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Stacy, Others Enjoy Big Night for Airedales 9/22/21

Stacy, others enjoy big night for Airedales 


By Kevin Taylor


Alma Schools


Conner Stacy grabbed all the headlines in last week's 28-27 win over the Heritage War Eagles. He deserved them, too. 


But Stacy's big night — 15 receptions for 217 yards and a touchdown — would have been for naught had it not been for the Airedales' special team's play. 


Devin Ramos made good on all four of his PAT kicks in last week's 28-27 victory. Ramos had been 0-for-2 in the team's first two games. 


Deep snapper Nathan Smith and holder Derek Hatcher did their part, too, coach Rush Bush said.


"All the way from Devin Ramos to Derek Hatcher to Nathan Smith, executing those was the difference in the ballgame," Bush said.


"One of those actually rolled back there on the snap, and Hatcher did a great job of getting it on the tee. Last week that happened to us, and he (Ramos) yanked it to the left. We talked to him about just focusing on the tee and letting Derek do his job."


Bush was also pleased with Ramos' effort on kickoffs. 

"He kicked five kickoffs and all five of them resulted in fair catches," he said. "He's doing what we've asked him to do."


Alma excelled in other special team's play, Bush said. 

Junior Matthew Schlegal added a 47-yard run and senior BriLee White had a 28-yard kickoff return. "Special teams really had a good night," Bush said. 


Trusty rebounds 


How do you respond after going 5-for-16 with an interception? You trust the process. 


Alma junior Joe Trusty did just that in the team's win over Heritage, completing 24-of-27 passes for 279 yards and a touchdown. Stacy had a big night, but White, Hatcher, Dylan Flanagan, and Brady Noyes also combined for nine receptions. 


"I'm really proud of Joe because he didn't play well against Poteau; we all realize his numbers weren't great," Bush said. "We came in last weekend and told him we had confidence in him. He just had a bad night, and those things happen at every position, even the quarterback position. He came back ready to go to work and make himself better."


Down 27-14 at halftime, Alma opened the second half with its third 80-yard scoring drive of the game, a mix of runs and passes. 


Trusty converted two third downs on the drive.

"He made some really accurate throws and he made some great decisions," Bush said. "They caught the football and a lot of those guys got yards after the catch."


Blackhawks, Round II


Alma was on the cusp of beating Pea Ridge to open the 5A-West campaign a year ago when a fourth-quarter fumble turned the tide. 


The Blackhawks open league play at home Friday. And, though the Airedales have played two teams (Van Buren and Poteau) that are a combined 5-1, the Blackhawks’ first three opponents are a collective 6-3. 


Pea Ridge has allowed 149 points while losing to Farmington (3-0), Prairie Grove (2-1), and Siloam Springs (1-2). 


“They’re 0-3, (but) it’s the first conference game and they’re back at home,” Bush said. “They’re going to feel like they can beat us; I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. We’ve got to be able to build off of what we did. We did play well in the second half, but we can’t be satisfied with that — we have to continue to build.”