Winning streak comes to an end

Har-Ber loses to Springdale for first time in 11 years

Junior+receiver+Hunter+Wood+stiff+arms+a+Bulldog+defender+to+score+a+touchdown+Oct.+5.
Junior receiver Hunter Wood stiff arms a Bulldog defender to score a touchdown Oct. 5.

Junior receiver Hunter Wood stiff arms a Bulldog defender to score a touchdown Oct. 5.

Junior receiver Hunter Wood stiff arms a Bulldog defender to score a touchdown Oct. 5.

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As time expired in the 4th quarter at Jarrell Williams Bulldog Stadium, a sea of Bulldog students flooded the field as the Springdale Bulldogs beat the Har-Ber Wildcats for the first time in 11 years. Junior cornerback Cole Bowen watched from the sidelines in disbelief as Springdale celebrated in the middle of the field.

“It was a gut-wrenching loss. It was heartbreaking, really. There was so much riding on that game that mattered to us and what it meant to the Har-Ber alumni, the band, everyone. I feel like we let everybody down,” Bowen said.

With 2:09 left in the second quarter, junior running back Jay Burns ran in the endzone for a touchdown to put the Wildcats ahead of the Bulldogs with a score of 28-13. The Har-Ber student section roared with excitement as the Wildcats extended their lead, making it a two possession game for Har-Ber.

“We were playing good, and we had them beat,” senior defensive tackle Blake Wade said. “Both sides of the ball had a few little things we had to fix, but we were confident.”

Springdale, however, wasn’t going down without a fight as they scored 15 unanswered points to catch up to the Wildcats to make the score 28-28. The Wildcats did not take too kindly to the Bulldogs’ sudden resurgence in the game, and responded with another 14 points putting Har-Ber ahead of Springdale 42-28 to end the third quarter. The Wildcat student section was in a frenzy as the end was in sight.

“We’re gonna beat these guys,” junior inside linebacker Gabe Baker said. “We’re up two touchdowns, we thought we knew the exact game plan. We are gonna finish what we started.”

Once again, however, the Bulldogs fired back with another touchdown to put themselves back into the game. When the Wildcats got the ball back, their primary goal was to seal the deal and score to make a comeback for the Bulldogs insurmountable. All was going well, until the game clock stopped ticking and officials named Har-Ber’s second down as third down. The Har-Ber student section, band, and football team were all confused as to why time wasn’t ticking off the clock and why they lost a down for no reason.

“I told the ref ‘The clock’s not running’ and pointed to the clock, and he looked at me, then looked away,” Baker said. “When you’re playing at another team’s home, especially a rival, it’s hard to win a game when you get robbed of a down and the other team gets an extra 60 seconds.”

After the Wildcat’s failed to convert on third down and punted the ball, the fate of the game rested on the offense of the Bulldogs. The Wildcat student section was louder than they had been all night as they tried to distract Springdale from the game.

“The student section went crazy,” junior strong safety Griffin Clampit said. “They were rallying behind us. I’m very proud of them for keeping us focused on the game.”

As soon as the Bulldogs entered the red zone, the entire Har-Ber fanbase became extremely nervous. The Har-Ber fans filled the stadium with noise as the Springdale fans were silent, hoping their quarterback could focus on the game. When the Bulldogs’ quarterback made a complete pass in the end zone, however, the roles were flipped as the Har-Ber fans were stunned into silence, and the Springdale fans roared with excitement as the Bulldogs just made it a one point game. An extra kick would tie the game, but the Bulldogs wanted the win and went for a two point conversion. When the Springdale receiver caught the ball in the end zone for the two point conversion, neither the Har-Ber fans, nor the Springdale fans could believe it. The Bulldogs led the game for the first time since the first quarter with a score of 43-42. With 9 seconds left on the clock, Har-Ber needed a miracle kickoff return to win the game. The return team was throwing laterals in attempts of making it to the opposite end of the field.

“I couldn’t look. I was too ashamed. I felt like I let the team down. I was hoping they would get into the end zone, and I know Hunter Wood is good at what he does, but it was too much to ask of him to make it all the way to the end zone,” Clampit said.

When ball rolled off the field with no time left on the clock, the result was final: for the first time in 11 years, the Springdale Bulldogs beat the Har-Ber Wildcats with a score of 43-42. The entire Springdale student section rushed the field and celebrated with their team as all of Har-Ber was in complete shock.

“We played a great game. We just needed to finish,” said Bowen. “The last 7 minutes, or 7 seconds, really, is all it came down to. We gave it all we had though.”

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Winning streak comes to an end