The Pine Bluff Zebras earned a victory Friday night in the 6A state playoffs over the defending state champion Russellville Cyclones.
The Zebras’ 40-21 win over Russellville sends them to their ninth consecutive semi-final game in the playoffs.
Pine Bluff forced Russellville to punt on the first drive of the game, and Tyler Foots connected with Jyrimee Thompson on the ensuing drive for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
With Russellville starting their next drive, Kevawn Goins sacked the Cyclones’ quarterback on two consecutive plays, with the second sack resulting in a safety for an 8-0 lead for Pine Bluff.
Foots used his feet to add another touchdown to the scoreboard on a 7-yard run to make the score 14-0.
Russellville’s next drive didn’t last long, as Rod Stinson Jr. intercepted a pass and returned it to a good position for Pine Bluff to score.
Foots found his way into the endzone for another touchdown for a 1-yard run to give the Zebras a 22-0 lead heading into halftime.
Midway throught the third quarter, Dyllan Ashley intercepted a pass and took it in for a score to put Pine Bluff ahead 28-0.
However, the Cyclones scored 14 unanswered points to cut the Zebras’ lead in half to 28-14.
Kerry Hadley rushed for a 23-yard touchdown to put the Zebras back ahead by three scores. Later in the fourth quarter, Foots hit Thompson again for a 35-yard touchdown to put the game away for the Zebras.
The Zebras offense combined for 378 rushing yards with the help of Kylen Williams, Braylon Moody, Foots and Hadley.
Foots was also 7 of 11 passing for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
Thompson had 5 receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
Martavius Thompson had 9 tackles, and Kevawn Goins had 3.5 tackles, along with 2 sacks.
The Zebras will host the Searcy Lions Friday in the semi-finals of the 6A state playoffs. Pine Bluff defeated Searcy earlier in the season by a score of 57-34.