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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Poyen pulls off upset over Quitman

  • Poyen's Indians won their first game of the season and threw a wrench in Quitman's playoff hopes with a 34-18 upset of the Bulldogs on Friday night in 5-2A conference play in Poyen.
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  • Poyen's Indians won their first game of the season and threw a wrench in Quitman's playoff hopes with a 34-18 upset of the Bulldogs on Friday night in 5-2A conference play in Poyen. The Indians (1-7, 1-5) took the game's first lead after recovering a fumble and driving 40 yards in seven plays for a score, plus the PAT for a 7-0 lead with 1:39 left in the first quarter. Quitman (2-5, 1-4), which has advanced to the state playoffs the past two seasons, battled back when senior utility back Hunter Martin beat two defenders to the edge and sprinted into the end zone for a 44-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, leaving Poyen with a 7-6 advantage with 8:25 remaining in the second quarter. Poyen fired back with an 8-play, 49-yard scoring drive and the extra-point made it 14-6 with 6:23 left until halftime. With only six seconds left in the first half, the Indians scored again, this time on a touchdown pass following a Quitman fumble. The Indians added the extra-point for a 21-6 lead going to the locker room. The Bulldogs stayed in the game by opening the second half with a scoring drive that covered 67 yards in nine plays. Facing a fourth and 4, Quitman kept the drive alive when sophomore quarterback Walker Johnson hit senior receiver Chase Stewart for four yards, just enough to move the chains. Johnson scrambled for 10 yards to the Poyen 25, where the Indians' defense tightened up, forcing a third and 12. Johnson found Stewart for 10 yards, setting up fourth and 2. On fourth down, Johnson hooked up with Stewart again – this time for a 15-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, leaving Quitman with a 21-12 deficit with 8:36 remaining in the third quarter. Poyen snatched the momentum right back, chewing up six minutes while driving for a touchdown and extra-point for a 28-12 lead with 1:56 left in the third quarter. The Bulldogs continued to plug away as Johnson hit Stewart for a 6-yard touchdown but the two-point attempt failed for the third time of the evening, leaving Poyen's lead at 28-18 with 5:54 left to play. Poyen, which finished with 187 rushing yards and 140 passing yards, sealed the game by driving for a late touchdown, setting the final at 34-18. Stewart led Quitman with seven receptions for 73 yards and two scores, while senior running back Allen Mannon carried 17 times for 74 yards. Johnson completed 9-of-17 passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing five times for 12 yards. Hunter Martin contributed 53 yards rushing and a touchdown on six attempts. Defensively, senior linebacker Derek Robinson led the Bulldogs with 16 tackles, junior linebacker Jacoby Brown had 14 stops and senior defensive end Justin Kent added 12. Junior linebacker Hadley Martin and junior defensive lineman John David Ward each collected nine tackles. Both Poyen and Quitman have Mountain Pine and Mount Ida left on their schedule. The Bulldogs would need to win both to assure a spot in the playoffs. Quitman would have an outside shot by winning one of two. The Bulldogs, who boast 15 seniors on their 25-player roster, will honor those players on Senior Night Friday against Mount Ida (2-3, 4-4) at Bulldog Stadium. (Editor's note: Stats and information courtesy of Quitman Football Foundation's Dan Lichoff.)

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