Overcoming the loss of its two quarterbacks and a long drive to northeast Arkansas, Fountain Lake earned its first win of the season Friday night with a 28-20 victory over Cedar Ridge.
The Cobras started the season with a 16-6 loss to Mountain Pine and followed with a 34-8 loss to Brinkley. After graduating most of its offensive production at the skill positions from last season, the Fountain Lake offense struggled in its first two games.
"It was a great win for our guys," Fountain Lake head coach Kenny Shelton said. "We played a really solid first half. We were up 12-0 at halftime. Came out, got the opening kickoff, went down and scored, made it 20-0. Then we kind of hit the wall. Kind of gassed out a little bit. They hit some big plays. Next thing you know it's fourth quarter, about six minutes left and it's all tied up."
Fountain Lake scored on one more quality offensive drive, and the Cobra defense closed out the game for Shelton's team.
"Big win for the kids," Shelton said. "We've had a lot of adversity this year. A lot of injuries. Winning is the cure for a lot of ailments. Hopefully this win will kind of re-energize us. I'm hoping that we might be able to get a few guys that have been out. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we can get some of those guys back."
Heading into the season, Shelton named Dillon Dettmering as the starting quarterback. Dettmering and the team's second-string quarterback were both lost during the opening week of the season.
Fountain Lake didn't really have another set option at quarterback, and Shelton named Caden George as the Cobras' new man under center.
"He's staying late after practices," Shelton said. "He's putting in as much time as he can. He's getting better everyday. He did a really solid job of leading the guys last night. Looking forward to see how he grows throughout the rest of the year."
Fountain Lake made the switch to 8-man football before the 2022 season because of low numbers and a seemingly never-ending injury crisis at the school. That injury bug has hit the Cobras again already this season.
Fountain Lake hosts defending state champion Mountain View Friday. The Yellowjackets are 3-0, outscoring their opponents 134-62 in those games.
"First and foremost we've got to get healthy," Shelton said. "It seems like I've said the same thing every week for the last four years now. We've got some other guys kind of banged up last night again. Monday is going to be more of a mental day, watching film, lifting weights, trying to get the soreness out, doing a little walk through. Tuesday and Wednesday we're going to have to make sure that we get everything installed on what we can do offensively and defensively."
Shelton highlighted Kyle Pinkston as a player who has really stood out for the Cobras so far this season.
"On both sides of the ball he's been tremendous," Shelton said. "He's our center. He's the quarterback of the offensive line. He also plays defensive end for us. He had a really good game last night on both sides of the ball."
JESSIEVILLE HOLDS OFF ATKINS
JESSIEVILLE -- Lions quarterback Dalton Ellison did it all Friday night, leading Jessieville to a 48-33 win over Atkins and to a 2-1 record on the season.
Ellison finished the game 6-of-11 through the air for 185 yards and a score to go with one interception. Ellison also led the team in rushing, carrying the ball 21 times for 186 yards and two scores.
In terms of yardage, running back Sawyer Castleberry had a quieter night than usual for Jessieville. He finished with 45 yards on 11 attempts, but he still scored two touchdowns.
Dawson Lawhon picked up seven carries for the Lions, rushing for 77 yards and a score.
Senior wide receiver Karston Criswell led the Jessieville receiving corps with four catches for 101 yards. Anthony Soileau Jr. tallied two catches for 84 yards and a score.
Jessieville's offense shined for the second week in a row after the Lions defeated Mount Ida 47-0 Sept. 8.
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