LITTLE ROCK — After trailing the Little Rock Catholic Rockets the entire first half, Alma scored two unanswered touchdowns in the third period Friday in a 27-16 victory at War Memorial Stadium.
The Airedales never led until the 5:29 mark of the third period. Catholic owned a 14-13 halftime margin and increased that lead to 16-13 seven seconds into the second half on a safety. Alma then notched two scores in a span of 3:22 to take the lead for good.
With 5:29 remaining in the third period, Alex Beneux capped a 13-play, 84-yard drive and scored from the 1-yard line. The drive was aided by a pass interference call, a 29-yard reception from quarterback Noah Dotson to Jeremiah Nicholson and Dotson’s 18-yard run.
The Rockets went three and out, and Alma set up at its 37-yard line. Seven plays later, Dotson connected with Landon Brigance for a 35-yard touchdown. Dotson moved the Airedales into Catholic territory on a 21-yard gain.
Quickly in the first quarter, the Rockets built a 14-0 within a span of one minute and 31 seconds. With 7:01 left in the first period, quarterback Taylor Price capped a seven-play, 49-yard drive with a 20-yard reception to Thompson Olaimey. The drive was set up after Peyton Adams intercepted Dotson.
Alma’s ensuing possession didn’t last long after Alex Key fumbled the ball after making an 8-yard reception from Dotson. Catholic set up at the Alma 18, and two plays later Lance Harville-Thomas scored from 14 yards out with 5:28 left on the clock.
The Airedales gained the momentum at the end of the first period on Brigance’s 98-yard sprint. With a second and 10 at the Alma 2-yard line, Brigance broke tackles and sprinted down the sideline on his way to the end. Walker’s PAT was no good for the 14-6 score at the end of the first quarter.
With under six minutes left in the first half, Alma sustained a 65-yard drive with Dotson completing two big passes. The first was a 31-yard reception to Alex Key which gave the Airedales a first and 10 at the Rocket 27. With a fourth and six at the 23, Dotson found Heath Friddle in the end zone for the 23-yard touchdown catch with 2:49 remaining in the half. Walker’s PAT was good, and Alma trailed at the half 14-13.