of the second quarter, the Panthers coughed up the football, allowing Greenwood’s Eli Whitaker to scoop up the loose pigskin and race about 65 yards for a defensive touchdown. The kick by Duran was wide, leaving the score at 40-0, but not for long.

Just 20 seconds later another Panthers’ fumble was gathered up by Greenwood’s Brady Mackey and returned 22 yards for yet another gift touchdown. Duran’s kick was good, making the score 47-0 with 11:36 still remaining in the first half. At this point it seemed that Greenwood’s momentum was unstoppable, like the proverbial snowball rolling down a steep hill. The Panthers and their fans were shellshocked.

But a nine-yard loss and a penalty on Siloam Springs pushed the Panthers back to their own 9-yard-line, leading to yet another punt that rolled dead at the home 48-yard-line. Freshman QB Kane Archer then entered the game for Hunter Houston, who would not take another snap in the contest. The young signal caller needed just three snaps and a little bit of luck to score the Bulldogs’ last touchdown of the half. On third down, running back Javon Williamson met a wall of defenders at the line of scrimmage, only to have the ball squirt out of the pile. Archer scooped it up and broke into a sprint around the left side all the way for the touchdown. The play covered 44 yards and the PAT made the score, 54-0, with 9:35 left in the half.

Archer and company almost scored again three minutes later, but a Greenwood pass was picked off by the Panthers to stop the threat. The GHS coaching staff used the final minutes of the second quarter to begin subbing in players and removing starters. Very few starters saw any action in the second half.

The home team received the opening kick of the second half, but were soon punting again, still unable to move the ball against Greenwood’s defense, even the second unit. Starting at their own 17, the Bulldogs scored on their first possession of the half after an eight-play drive.

Reserve running back Josiah Spicer had three carriers on the possession, including one for 15 yards, and Archer completed four of five passes, including the last one for a touchdown to receiver Scott Holland, a 22-yard strike. The kick by Hudson Meeker was good, making the score 61-0. Siloam Springs finally scored on its next series, getting a 51-yard TD run by its quarterback against Greenwood’s reserve defense. The PAT was good, making the final score 61-7. The remaining minutes went by quickly and without incident due to the mercy rule and the running clock.

After the win, Head Coach Chris Young offered the following comments. “I’m proud,” he said. “We got out of here injury free, and we had some guys make plays. We’ve got to get better every week in practice, and [we] did. Now we’ve got to go back to work and get ready for Van Buren [next week].”

As for the lopsided nature of the score, Young said of the Panthers, “They’ve got a great program, but they are down a little this year.” Siloam Springs finished 1-9 in 2021 and lost most of their offensive players to graduation last spring. The Panthers also started a sophomore quarterback and had youth and inexperience at several other positions. They were picked to finish next to last in the conference in pre-season polling.

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