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September 2, 2013TweetFollow @LukeMatheson Follow @arkansasvarsity
LITTLE ROCK - The 2013 Arkansas high school football season started out with a shocker at War Memorial Stadium as Class 4A Ashdown defeated seventh ranked Class 7A West Memphis 49-46.
The Panthers would score 22 fourth quarter points to help them bring home the victory, and it was a victory that head coach Matt Richardson was looking for.
"We talked about laying a brick tonight," said Richardson. "Alabama and the Yankees started somewhere. Every great program started somewhere and we had to start somewhere and we did that tonight by laying a brick for our foundation. I took this head job three years ago, and this was the group I've been waiting for, and I'm finally here with them."
West Memphis was up 40-34 with 5:11 to play, until the Panthers went on a time killing drive, until Devaughn Sanders scored from four-yards out with 2:25 to play. On the ensuing kickoff, West Memphis return man Kam Pittman would fumble. The ball rolled into the end zone, where Pittman was stuffed by a host of Panther defenders to give Ashdown the 42-40 lead following the safety.
Ashdown would score again with 2:00 remaining as Lamontrick Turner found pay dirt from 42-yards out. The PAT gave the Panthers their final score of 49 points.
West Memphis wouldn't go down without a fight, as Pittman scored with 49 seconds. The Blue Devils would attempt a two-point conversion which failed, bringing us to our final score of 49-46.
Richardson said he knew his team had a chance to win the game as soon as they made it to the stadium.
"I knew we had a shot as soon as we pulled up on the bus," he said. "Last year we went to West Memphis, and we had 31 kids. West Memphis looked like a junior college. They had some unbelievable athletes, and our kids played with them. This year watching them on the field, I thought we were more athletic, and I think that really showed on the field tonight. We've been preaching all week that we were going to win this ball game, and we believed that."
Richardson mentioned the players he felt stood out for his team the most in their upset victory.
"Devaughn Sanders was sure fun to watch return those kicks," said Richardson. "Ladarius McElroy, how about that guy. He is a big, good looking kid. Parrish Guilloroy caught the big post across the middle that scored."
My offensive coordinator I've had for two weeks. How about that guy?" Richardson continued. "Brian Cauthron. He scored 49 for me tonight. We had an offensive coordinator who had to resign because his dad was sick, and this guy did a great job tonight."
Three-star recruit Jarvis Cooper looked solid for West Memphis, scoring three touchdowns and making big plays on defense.
NOTE: Stats were not provided at the stadium for this game.
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