Once Fayetteville got rolling, Van Buren was out of the game quickly.
The Bulldogs, playing like the two-time defending 7A champions they are, scored 38 points in a 19-minute span to blow out the Pointers, 45-21, in the 7A/6A-West opener Friday.
In just one half of work, Fayetteville quarterback Mitch Marshall threw for 326 yards and four touchdowns to power the Bulldogs (4-0, 1-0).
"He made some big pass plays tonight," Fayetteville coach Daryl Patton said. "He got the ball to Jordan (Dennis) and C.J. (O’Grady) and they made big yards after the catch."
The loss to Fayetteville may not have been the worst news for the Pointers (1-3, 0-1). Starting quarterback Brad Eversole hurt his leg dropping back to pass on the third play from scrimmage. He tried to play one more series in the game before sitting out the rest of the game.
"Their defense did a good job shutting us down and credit goes to them," Van Buren coach Brooks Coatney said. "It’s tough to get an injury like that. We have to be able to get some first downs and keep our defense off the field. Our defense was out there way too much and they took advantage of that."
Fayetteville jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but Van Buren quickly tied the game on a 66-yard scamper by running back Tyrone Joseph, who led the Pointers with 87 rushing yards on 14 carries.
The Pointers had a chance to take the lead as a bad punt snap on the Bulldogs’ ensuing possession gave Van Buren the ball at the Fayetteville 14. Three plays netted just three yards and Cade Almond was wide right on a 29-yard field goal.
After that, the Bulldogs rolled.
"When (Eversole) went out, I think it changed them offensively and our defense adjusted," Patton said.
Even with Joseph’s long touchdown run, the Bulldog defense limited Van Buren to just 198 total yards (120 rushing, 78 passing) and nine first downs.
"To hold them to seven points in the first half was pretty impressive," Patton added. "Brooks and his staff do a great job with their offensive scheme."
Offensively, Marshall and Fayetteville took over after the missed field goal. The Bulldogs scored on six of their next eight possessions in the half to blow the game open.
After the missed Pointers field goal, Marshall hit Terrell Tyson on a wheel route for a 78-yard touchdown pass for a 14-7 lead. Late in the first quarter, Javonte Smith scored on a 14-yard blast for a 21-7 Bulldog advantage.
A Cal Conway 37-yard field goal and a short Rico Suarez run broke open the game for Fayetteville.
Marshall ended the half with a 66-yard bomb to C.J. O’Grady and a three-play, 57-yard drive in 16 seconds, capped by a 15-yard toss in the end zone to Dennis with one second left in the half for a 45-7 lead.