Pirates run out of gas at Fordyce

It’s hard to finish a ball game when the other team is simply just stronger than you. ” Rob Cox, Drew Central head football coach

In any sport, how a team starts a game is only surpassed by how it ends the same contest. Lessons about that are sometimes painful, as Drew Central discovered Friday at Fordyce’s Paul “Bear” Bryant Stadium.
Playing in their third Homecoming game in a row (theirs, Genoa Central’s and Fordyce’s), the Pirates hung with the preseason favorite in Class 3A, District 6 for 24 minutes. Unfortunately for DC, high school football gates last 48 minutes.
Following its worst loss of 2017 (56-14 at Genoa Central), Drew Central trailed the Redbugs just 18-16 at intermission. Fordyce flexed its collective muscles in the second half, though, and downed the Pirates 48-16.
The loss kept DC winless in 6-3A and dropped the Pirates to 2-6 for the season. Fordyce, meanwhile, kept pace with the top teams in the conference, improving to 4-1 in the league and 5-3 overall.
Elsewhere around 6-3A, undefeated Junction City received a scare from Smackover but remained unbeaten, wearing down the Buckaroos 46-14. McGehee had no problem with Lake Village Lakeside, winning 44-6, and Fouke won the battle of the Texarkana area, getting past Genoa Central 38-27 in other league contests.
As is typical of this time of the season, the top four teams will face off this Friday as Junction City visits Fordyce and McGehee heads to Smackover. Drew Central entertains Fouke on Senior Night to say farewell to its huge 12th-grade class at 7 p.m. at Mike Pennington Stadium—and Genoa Central makes the cross-state trip to Lake Village Lakeside to round out this week’s 6-3A games.
One of the seniors that will be honored Friday, Montiel Daniels, accounted for almost all of Drew Central points at Fordyce last weekend. Daniels opened DC’s scoring on a six-yard pass to sophomore Justin Ferrell and ran the second touchdown in himself, also from six yards out. After the second Pirate score, Daniels ran in the two-point conversion while his classmate, Kobi James, scored the first two-pointer after Ferrell’s touchdown.
That quick start simply wasn’t enough, though.
“Our kids bounced back from a loss very well,” Drew Central head coach Rob Cox said. “They came out this week and played hard. The only problem was we played hard for a half.
“Fordyce’s physicality took over in the second half. We have a ways to go in strength and it shows in the games. It’s hard to finish a ball game when the other team is simply just stronger than you.
“We have done a lot better since last year but still have a ways to go. We have closed the gap that separates us with the tradition-rich schools, such as Fordyce. Fordyce was a tough team and always has been.”
Fouke, however, presents a different scenario for Drew Central. After winning all three of its non-conference games, the Panthers lost four in a row before beating Genoa Central last Friday. The Pirates are looking to snap a five-game slide themselves.
“We’re looking forward to Senior Night,” Cox said. “I think there’s great potential for a win this week but we have to play four quarters, not two or three. We must execute and play hard—and the score will take care of itself.
“Our seniors have worked really hard and look to win their last game in front of their home crowd.”
Kickoff at 7 p.m., with Senior Night activities scheduled prior to that start.

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