The Morrilton High School football team racked up nearly 500 yards of offense and scored 50 points in their first round game of the Class 5A State Playoffs Friday night in Little Rock, but it was not enough as the McClellan Lions outlasted the Devil Dogs in a shootout, 52-50.
The teams traded blows throughout the game, but the Lions' running tandem of Pierre Strong and Trenton Lewis proved to be too much for the Devil Dogs to overcome. The pair combined for 300 yards rushing and accounted for all seven McClellan touchdowns.
For the Devil Dogs junior quarterback Caleb Canady completed 16-of-24 passes for 268 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. His favorite target was junior Grahm Heidenreich, who caught six passes for 158 yards and three touchdowns, including the Dixon Family Dental Big Smile Play of the Game, a 75-yarder in the first quarter that put the Devil Dogs on top, 14-8. Heidenreich also earned Colton's Offensive Player of the Game honors for his effort. Senior Donte Pittman led the rushers with 128 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Junior Oshae Erby had 102 yards on 22 carries and had a receiving touchdown.
Defensively, senior D.K. Spurlock earned Colton's Player of the Game honors with a team-high seven tackles. Morrilton finishes the season with a final record of 7-4.
Senior Donte Pittman rushed for 148 yards and a touchdown, junior Caleb Canady passed for 185 yards and three touchdowns and Morrilton rolled up 525 yards of offense in a 56-27 road win over Clarksville in the regular season finale on Friday.
The Devil Dogs built a 42-21 halftime lead, which was keyed by a stretch with three touchdowns in three-and-a-half minutes that included a 14-yard run by junior Oshae Erby, a one-yard plunge from junior Demone Evans and the Dixon Family Dental Big Smile Play of the Game, a 37-yard run from junior Grahm Heidenreich. Pittman added a receiving touchdown in the game and junior Deiontae Duncan had six catches for 79 yards and two scores.
Senior left guard Devin McMorrough helped the Devil Dogs gain 324 yards on the ground, averaging 6.6 yards per carry, to earn Colton's Offensive Player of the Game honors. Junior linebacker Sam York had a team-high nine tackles to claim Colton's Defensive Player of the Game honors. Seniors Harrison Pavatt and Armando Palacios each had eight tackles for Morrilton, while junior Geron Williams, sophomore Brandon Russell and senior D.K. Spurlock all recorded sacks in the game.
The Devil Dogs finish the regular season 7-3 overall, 5-2 in conference play. With Greenbrier beating Vilonia, 47-21, the Devil Dogs finish in a tie with the Panthers for second place in the 5A West, but will be the conference's number three seed in the playoffs. That means the Devil Dogs will travel to Little Rock McClellan for their first round game this week. The Crimson Lions are the number two seed from the Central, finishing 5-1 in conference play and 7-2 overall.
The state's game of the week in Class 5A didn't quite live up to the hype as unbeaten Little Rock Christian built a big first-half lead over Morrilton on their way to a 49-21 victory over the Devil Dogs Friday night on Morrilton's Senior Night.
Junior quarterback Caleb Canady had a big night for Morrilton, completing 24-of-32 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns, but the Dogs never got things going on the ground, finishing with a season-low 52 yards rushing on 25 carries.
Junior Grahm Heidenreich earned Colton's Offensive Player of the Game honors, catching six passes for 107 yards and a touchdown, a 78-yarder at the end of the third quarter that earned recognition as the Dixon Family Dental Big Smile Play of the Game. Heidenreich also had a rushing touchdown for Morrilton's first score in the second quarter. Junior Oshae Erby had Morrilton's other touchdown on a 26-yard reception early in the third quarter.
Defensively, the Devil Dogs limited Boise State commit Damarea Crockett to 108 yards rushing on 27 carries, but four of those carries went for touchdowns. Christian quarterback Kyron Sanders burned the Dogs with 76 yards on the ground and 278 yards and two touchdowns through the air. In his final regular season game at Devil Dog Stadium, senior Harrison Pavatt totaled 15 tackles and one sack to earn Colton's Defensive Player of the Game honors.
The win clinches the 5A West Conference championship for Little Rock Christian, who improved to 9-0 overall, 6-0 in the conference. Morrilton falls to 6-3 overall, 4-2 in league play. In the other 5A West games on Friday, Farmington doubled up Maumelle, 42-21, and Vilonia beat Harrison, 31-10. With one game left to play for each team, the Devil Dogs are tied with Greenbrier for second place in the conference. Morrilton will finish the regular season this Friday at Clarksville.