By Kyle Sutherland
Both underdogs found a way to win in the semi-finals as Izard County Consolidated’s dream first season will continue after a last-second score and Rector found a way to knock out the last undefeated team left in the Sanctioned Division . With an extra week to prepare, December 1 will be a matchup of ‘Cougars’ squads competing for the state championship.
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Wyatt Buchanan, Izard County
The sophomore completed 18 of 30 passes for 370 yards and 5 touchdowns, and also rushed 13 times for 74 yards and a score, in ICC’s 62–56 victory over Woodlawn. Buchanan also collected 5 tackles (2 solo) on defense.
Jacob Cox, principal
The junior amassed 120 yards of offense and caught a touchdown pass in Rector’s 30-28 victory over Mountain Pine.
Malachi Cruz, Izard Province
Cruz hauled in 13 passes for 291 yards for 3 touchdowns—including the game-winning score—in ICC’s 62-56 victory over Woodlawn. He also collected 20 tackles (11 solo) and forced a fumble on defense.
Keelan Dobbins, Mountain Pine
The senior amassed 187 yards of total offense (114 rushing) and 4 touchdowns in Mountain Pine’s 30-28 loss to Rector. Dobbins also collected a total of four tackles, including a sack, on defense.
Drew Henderson, principal
The junior amassed 300 yards of offense and four touchdowns in Rector’s 30-28 win over Mountain Pine.
Tyler Hill, Izard County
Hill caught 4 passes for 59 yards and 2 touchdowns in ICC’s 62-56 victory over Woodlawn. He also collected ten tackles, four solo and two for loss, and an interception on defense.
Dayjon Matlock, Mountain Pine
The senior led the Red Devils with a total of seven tackles, including three sacks, in Mountain Pine’s 30-28 loss to Rector.
Jacob Mooneyhan, Principal
The junior led the Cougars with 10 total tackles in Rector’s 30-28 victory over Mountain Pine.
Noah Stevenson, Izard County
Stevenson rushed for three touchdowns in ICC’s 62-56 victory over Woodlawn.
Fisher Hale, Woodlawn
The senior rushed 21 times for 207 yards and 5 touchdowns in Woodlawn’s 62-56 loss to Izard County.
SCORES AND RANKING
Rankings of sanctioned divisions
No. 1 Izard County Consolidated (8-2)
The Cougars rise to first place and play in the state championship in the program’s first season. Tied at 58, Wyatt Buchanan threw out a prayer from 26 yards out that was snatched from the air by Malachi Cruz over two defenders. The final chapter of Cinderella’s story is now being completed at War Memorial Stadium.
No. 2 headmaster (8-2)
Rector trailed 20-8 at halftime, but came back roaring to upset defensive second place Mountain Pine 30-28, which the Cougars fell to 38-16 in Week 2. The backfield of Drew Henderson and Jacob Cox led the way since as well as defensive leader Jacob Mooneyhan. The Cougars are playing Izard County for the third time this year and now it’s for all the marbles in Little Rock.
No. 3 mountain pine (11-1)
The Red Devils fell just short of a chance at a berth in their third consecutive state title game, losing 30-28 to Rector after surrendering a two-score lead at half-time.
No. 4 Woodlawn (9-2)
Woodlawn’s season ended in heartbreaking fashion on the final play of the game when a 26-yard pass was scored well, but Izard County came down with the ball to end the Bears’ campaign in 2022.
No. 5 Brinkley (5-4)
The Tigers’ season ended on November 11 in a 60–16 first-round loss to Woodlawn.
Click here for full conference standings and scores.