McGEHEE — McGehee Coach Marcus Haddock sure knows how to get his players' attention.
McGEHEE — McGehee Coach Marcus Haddock sure knows how to get his players’ attention.
Moments after the Owls took an uneven 27-12 victory over Clarksville Friday, Haddock informed his team that Heber Springs — the odds-on favorite to be McGehee’s next opponent — had been beaten soundly by Farmington.
Haddock’s point was direct: The Owls played well enough to win, but not four full quarters of football. And if a Heber Springs team generally regarded as the No. 2 team in Class 4A can fall suddenly, incomplete games will no longer cut it.
“We showed a little bit of our youth tonight,” Haddock said. “We lost our attention at times. We lost our focus at times. When we got up, they started pouring it on. They didn’t quit.”
The scoring line proves Haddock right. The Owls came out quick, scoring back-to-back touchdowns, first on a 32-yard run by quarterback Deondrai Haynes and then on a 15-yard run by Roger Blackmon. Both scores were set up by long runs from fullback Steven King, who led all rushers with 136 yards on 12 carries.
The Owls would score one more time before the end of the half, getting a 2-yard touchdown run from Haynes on fourth down. And McGehee got in a comfortable spot in the second half, scoring on its first possession with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Dominique Johnson.
After that, nothing.
The Owls failed to mount a serious offensive push the rest of the night, with Clarksville successfully stacking the line to prevent any more of the inside runs that were McGehee’s earlier bread-and-butter. Though the Owls tried to counter with misdirection plays to the edges, drives were stalled because of fumbles and illegal procedure penalties.
“We did some things we normally don’t do,” Haddock said.
Haddock said he was proud of his players, but warned them that letting up deep in the postseason can be dangerous. That fact hits close to home, as McGehee must now prepare to host a suddenly hot Farmington team rather than a Heber Springs program that had been dominant all season.
“Anyone can win on any given night, and it doesn’t matter who you are,” Haddock said.