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Big Plays Lift Pointers, 31-20 9/7/21

Big plays lift Pointers, 31-20

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


Big plays, momentum swings, and one that will string for a bit. 


Then again, Alma coach Rusty Bush was ready to hit the re-set button before boarding the bus for the drive home Friday night.  


Van Buren quarterback Bryce Perkins threw two long touchdown passes and the Pointers overcame three turnovers for a 31-20 victory at Blakemore Field. 


Perkins and the Pointers set the tone on the second play of the game when electric Chi Henry somehow came up with a 50-50 ball that resulted in a 70-yard touchdown run. Alma appeared to have good coverage on the play, but Henry went over the top, regrouped, and then sprinted to the end zone. 


The back-breaker came when Henry scooped up a throw before it hit the turf and outraced Alma’s defense for a 97-yard touchdown with 8:31 to play in the first half. 


“All those explosive plays were back-breakers,” Bush said. “We knew going into the football game if you don’t stop No. 1 (Henry) you’re going to get beat. We didn’t even attempt that at all.”


Henry caught six passes for 260 yards. He had 215 yards receiving in the first half. 


But the Airedales, who host Poteau this week, trailed 14-6 when Kevin Mills picked off a pass at Van Buren’s 33. 


Alma, however, was able to convert and turned the ball over on downs at the 19. 


Two plays later, after losing 16 yards on first down, Perkins beat the rush and somehow got the football to Henry on a simple slant over the middle. The speedy Pointers’ junior did the rest by covering the last 85 yards for his second TD. 


Down 24-6 at the half, Alma outscored the Pointers, 14-7, in the final quarter. Conner Stacy set up the first score with another interception. 


Starting from the 20, Alma drove 80 yards for its second score, with Reagan Birchfield capping the march with a 3-yard TD run. He added a second TD with another short run in the final quarter. 


Stacy caught six passes for 153 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Joe Trusty. Senior BriLee White caught a career-high seven passes for 61 yards. He had just four receptions in 2020. 


“Our kids, I tell them all the time, they’re special and they’re going to keep battling,” Bush said. “We did some better things in the second half offensively. (But) we’ve got to get better on both sides of the football. Defensively, obviously, we can’t give up the big play. We missed too many tackles. Special teams, we had some blunders, too.”


The Pointers (2-0) had a leg up by playing their second game of the season. A blocked punt led the Pointers’ final score. 


“The most improvement coaches always say, is going to be between the first and second game,” Bush said. “We’re going to come back Monday and go win a football game.”