Both the Arkadelphia freshmen Badgers and the eighth grade Beavers trailed at half-time Thursday night at Malvern. The Badgers lost a nail-biter in the last seconds of the game, 28-27. The eighth grade Beavers came back to win the game, 14-8.

Both the Arkadelphia freshmen Badgers and the eighth grade Beavers trailed at half-time Thursday night at Malvern. The Badgers lost a nail-biter in the last seconds of the game, 28-27. The eighth grade Beavers came back to win the game, 14-8.

With 21.5 seconds left in the game, the Badgers were down 28-21. Faced with third down and 13 from the Malven 22, quarterback Garrett Rucker connected with Will Wallace in the end zone. The Badgers were one point away from a tie game. The Badgers went for the two-point conversion for the win, and Rucker was stopped just short of the goal line. Malvern won the game with 14.8 seconds left, 28-27.

The Badgers came back from being down 22-8 at half-time. Malvern got on the board first with a two-yard touchdown run by Jakhiry Dupree. Then, quarterback Justin James passed to Marcell Bedford on the two-point conversion for an eight-point lead.

The Badgers tied the game on the next drive. The Badgers started on their  own 37-yard-line. A run by Jakhiry Dixon put the Badgers in Leopard territory, but a holding penalty pushed them back to the Arkadelphia 49.

Dixon carried again for a gain, and a personal foul against Malvern put Arkadelphia at the 18-yard-line. Dixon rushed for a seven-yard gain. He got the first down in the next two carries down at the Malvern 5.

Rucker kept the ball on first and goal. From the four-yard-line, Dixon carried the ball into the end zone. He rushed on the two-point conversion to tie the game, 8-8, with 1:50 left in the first quarter.
The Leopards went ahead 16-8 with a nine-yard touchdown run by Dupree. Quarterback James ran for the two-point conversion with 6:01 left in the first half.

With 2:10 left in the half, the Leopards increased their lead to 22-8. Bedford had a 30-yard touchdown run. Dixon and Jordan Sharp made stop on the two-point conversion to keep them out of the end zone.

The Badgers started the half with a scoring drive. Will Wallace returned the kick to the 43-yard-line. Dixon carried for a gain of two. A false start penalty on Arkadelphia pushed the Badgers back five yards. Dixon only had a two-yard gain on the next play. On third down and 11, Rucker passed to Dixon who got down to the 27-yard-line.

After a four-yard loss on a rush attempt and an incomplete pass, the Badgers were faced with third and 14 from the Malvern 31. Rucker handed the ball to Dixon who handed it to Wallace who then passed to Rucker down field for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good to make it 22-14.

The Leopards increased their lead again with 2:08 left in the third. Bedford carried for two yards. The two-point conversion was no good to make the score, 28-14.

The Badgers scored again at the start of the fourth quarter. Rucker returned the kick to the 36-yard-line. Dixon ran for a gain of three. Then, Rucker passed to Wallace for the first down. Dixon gained a yard up to the 48-yard-line. After an incomplete pass, Rucker passed to Zach Gooding for a first down with 10 seconds left in the third quarter.

At the Malvern 41, Dixon ran down to the 22. Then, Gooding carried for a gain of 10 yards and the first down. Dixon got into the end zone for the Badgers with 6:33 to play. Rucker kicked the extra point to make it 28-21.

The Badgers scored again on a pass from Rucker to Wallace. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful for a final score of 28-27.

Malvern ran 35 plays for 293 yards and four touchdowns. Arkadelphia ran 52 plays for 335 yards, but with penalties the Badgers only had 272 yards.

Dixon carried the ball 25 times for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Rucker carried 11 times for 66 yards. He was four of seven passing for 47 yards and a touchdown. He also had one reception for 30 yards and a touchdown.

Wallace had three catches for 35 yards and a touchdown. He completed one of one passing for 30 yards and a touchdown.

Gooding had two receptions for 13 yards and one rush attempt for 10 yards.

“They played real hard especially in the second half,” Coach Trent Smith said. “They came out and ran right down the field and scored. They really fought back and had a chance to win the game. We were tackled a little bit short at the end.”

Smith said that he was pleased with the performance of the offensive line. “They are a key to our success. They gave him (Rucker) plenty of time to throw the ball,” he said. “Our defense missed some tackles at key times in the ball game, and the penalties hurt us.”

The Badgers will still play in a playoff game on Tuesday. “They have worked hard all year and gotten better. They are a good group and I’m proud of their hard work.”

The eighth grade Beavers won their last game of the season, 14-8.

Malvern scored on the opening drive of the game to give them an eight-point lead. From the one-yard-line, the quarterback kept the ball to get into the end zone. The two-point conversion was good to make it 8-0.

The Beavers came back in the second half and scored in the third quarter. The Beavers started on the Malvern 49. Felix Hunter carried the ball for a gain, but a holding penalty pushed them back.

On first and 20, Hunter again ran with the ball. A personal foul against Malvern for a late hit, put the Beavers at second down and five. Quarterback Rashad Young kept the ball, but was sacked for a loss of 11. From the Arkadelphia 45, Hunter ran for 55 yards and a Beaver touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good for a score of 8-6.

At the start of the fourth quarter, the Malvern quarterback’s pass was intercepted by Bud Lewis, his second interception of the game. He ran to the 32-yard-line of Arkadelphia. Hunter carried for a gain of five. Then, quarterback Griffin Rucker pitched the ball to Hunter who ran for 62 yards and a touchdown. Young passed to K.K. Gregory for the two-point conversion to put the Beavers on top, 14-8.

“I am proud of the eighth grade. They came back to win. Felix Hunter had some good runs,” Smith said. The Beavers completed their season with a 4-4 record.

The freshman Badgers will play in a playoff game on Tuesday, but the opponent and location have yet to be determined.