For teams across the state making it to War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock at least once it is a big deal. For Greenwood not making it to War Memorial the year is not complete. Making their 17th trip down I-40, the Bulldogs were bringing their 12-0 record and trying to put another gold trophy in the case. Little Rock Christian Academy brought a 10-2 record and a high powered offense lead by Auburn commit Walker White.
Greenwood opened the game holding the Warriors and forcing a punt. Greenwood went down the field and Kane Archer finds Grant Karnes for the touchdown. Bodey Steinfeldt’s kick was good 7-0. The Warriors punted again after pressure from the Greenwood defensive front. Kane Archer gets the Bulldogs in the end zone on jumping and diving over defenders, the play would be reviewed but stand. Point after was good 14-0 Greenwood. The Warriors ran out the rest of the first quarter clock
Little Rock Christian marched down the field on the Greenwood defense, to where Walker White found Cade Bowman for a 15-yard touchdown. The Warriors go for two and are met in the back field. Greenwood Answers back with Archer rolling to his left to keep the play going and finds Isaiah Arrington. Arrington made a defender miss and gets into the end zone. Steinfeldt’s point after was good making it 21-6 with 4:09 in the half. The Warriors punt for the third time on the night giving the ball back to the Bulldogs. Greenwood stalled out and cannot push the lead before the half, giving the Warriors a shot to tighten the ball game up. The Little Rock Christian offense gets the ball moving and are assisted by penalties and pushes them deep into Greenwood territory. With very little time on the clock, the Warriors elect to go for a Field Goal. A hurdle penalty on the play from the Greenwood Defense will be assessed on second half kickoff.
The Warriors, now kicking from the 50-yard line, attempt an onside that Greenwood recovers. Greenwood goes down the field and has to settle for a field goal from Bodey Steinfeldt. 24-9 with 7:44 in the 3rd quarter. On the Warriors next drive Landon Nelms intercepts the Walker White pass. Greenwood stalled out and punted giving the ball back to Little Rock Christian. On the Warriors next drive, Brady Mackey comes down with the interception. Greenwood runs out the clock on the third quarter.
Greenwood drove down the field trying to find the end zone, but the Warrior defense held tough and the Bulldogs settled for another Bodey Steinfeldt field goal pushing the score to 27-9. Greenwood’s defense bends a little as the Warriors march down the field getting a touchdown. point after was good making it 27-16. The Bulldogs answered back with a 4 yard touchdown run from Brayedan Davis to put Greenwood ahead 34-16. With the game suddenly coming alive, the Warriors make it down the field in 4 plays and get a touchdown on a Walker White to Tristen Watson touchdown. The point after was good making the score 34-23. Down 11 points, the Warriors attempt and onside kick that bounces into Brady Mackey’s hands. Trying to repeat the performance of Grant Karnes against Pulaski Academy, Mackey takes the ball into Warrior territory and is stopped. Brayedan Davis gets the call and steps out of bounds at the 2-yard line. Kane Archer finishes of the drive on a run to the right for the touchdown. The point after was good making it 41-23 with 1:43 left in the game. The Warriors were not done as they marched down the field were Caden Nelms intercepts Walker White for the teams third interception of the night. The Bulldogs, with a nearly all Senior offensive set, took a knee to run out the clock on their 11th State Championship.
“It’s better seeing those kids smiling, cause I’ve seen the tears the last two years.” Head Coach Chris Young said following the game. “This win tonight is not just these guys, our Senior class last year, the Hunter Houston’s. The Jake Glover’s. The Storm Scherry’s. Those guys taught these guys how to win. How to act. How to behave. That’s what’s special about Greenwood. Hopefully these Seniors have taught the underclassmen this year the same thing.”
When asked “When do you start preparing for the next one?” Coach Young deadpanned “Tomorrow”
Kane Archer won State Championship game MVP and their will be another article covering that.
Greenwood moved to 13-0 on the season, the last undefeated season was in 2020 which ended with a State Championship win over 6A West foe Lake Hamilton.