GREENWOOD — The Greenwood Bulldogs did make it a decade of domination over their archrival.
The Bulldogs jumped on Alma for three first-quarter touchdowns and beat the Airedales for the 10th straight season with a 35-7 win on Friday night.
"We’re really proud of our kids," Greenwood head coach Rick Jones said. "They’ve played really hard against Alma. It’s always a tough matchup because Alma’s always so big and strong, and we struggle against those kinds of teams. Over a period of 10 years, it’s been unbelievable. You wouldn’t expect that to happen with two evenly matched schools like we are. We’ve won some close ones and we’ve won some blowouts."
Greenwood (7-3, 5-2 7A/6A-Central) finished 3-0 in the 7A/6A-Central against Class 6A teams and earned the top seed. The Bulldogs will earn a first-round bye next week before hosting a second-round game.
Alma (5-5, 2-5) dropped to the third seed with the loss along with Siloam Springs’ mercy-rule win against Russellville on Friday. The Airedales will travel to either Lake Hamilton or Little Rock Parkview on Friday in the first round.
Friday, Greenwood seized the momentum early when Kevin Jones intercepted a pass on the fourth play of the game and returned it to Alma 10.
Jordan Green carried four times and cashed in a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:32 left in the first quarter. Jones kicked Greenwood’s quick lead to 7-0.
"It’s get the momentum on our side," Jones said. "I don’t know what their game plan is, but one thing you don’t plan is to throw a pick down to the 10-yard line. That’s a major momentum shift right off the bat. Our kids are fired up and ready to play. We played fast and we played hard."
Greenwood added two more touchdowns in just a matter of 1:19 near the end of the quarter.
The Bulldogs needed 10 plays to go 79 yards with Green scoring on a 3-yard run with 1:58 left in the opening quarter.
Greenwood’s defense forced a quick three-and-out, the third of the first quarter, and the Bulldogs turned to some razzle-dazzle.
On the first play after Alma’s punt, quarterback Reid Wheeler threw a long lateral, simulating a screen pass, to Jones, who pulled up and threw a perfect pass to Ryan Padilla, who was wide open. Padilla easily completed the 67-yard touchdown for a 21-0 lead.
"You cannot do the things we did tonight and beat a team like Greenwood," Alma head coach Doug Loughridge said. "We talked all week that we have to go beat them and not beat ourselves, and that’s what we did; turnovers and giving up a big play on defense. That’s uncharacteristic of us but believe me they had a lot to do with it because of what they do, their scheme and their kids believe."
Greenwood limited Alma to just 79 yards in the first half and just 118 through three quarters.
"Our defense played really hard," Jones said. "They were close to pitching a shutout. They flew to the ball. They made some stops and they got some turnovers, and that’s important."
Cameron Palmer pushed Greenwood up, 28-0, with a 1-yard touchdown run, carrying the final six plays of an 8-play drive.
Alma finally got on the scoreboard on Noah Dotson’s 1-yard touchdown run with 8:03 left.
Wheeler added a 12-yard touchdown run for Greenwood.
Greenwood finished with 373 yards of offense with Wheeler completing 13 of 17 passes for 118 yards.
Green led the ground game with 28 carries for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
Little Rock Catholic 34, Van Buren 26
The Rockets will begin post season play while the Pointers will miss the playoffs this season.
Catholic led 20-13 at the break.
Mountain View 38, Cedarville 20