Razorbacks now bowl-eligible Contributor
The same Arkansas Razorbacks defense that required last week’s remedial course of Tackling 101 became the only SEC defense holding leading Heisman Trophy candidate running backs Derrick Henry and Leonard Fournette both to under 100 yards rushing.
Alabama’s Henry, now likely the leading Heisman candidate, rushed 95 yards on 27 carries in Arkansas’ 27-14 loss back on Oct. 10 at Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Last Saturday night is now 6-4 bowl eligible Arkansas’ 31-14 upset over the then nationally No. 9 and previous week’s No. 2 ranked LSU Tigers at LSU’s Death Valley in Baton Rouge, La., Fournette netted 91 hard-earned yards on 19 carries.
Meanwhile an Arkansas pass-rush with just eight sacks for its previous nine games five times sacked LSU quarterback Brandon Harris. Lost-yardage tackles reduced LSU’s team rushing net to 54 yards.
Quite a night for defensive coordinator Robb Smith and the defensive staff reamed midweek by Head Coach Bret Bielema.
The Razorbacks roll on a 4-game winning streak but this time with defense starring in Baton Rouge after the offense rescued 54-46 and 53-52 SEC overtime victories over Auburn in Fayetteville and Ole Miss in Oxford sandwiching the defense allowing 519 yards to a lower division Tennessee-Martin in a 63-28 victory at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
“I laid into them hard Wednesday morning,” Bielema said of his words for Smith and assistants Clay Jennings, Vernon Hargreaves and Rory Segrest. “I don’t like being like that, but I’m glad I did it now. Anytime Robb and that staff has time to stew on things, I knew they would respond very well.”
What Bielema told the defensive coaches likely didn’t vary much from what the defensive coaches had told the defensive players.
It was fundamentally do better time for this defense and it did.
“Our emphasis in practice was being able to tackle,” Arkansas freshman linebacker Dre Greenlaw, a game-leading 12 tackles with one causing an Arkansas recovered fumble, said. “I think for the most part we were able to do a good job of that.”
The defensive emphasis started with tackling Fournette.
“The biggest thing was we had to hit him in the backfield,” Arkansas senior defensive tackle DeMarcus Hodge of Monroe, La. said. “Make sure he didn’t get up to that second level and make him go east and west. I think we did a good job of that tonight.”
The Razorbacks knew foiling Fournette was the start but couldn’t be the finish. More than great running backs, scrambling quarterbacks had bedeviled the Hogs.
Bulldogs end season against the Mena Bearcats The Waldron Bulldogs hosted Hwy. 71 rivals this past Friday, Nov. 6. Ending their 10 game season, the Bulldogs fell to the Bearcats, 37-8.
Mena won the coin toss and took the football first. Waldron’s defense held and the Bearcats had to punt. Waldron stalled on its first drive too. Mena took over and with solid gains on the ground from Ryan Ozanich and a 4th down completion to Justin Dean got Mena rolling. With 4 minutes to go in the first, Cannon scored on a nine yard run and Justin Godfrey’s pat gave Mena a 7 to nothing lead.
Waldron punted on its next possession and Mena got it at its own 20. Waldron’s defense held and when Mena tried to punt, it gave Waldron some momentum. A bad snap caused David Hatfield to throw the ball out of the end zone, giving Waldron a safety. Waldron took over after the score and marched 52 yards in 11 plays, on 4th and goal from the Mena 1, Tristian Brumbelow scored and Waldron had an 8 to 7 lead.
Hatfield took the next kickoff to the Waldron 36 and Mena was in business once again.
Ozanich gained 35 yards on that drive including a 16 yard run, giving Mena the lead back. He also caught the 2 point conversion, giving Mena a 15 to 8 lead. Ozanich finished the game with a 156 yards of total offense on the night.
Waldron took over but their drive stalled out again. Cannon took over after a punt, but was intercepted by Cody Fannick three plays later.
Waldron drove to the Mena goal line as the first half ticked away but a three great stops by the Mena defense gave them encouragement going into halftime.
Tigers routed by Razorbacks The Razorbacks made it unduly hard on themselves.
But oh what they proved to themselves by not putting the Auburn game away in regulation, then persevering to prevail 54-46 in four overtimes.
A 24-21 SEC victory Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium surely would have sufficed for Arkansans, Arkansas third-year Coach Bret Bielema, and Arkansas fifth-year senior quarterback Brandon Allen scathingly criticized on sports talk radio and social media for never winning a close SEC game. Especially for Allen, Saturday marked a rebuttal four times multiplied.
With Auburn down three points and just 1:07 left starting at its 26, Bielema's Razorbacks finally seemed primed to win one, especially after a holding penalty put Auburn in a second-and-20 situation.
Then the Razorbacks' "here we go again" fourth quarter unraveling unraveled again.
Auburn quarterback Sean White and receiver Ricardo Louis connected on passes of 20 and 28 yards. That left eight seconds for Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson who nailed a 41-yard field goal to make it 24-24 and send the game into overtime.
Waldron Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs on fire at Chili Pepper 5K Waldron’s Cross Country Runners attended a premier event last Saturday, October 3rd. The 2015 Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival was held at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. The Chile Pepper was founded in order to promote cross-country and raise money for the less funded sport. Some cross country teams may not get the same recognition and support as football, however; they “run long, run strong, and run with pride with every stride.”
The Chile Pepper hosted over 80 college teams and 120 high school teams. With approximately 5,300 runners the event was great training and experience for Waldron’s XC runners. The Teams have two events coming up next week. The Rattler Run in Magazine, Arkansas, will be held on Tuesday, October 13th. The Pointer Classic will be held in Van Buren on Saturday, October 17th. Please show your support by cheering them on and wishing them well.
The Razorbacks - A better team now FAYETTEVILLE Without Santos Ramirez’ big play, the Arkansas Razorbacks never lead, 7-3 the Alabama Crimson Tide last Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
And without its big play on Ramirez, the nationally No. 8 reigning SEC champion Tide doesn’t take the 10-7 third-quarter lead from which Alabama never looked back en route to a 27-14 SEC West victory at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Arkansas trailed 3-0 when Alabama quarterback Jake Coker threw his second interception. It was a too high pass that the intended receiver couldn’t handle but redshirt freshman safety Ramirez could. Ramirez returned it 18 yards with 12 added to the Alabama 12 because of an Alabama unsportsmanlike penalty.
Three plays later Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen and receiver Drew Morgan connected on a 4-yard touchdown pass with 1:29 to spare before half.
So despite Alabama leading 204-77 in total offense and making 13 first downs to Arkansas’ six, the Hogs incongruously led, 7-3 at intermission.
It was an Arkansas lead all knew was built on a house of cards.
And all know a house of cards can crash one just one card’s misplayed.
Alabama capitalized when Ramirez bit on receiver Calvin Ridley’s first move of his double-move leaving Ridley downfield alone for Coker’s 81-yard touchdown pass with 1:39 left in the third quarter.
“The big play from Jake to Calvin was a big momentum changer in the game,” Alabama Coach Nick Saban, his Tide now 5-1 overall/ 2-1 in the SEC West to Arkansas’ 2-4, 1-2. “I think from that time on we dominated pretty well until they hit the scramble pass at the end.”
Arkansas trailed 27-7 until Allen, forced out of the pocket with just 1:37 left in the game, threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Dominique Reed, the junior transfer receiver from Camden via Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College.
Runner-up to Coker to Ridley as the outcome influencer, Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema on fourth and five from the 41 with 23 seconds left in the third quarter, orchestrated punter Toby Baker running outside off a fake. Alabama’s Michael Nysewander funneled Baker back inside, for Shawn Burgess-Baker to tackle at the 43, three yards short of the first down.
The Tide tallied seven plays later on Coker’s 3-yard touchdown pass at 12:49 of the fourth quarter.
“The big play in the game was stopping their fake punt which we knew they had,” Saban said. “I think our players did a good job of routing (forcing Baker back inside because we really were in a return. Our guys did a good job of responding.”
For his part Bielema didn’t minimize the big play that Coker and Ridley made nor that his call for the fake punt failed.
Correctly, though, he cited the circumstances that Alabama’s defense created to make that one touchdown pass so pivotal and for him to call the fake punt.
Ball, Former Bulldog signs with UAFS Lions Hunter Ball, a former Waldron High School Basketball player, signed with the University of Arkansas Fort Smith men's Basketball. Hunter is an NCAA Division I transfer from the University of Central Arkansas. Ball redshirted this past season for the Bears and will have four seasons of eligibility at UAFS. He averaged 23 points and 15 rebounds during his senior season at Waldron High School. He was twice named Team MVP. He was a three time All-Conference selection and a two time All-State selection.
"We are excited to add a player with Hunter's physicality and toughness. We felt like we needed to continue to add size and strength inside, and Hunter definitely gives us that. Besides being a physical presence, Hunter is very skilled as well as creative and crafty on the offensive end," Newman said.
Ball was named Times Record First Team Arkansas All-Area as a senior and was a named to the AHSCA West All-Star Team.
Press Box named in honor of the Voice of the Bulldogs For the past 50 years, our Waldron Bulldog family has been honored to have Mr. Fritz Morales serve as the Voice of the Bulldogs. You would be hard pressed to find a Waldron fan in the stands tonight that could not remember a time when Fritz wasn’t our voice.
Throughout his 50 years of dedication and service to our school district, Fritz has announced not only Football games, but basketball, and track meets as well. It has been my honor for each of the coaches to work with Fritz during many track meets.
Fritz always has a kind word for everyone and is a huge part of our Bulldog family and he has a passion for Bulldog athletics and for our community. We are so grateful for his service over the past 50 years.
Waldron’s Cross Country Team sensational start this season Coach Angie Bailey organized Waldron’s first meet ever by designing a 1.7-mile course and inviting Acorn to join in a local team to team run on Sept. 1. Junior Alex Her had the best finish of the day with a time of 10:50.
The first qualifying meet of the Bulldog’s XC season was on Sept. 8 at the Magazine Invitational.
The SR High boys won the Runner-up Award as well as Alex Her placing 2nd overall.
On September 12th, Waldron attended the Ft. Smith Invitational and swept the small schools division with several awards. Alex Her, Levi Asbury, Jacob Lovett, Jonathan Strong, and Nikolas Alvarez won the Sr. High Boys Champion award. Ruben Valdez, Dakota Dickens, Morgan Ingle, Bryson Bailey, and Ethan Martin’s scores received the Jr. High Boys the Champion Award. Ryleigh Anschutz, Whitney Richmond, Letzy Falcon, Jasmine Manning, and Yesenia Rios earned the Runner Up Award for the Jr. High Girls team.
Bulldogs prepared for Lavaca Golden Arrows “We are improving,” stated Head Bulldog Coach Ricky May in regard to the final outcome of the Waldron against Paris game.
The Waldron Bulldogs traveled to Paris this past Friday for a non-league bout and maintained a lead all the way into the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs along with May had believed this would be the game to quench drought of a winless season, but despite not seeing the W for the night, the Bulldogs still fought a hard fight and played till the end.
Arkansas Razorbacks Scrimmage When 1,000-yards rushing running back Jonathan Williams opted not to enter the 2015 NFL draft and return to the Razorbacks for his senior year, Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema opted to take care of him last spring.
No significant spring practice contact drills and certainly no scrimmaging or playing in the Red-White spring game.
Little Rock Marathon Registration Opens August 17 Little Rock Marathon race officials today announced that registration will open at 10 a.m. CST on Aug. 17 for its 2016 event to be held March 5-6, 2016. The Little Rock Marathon Weekend is presented by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and benefits Little Rock Parks & Recreation.
Race Weekend events include the 14th Annual Little Rock Marathon, the Little Rock Half Marathon, presented by Baptist Health; the Little Rock 10K, presented by Windstream Communications; the Little Rock 5K Fun Run/Walk; the Little Rockers Kids Marathon; and the Little Rock Health & Fitness Expo.