Top-ranked Charleston wrapped up a perfect regular season in the 3A-4 with another dominating performance by leading 48-7 at the half Friday on its way to a 48-14 victory against Mansfield.
Charleston (10-0, 7-0) led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and put up 34 points in the second quarter to build the dominating halftime lead against Mansfield (4-6, 2-5). The Arkansas Activities Association mercy rule with a continuously-running clock was invoked to start the third quarter.
In the second quarter alone, Charleston scored touchdowns passing, running, by interception return and by punt return.
“We work hard to be multi-faceted,” Charleston coach Greg Kendrick said. “That showed tonight in that we scored in several different ways.”
Charleston will open the playoffs at home next week at 7 p.m. against Camden Harmony Grove. Charleston’s seniors improved to 32-4 overall and 20-1 in conference play in the past three years.
“Our first goal was to win the conference and our second goal was to go undefeated in conference,” Kendrick said. “We have accomplished both of those. Our third big goal is to win a state championship and now it is time to focus on that.”
Charleston scored on its first two possessions. First, on a 1-yard run from Austin Pittman and then went up 14-0 on a 21-yard touchdown run by Taylor King with 3:39 to play in the first quarter.
Charleston picked up the tempo in the second quarter. The Tigers scored on a 14-yard run by Pittman with 10:15 in the second to make it 21-0 and Chance Shelby scored on an 81-yard punt return with 7:48 in the second to make it 28-0. Just seconds later, Hayden Newhart intercepted a pass and took it 46 yards for a touchdown with 7:25 left in the second. It was 34-0 after the PAT kick was missed.
Christian Saygnaphay scored on a 4-yard run with 5:42 in the second to finally get Mansfield on the board but Charleston put up two more scores before the break to lead 48-7 at the half.
Charleston gained 14 first downs in the first half and played reserves from midway through the second quarter.
“We just try to keep focused on ourselves and keep trying to get better each week,” Kendrick said. “Now that it is playoff time you want to take that intensity up a notch. We are fortunate to be pretty healthy and we are looking forward to getting ready for next week.”
SUMMARY — No. 1 Charleston wrapped up the 3A-4 championship with a dominating performance.
TURNING POINT — Hayden Newhart’s 46-yard interception return for a touchdown put Charleston up 35-0 in the second quarter.
STAT — Charleston had 17 first downs in the first half.
Charleston 14 34 0 0 — 48
Mansfield 0 7 7 0 — 14
Cha — Pittman 1 run (Taggart kick) 10:32.
Cha — King 21 run (Taggart kick) 3:39.
Cha — Pittman 14 run (Taggart kick) 10:15.
Cha — Shelby 81 punt return (Taggart kick) 7:48.
Cha — Newhart 46 interception return (kick failed) 7:25.
Man — Saygnaphay 4 run (Saygnaphay kick) 5:42.
Cha — Shelby 11 pass from Storey (Taggart kick) 5:04.
Cha — King 6 pass from Storey (Taggart kick) 2:02.
Man — Robels 60 run (Saygnaphay kick) 7:48.
First Downs 4 18
Rushes-Yards 19-109 16-135
Passing Yards 44 117
Comp-Att-Int 2-8-0 10-12-0
RUSHING — Mansfield, Robels 1-60, Bartlett 9-24, Saygnaphay 4-22, Ellis 5-3. Charleston, Pittman 5-55, Storey 4-48, Binz 6-26, Gerlick 1-6.
PASSING — Mansfield, Saygnaphay 2-8-0 44. Charleston, Storey 10-12-0 117.
RECEIVING — Mansfield, Barlett 1-37, Phoumivoung 1-7. Charleston, Shelby 2-37, Pittman 4-30, King 2-27, Ward 1-18, Newhart 1-8.