FARMINGTON -- Inability to run the football coupled with the return of Morrilton junior quarterback Jacolby Criswell came at an inopportune time for Farmington during Friday's 52-30 loss.
Criswell, who has been out since sustaining a knee injury in August, reportedly has scholarship offers from SEC schools: Arkansas, Georgia, Ole Miss and North Carolina State, and others, and is considered among the state's top recruits in the 2020 class. Criswell saw his first action Friday and looked sharp at Farmington.
Farmington coach Mike Adams prepared two different game plans in the event that Criswell, who Morrilton predicted might share time with senior quarterback Dylan Wright, would take the field. Criswell got the bulk of the playing time, appearing in 10 of the offense's 12 possessions. Criswell completed 18-of-26 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns, both in the second half.
"We prepared all week for Jacolby because that's just the way our season's gone," Adams said. "We felt like if there's anything that could happen, would. So, we prepared for him. We had two different game plans for Dylan White or for Jacolby Criswell. It's not like we weren't ready for him to be out there."
As good as Criswell is in the run game, success by Morrilton (31 rushes, 164 yards, 5.3 average), compounded by Farmington's 28 total rushing yards on 30 carries for less than a yard-per-carry led to the disparity on the scoreboard. Morrilton junior running back Xaviar Clemons scored four rushing touchdowns, all in the first half. He had 23 carries for 139 yards. Farmington stayed in the game into the third quarter thanks to its passing attack. Farmington senior quarterback Eric Hill threw for 425 yards and 4 touchdowns.
"Our kids, I can't fault their effort," Adams said. "We played our hearts out, but we had a chance to make a couple of plays we didn't make. We had our hands on two interceptions that we didn't make that would have stopped drives that they ended up scoring on, and then we had twice turned short passes into long touchdowns when we missed tackles."
Quality play from Criswell couldn't be denied. He dropped back to pass on third-and-five with Morrilton leading 45-30 late in the fourth and was chased out of the pocket by Farmington Colton Kilgore, who lunged at his feet as Criswell took off. No Cardinal was able to match his speed as he ran for a 22-yard touchdown, a scenario Adams saw occur more often than he wanted.
"Three times, I can remember particularly in the second half, we covered their guys up, we put a rush on the quarterback; and of course, he scrambled," Adams said. "Nobody could catch him. He made a big play on us. He did it two or three different times. Give credit to him. He's a great player. That's why Georgia and Auburn and all those people are after him. He's going to be a great player in college."
Adams praised junior wide receiver Drew Sturgeon, who had 9 catches for 198 yards and a touchdown.
"He's just a really fine receiver," Adams said. "Again, our kids played hard, I'm proud of them."
MORRILTON 52, FARMINGTON 30
Morrilton -- Xaviar Clemons 13-yard run (Jesus Arias kick), 10:43.
Morrilton -- Xavair Clemons 7-yard run (Jesus Arias kick), 5:32.
Farmington -- Drew Sturgeon 79-yard pass from Eric Hill (Drew Sturgeon kick), 4:22.
Morrilton -- Field goal Jesus Arias 27-yards, 1:39.
Morrilton -- Xaviar Clemons 15 run (Arias kick), 10:42
Farmington -- Marqwaveon Watson 17-yard pass from Eric Hill (Drew Sturgeon kick), 8:31.
Farmington -- Tony Mayo 55-yard pass from Eric Hill (Drew Sturgeon kick), 7:09.
Morrilton --Xaviar Clemons 5-yard run (Jesus Arias kick), 4:11.
Morrilton -- Lamar Wofford 45-yard pass from Jacolby Criswell (Jesus Arias kick), 10:32.
Farmington -- Safety, 6:47.
Farmington --Tony Mayo 16-yard pass from Eric Hill (Drew Sturgeon kick), 3:17.
Morrilton -- Reggie Toney 63-yard pass from Jacolby Criswell (Jesus Arias kick), 2:32.
Morrilton -- Jacolby Criswell 22-yard run (Jesus Arias kick), 2:37.
RUSHING -- Morrilton, Xaviar Clemons 23-139. Farmington, Eric Hill 15-21, Dimariae Donovan 2-6, Marqwaveon Watson 1-1, Reid Turner 12-0.
PASSING -- Morrilton, Jacolby Criswell, 18-26-297-2-0, Dylan White 4-9-23-0-0. Farmington, Eric Hill 22-47-425-4-3, Seth Swain 0-1-0-0-0.
RECEIVING -- Farmington, Drew Sturgeon 9-198, Marqwaveon Watson 5-95, Ben Macedo 4-30, Tony Mayo 2-71, Reid Turner 1-26, Kolton Reeves 1-5.
Sports on 10/31/2018
Print Headline: Morrilton Quarterback, Run Game Do In Cardinals