By Tony Burns
El Dorado's Alex Hicks rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns Friday to lead the Wildcats past Camden Fairview 40-20 at Memorial Stadium. El Dorado evened its record at 1-1 while the Cardinals lost their season opener.
With the victory, Scott Reed became the winningest coach in school history with his 102th victory. He bested the mark set by legendary Coach Garland Gregory.
"That's pretty awesome," said Reed. "I can think of a lot of kids and coaches who have contributed to that and fans. This is going on 12 years, it's been a good run. I'm proud to be a part of it."
Hicks scored on the first play of the game, faking a handoff and then busting for a 66-yard touchdown scamper. Greysen Hubbard's kick gave the Wildcats a 7-0 lead with 11:43 left in the first.
El Dorado's defense forced a three-and-punt after a sack by Gavin Heustis.
El Dorado's very next offensive play from scrimmage saw Hicks pass to Shun Levingston for a 56-yard score. But, it was nullified by a holding penalty. The Wildcats were undeterred, however, scoring four plays later on Hicks' 7-yard run. It was set up by Hicks' 49-yard pass to Devunte Kidd. Hubbard's PAT pushed the lead to 14-0 with 7:57 left in the first.
Quentin Frazier had a pair of tackles for losses as the Wildcats stuffed the Cardinals again.
El Dorado drove 68-yards, including a 42-yard run by Levingston. On second-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Hicks lost the ball and Fairview recovered in the end zone for a touchback.
El Dorado's offense struggled from that point.
"It was going so well early. I think we just jumped on them. And then, we had some issues where we didn't execute well offensively," said Reed. "But, I thought defensively we were good all night. I thought we played really good on defense."
The Cardinals drove to the EHS 16 before El Dorado's Jacoby Hankton recovered a fumble.
The teams exchanged punts before the Wildcats drove 52 yards in six plays. Hicks hooked up with Kidd for 18 yards to convert a third-and-17. Two plays later, Levingston scored on a 6-yard run. The PAT failed, leaving the margin at 20-0 with 2:33 left in the half.
The Wildats threatened again but Hubbard missed on a 38-yard field goal to end the second quarter.
The Cardinals opened the third with a 67-yard drive in 12 plays. Gabe Rucks scored on a 2-yard run with 7:49 left in the quarter. Demetrius Moore ran for the 2-point conversion.
Fairview then recovered the onsides kick and was back in business at the EHS 27. The Cardinals moved to the 6. On third-and-3, Zac Donahue dropped quarterback Keith Johnson for a 4-yard loss. On fourth-and-8, Johnson couldn't handle the shotgun snap and Heustis, El Dorado's 260-pound defensive tackle, scooped it up and rambled 40-yards before being dragged down at the 42.
"He's going to be wanting to play fullback, now," Reed joked.
A bad shotgun snap foiled El Dorado's offensive possession. But, the Wildcats got the ball back when Hankton recovered his second fumble at the 41. Keonte Larry made this one count when he broke off a 59-yard touchdown run. Hubbard's kick pushed the lead to 27-8 with 2:07 left in the third.
The Wildcats added a score on Devonte Yarbrough's 3-yard touchdown run with 11:22 left in the fourth.
Fairview answered when Johnson hit Tyler Kelly on a 5-yard TD pass, cutting the deficit to 33-14 with 9:56 left in the game.
Yarbrough added a 25-yard touchdown run with 3:22 left. Erik Hall scored on a 2-yard run for the Cardinals' final score with 1:47 remaining.
Larry finished with 107 yards rushing on 11 attempts. Hicks completed 8-of-15 passing for 137 yards.
Defensively, Clasine Miller intercepted a pass and Skylar Higgins recovered a fumble punt in the fourth quarter.