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Trusty, Airedales Improve to 3-3 Overall 10/9/21


Trusty, Airedales improve to 3-3 overall

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


Alma celebrated Friday’s game by bringing back two former standouts Russell Scoggins and Chris Thickston from the 2000 team. 


Then, the 2021 team responded with the type of victory the 2000 team would have been proud of. 


Quarterback Joe Trusty combined for 163 yards rushing and passing and the Airedales’ defense had a key defensive stand late in the third quarter to secure a 14-0 victory at Citizens Bank Field at Airedale Stadium. 


“We did the things we needed to do to win a tough football game,” Alma coach Rusty Bush said. “Joe really had a big hand in our running game. We put him in good situations where he could succeed.”


Trusty threw for a season-low 79 yards, with his top receiver, Conner Stacy, finishing with 45 yards receiving. 


But Alma quarterback ran an efficient offense that helped chew up 28:22 off the clock, featuring scoring drives of 8:15 and 6:05. 


In the second half, after stopping Clarksville at the 1, Alma ran off another 8:28 by moving from its 1 to the Panthers’ 16 before turning the ball over on downs.  


That drive, too, included some key third-down conversions, including tackle Ethan Thrift’s nice block allowing Devin Poole to convert a third-and-seven with a 9-yard run. Later, Trusty helped chew up more time off the block by dashing 18 yards on fourth-and-13 from the Panthers’ 37.


Alma was a season-best 10-of-16 (63 percent) on third-downs. 


The Airedales took a 7-0 lead on Stacy’s 2-yard run on fourth-and-goal with 11:15 to play in the first half. 


Trusty made it 14-0 with a 1-yard keeper with under a minute to play in the first half. Alma’s second drive included two key third-down conversions, with Poole rumbling for 15 yards on a third-and-10 screen pass. 


Later, Brady Noyes busted through the line for 14 yards to the Panthers’ 17.


Trusty did the rest, bursting through the middle for eight yards on back-to-back runs to the 1. 


The Airedales defense did the rest, limiting the Panthers’ Arthur Alvarez to just 60 yards rushing, 19 of which came on a late run just before the end of the first half. 


The Panthers’ vaunted single-wing running attack came into Friday’s game averaging 253 yards per game. Friday, defensive coordinator Ernest Pressley’s crew allowed just 123 yards rushing, 32 of which came on a gadget play in the final seconds of the first half. 


“It was a team effort,” Pressley said. “We have a different type of preparation for the single-wing; it’s a lot of assignment football. I think our kids kind of bought into it this week … everybody had their jobs and duties. From the outside corners, having to come up and play the run, to those inside linebackers having to fill in those different alleys … it’s a little bit different.”


With four games to play, Alma finds itself tied for third place at 2-1 in league play with Farmington. 


Friday, Alma travels to Morrilton. 


“Going into Morrilton, that’s just the next one,” Pressley said. “If we can get that one, you never know what’s going to happen after that.”