Savage Heat race past Valley Christian
By CHUCK BANDEL
If you are a fan of scoring in a football game, this one was for you.
Less than a minute into the opening quarter of Saturday night’s six-man football game with visiting Valley Christian, Hot Springs found itself down 6-0.
But the Savage Heat had a quick response to a 65-yard run by the Eagles running back extraordinaire Eyan Becker when junior running back Kyle Lawson hauled in a 50-yard scoring strike on an option pass play, knotting the game at 6-6.
From that point on, the scoreboard lights got a workout to say the least.
In the end, Hots Springs had too much speed and just enough defense to secure a 53-38 win in what was their home debut and season opener.
In what turned out to be a back-and-forth first half, Valley Christian answered Lawson’s score with a 10-yard run by Asher Beaudin on the Eagles’ next possession. A missed extra point try left the visitors with a 12-6 lead at the 5:26 mark of the first 10 minutes.
On the Savage Heat’s next turn with the ball, they overcame a fumble that was recovered by the home team and culminated a long drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jack McAllister to Lawson. A successful point after run by Lawson gave Hot Springs a 13-12 lead with just under three minutes to play in the first quarter.
The Heat defense then stopped Valley Christian on downs, taking over at the Eagles 32-yard line. With 18 seconds left in the quarter, McAllister plunged over the goal line from two yards out. Coupled with a successful two-point after kick, the Savage heat held a 21-12 lead as time expired in the frenzied opening stanza.
Another Heat defensive stop eventually resulted in a 25-yard razzle dazzle scoring pass from Lawson to Bert DeTienne, giving Hot Springs a 27-12 lead.
Valley Christian answered that score on its next drive with a short passing TD to Beaudin.
A fumble on the next Hot Springs drive was recovered by the Eagles and quickly converted into a touchdown pass that brought Valley Christian within one, 27-26.
Not to be out done, Hot Springs promptly marched the length of the field and scored again when McAllister bulled into the end zone from two yards out. With 1:46 to play in the first half, Hot Springs led 33-26.
That score was then answered by the Eagles when Beaudin hauled in a 54-yard pass and run, pulling them within one point, 33-32 with 26 seconds to go.
Again, Hot Springs moved the ball quickly downfield, only to be denied entry into the end zone when Valley Christian stopped Heat senior Lincoln Slonaker at the 2 as the half came to an end.
McAllister opened the second half with a 46-yard scoring scamper which, when coupled with a successful point after try, boosted the Heat to a 40-32 lead.
The lead held up throughout the rest of the game.
Bouyed by a touchdown pass from McAllister to Lawson and a 3-yard McAllister TD run following a pass he intercepted to thwart an Eagle drive, Hot Springs boosted their lead to 53-38 by the end of the third quarter.
Remarkably, the fourth quarter proved to be a mistake-plagued 10 minutes of play, with both teams losing a fumble and Valley Christian drives being stopped by penalties and timely Hot Springs tackling.
Neither team could find the end zone in the fourth, although a long apparent 77-yard scoring strike by the Eagles was called back due to an illegal forward pass penalty.
The win gives Hot Springs a 1-0 record which they will take to Gardiner for a 1 p.m. game this Saturday.