Editor's Note: Due to press deadlines, the story about Watson Chapel's 28-22 loss to Nashville will appear in Wednesday's Commercial.
Penalties shot the Dollarway Cardinals in the foot in the 2018 England Bank Mortgage Kickoff Classic against the Little Rock McClellan Lions.
McClellan cruised to a 55-0 win, and Dollarway Head Coach Martese Henry wasn't pleased at all by the number of mental mistakes his guys made. The Lions gained 334 total yards of offense compared to Dollarway's 59.
"We have to go back to drawing board and look at some things," Henry said. "I kind of expected the mistakes early on with the number of younger guys we're playing. I like the overall effort, I love the grit that they showed, and now we just have to iron out some wrinkles."
In the first quarter, Dollarway committed 11 penalties for 63 yards while gaining only 29 yards on 14 offensive plays.
At quarterback, Dollarway sophomore Travelle Lee got the start, but his high school career didn't have an ideal beginning. On Dollarway's first drive, McClellan forced a fumble on the second play from scrimmage allowing them to start their drive on the Dollarway 19 yard line.
It took two plays for the Lions to punch it in as McClellan's Jaylen Williams scored from six yards out on their second play of the first drive.
Things continued to turn for the worse for the Cardinals as they shortly after had a punt blocked, giving McClellan the ball on Dollarway's 34 yard line going in.
However, on the ensuing drive, Maurice Tatum recovered a fumble at McClellan's own 49 yard line for Dollarway's first impactful play of the game.
After Kavareous Lowe found a crease down the sideline for a 12-yard run, the drive was stalled as Henry went with a wildcat package, inserting Terrance Brown in at quarterback. Brown entered in for Lee in a situational third and short, and McClellan's defense shut it down to force a three and out.
McClellan's offense responded quickly as Derrick Lloyd Jr. scampered for a 25-yard touchdown to put the Lions on the one yard line going in. On the next play, Williams punched it in from the one to increase the Lions' lead to 12-0 with 5:29 left in the first quarter.
Dollarway couldn't stop committing penalties, which forced them to be stagnant on offense.
McClellan then strung together a drive that was sparked by Xavion Morgan. Lion Broderick Lacy had a 10-yard touchdown run in the first 10 seconds of quarter two to give McClellan an 18-0 advantage.
Brown bounced back to give the Cardinals somewhat of a spark after connecting with Derrick Davis for their biggest gain of the game up to that point. However, a play later the wind went out of the sails for the Cardinals as Brown threw an interception to kill any momentum they were mustering up.
The Dollarway defense was put in tough field position situations, and Davis saved what could have been another Lion score with an interception to get the Cardinals the ball back on their own three.
But Little Rock McClellan Head Coach Maurice Moody didn't have any intention of taking his foot off the gas. With 10:18 to play in the third quarter, Damian Martin completed a 14-yard touchdown pass, and Broderick Lacy punched it in for the two-point conversion, giving the Lions a 34-0 advantage.
Morgan began to impose his will against the Cardinals, who simply had no answer. Lloyd recorded a two-yard touchdown run to put McClellan up 42-0.
The bleeding didn't stop for the Dollarway defense as on McClellan's first possession in the fourth, a 31-yard touchdown run by Broderick Lacy put the mercy-rule in effect. With 10:20 to play in the game, Little Rock McClellan led Dollarway 49-0.
"There's no excuse, but at the same time they're a well-oiled machine," Henry said. "We're still putting our pieces together, but I think they gained a lot of experience form this game. We know what we need to work, and what we can get better at."