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September 7, 2013TweetFollow @LukeMatheson Follow @arkansasvarsity
FORDYCE - Mistakes were the difference in one of the Natural state's top high school football rivalry games, and between to evenly matched teams as Fordyce held off late to end a potentially game-tying drive by Rison. The Redbugs held on to win 28-21
The turning point of the game came with 32 seconds remaining in the first half, as Larry Buckley scooped up a Rison fumble, and returned it 38-yards to tie the game up at 14 all. Buckley would finish the night with six catches for 86 yards and a touchdown, in addition to his score off of the fumble recovery.
"He is the guy we are going to ride for most of the season," said Fordyce head coach Tim Rogers. "He is a stud. He's not very big, but he is a stud. We've got to find ways to get the ball to him, and we found a way to get it to him on defense one time. He is a play maker and we have to make sure we get the ball to him a lot."
Previous to Buckley's scoop and score, Rison had dominated the line of scrimmage and the time of possession.
The Wildcats scored first with 6:24 remaining in the first quarter when back-up quarterback Seth Crouse connected with Garrett Dedman from 17-yards out.
Fordyce would answer quickly, as Braden Chambers connected with Buckley for the 33-yard score. Chambers would finish the night 17 of 34 passing with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
"Braden did a great job tonight," said Rogers. "We were going to rotate quarterbacks, but once the game got going and we got the feel of the ball game, we stuck with him and he made some plays for us. He did a good job tonight against a great team."
Rison's offensive attack was led by Jokenzie Broughton who had 25 carries for 131 yards, and Zuntario Oliver who had 29 carries for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Rison's offense, which netted 75 plays for 333 yards, seemed to control the tempo of the game early on. The Redbug defense struggled to keep them off of the field, but was able to do so when the time mattered.
"We've always talked about defense wins championships," said Rogers. "Our defense stopped them when they had to. It seemed like every time we had a chance to put the game away we couldn't, but then again, we were able to stop them right there at the end of the ball game and once right before the half and put a stop on them. Our defense really stepped up for us tonight.
Rison took their final lead of the night with 1:23 to play in the third quarter following a four-yard run by Oliver. Oliver's touchdown was set up by a 30-yard Nathan Wilson quarterback keeper. Wilson finished the night with 15 carries for 73 yards.
Fordyce was able to march the field on the ensuing drive for the go-ahead touchdown with 45 seconds remaining in the third quarter as Chambers connected on a 27-yard pass to Charles York. Fordyce would successfully convert a two-point conversion as Chambers connected with Buckley to give the Redbugs the 28-21 lead.
The Wildcats looked as if they would potentially drive the field and perhaps tie the game late in the final quarter after recovering a fumble of their own, but the Redbug defense held on fourth down at their own 13 yard line with 19 seconds remaining in the game to seal the victory.
Rison will travel to take on Junction City next week, while Fordyce will travel to Crossett.
ARKANSASVARSITY.COM PLAYER OF THE GAME Fordyce athlete Larry Buckley. Buckley had six receptions for 86 yards and two touchdowns to include a score while on defense.
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