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Clarksville 34, Alma 14 10/9/20

By Kevin Taylor
Alma Schools 
 
CLARKSVILLE  Clarksville coach Kris Buckner felt like the Panthers kept shooting themselves in the foot in the first half of Friday's game with Alma. 
 
Thanks to some halftime adjustments, the Panthers poured it on in the second half for a 34-14 win over the depleted Airedales in 5A-West play. 
 
The Airedales turned the ball over three times, which led to one score. 
 
"I felt like we were really uptight in the first half and kept shooting ourselves in the foot," Buckner said. "But we settled down and played well in the second half. We knew we had to stop No. 3 (Conner Stacy). But they (Alma) threw some wrinkles in there. They did a good job of mixing it up."
 
Clarksville (2-3, 1-2) held a precarious 13-7 halftime lead, despite holding the ball for nearly 17 minutes in the first half and doubling up the Airedales in total yards. 
 
The Panthers' Cole Chrisman picked off a pass and raced 40 yards for a touchdown with 10:41 left in the third quarter, and super sophomore Arthur Alvarez bulled his way into the end zone early in the fourth quarter to give the Panthers a comfortable 27-14 lead they never relinquished.
 
Clarksville finished with 308 yards rushing. 
 
"That's something we hang our hat on," Buckner said. "That drive gave us some breathing room."
 
Alma senior Logan Chronister finished with 130 yards on the night, including a 6-yard touchdown run that pulled the Airedales to within a touchdown in the second quarter. 
 
First-year Airedales' coach Rusty Bush dressed only 41 players — 23 fewer than what the team had a week earlier. Alma was without six defensive starters.
 
Bush said there was no way he wasn't playing.
 
"You owe it to these seniors," he said. "For these kids, this (football) is it. They put in the time and practice. That's no reason not to play."
 
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc with teams across the state. The Panthers' game with Pea Ridge on Oct. 23 is up in the air after Pea Ridge announced Friday it was canceling its next two games because of COVID-19.
 
"We're going to play somewhere," Buckner said.
 
The Panthers travel to Farmington next week.
 
The Airedales, who have played four of six games on the road, return home to host Morrilton.
 
Alma sophomore Derek Hatcher finished the game with 64 yards passing, completing 6-of-17 passes. He was Alma's third different starting quarterback.
 
Junior Devin Poole added a 4-yard touchdown run for the Airedales (1-5, 0-3).