Charleston wasn’t sharp in the 3A playoff opener on Friday, but the No. 1-ranked Tigers were more than good enough to roll over Benton Harmony Grove 42-0.
Charleston (11-0) survived a night where the Tigers made 16 penalties for 130 yards. But Charleston still managed to score shortly before the half to lead 35-0 at the half and make sure the Arkansas Activities Association mercy rule of a continuously running clock would start the second half.
“It was sloppy, it was ugly we just didn’t execute some things and didn’t play very well,” Charleston coach Greg Kendrick said. “It was the first game of the playoffs and I don’t know if we were nervous or what. But on the other hand, we were still up 35-0 at the half, so that is a positive.”
With the Arkansas football team on a bye week, Razorbacks offensive coordinator Jim Chaney came to watch Charleston quarterback Ty Storey, who has orally committed to play for Arkansas. Storey was an effective 15-of-20 for 219 yards and three touchdowns. Storey did not play in the second half.
Chance Shelby had a big night for the Tigers, catching six passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Shelby also had a 31-yard run and recovered a fumble.
“Another big night from Shelby, that is what we’ve come to expect from him,” Kendrick said. “He’s a go-to guy and keeps making plays for us.”
Shelby caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Storey just minutes into the game but a missed PAT left the score at 6-0. Austin Pittman scored on a 19-yard run as Charleston went up 13-0 with 4:16 to play in the first quarter on its second possession.
Taylor King caught a 19-yard scoring pass that made it 20-0 with 11:54 to play in the second quarter and Pittman a 15-yard scoring run for a 27-0 lead with 4:13 to play before the half. With time running out in the first half, Shelby caught a 10-yard TD pass from Storey and then caught a 2-point conversion pass to make a 35-point margin and start the running clock.
In the second half, Charleston’s reserves put together a scoring drive with sophomore Chase Binz scoring on a 1-yard run.
Harmony Grove (5-6) is in just its fifth year of football and was playing in its first playoff game.
“Their program has a lot of potential, it’s just going to get better,” Kendrick said. “They have good facilities and good community support.”
Charleston will host McGehee this week at 7 p.m.
“The teams keep getting tougher every week from here on out,” Kendrick said. “We saw some things tonight that we are going to have to get cleaned up and execute a little better.”
SUMMARY — No. 1 Charleston led 35-0 at the half against Harmony Grove, which was making its first playoff appearance in school history.
TURNING POINT — Chance Shelby caught a 10-yard touchdown pass and caught the 2-point conversion pass with 37 seconds to play before the half for a 35-0 lead that put the Arkansas Activities Association mercy rule in effect to start the second half.
STAT — Charleston’s Landshark defense held Harmony Grove to six first downs and less than 100 yards of total offense.
Charleston 42, Camden Harmony Grove 0
Charleston 13 22 7 0 — 0
Harmony Grove 0 0 0 0 — 0
Cha — Shelby 3 pass from Storey (kick failed), 10:28.
Cha — Pittman 19 run (Taggart kick), 4:16.
Cha — King 19 pass from Storey (Taggart kick), 11:54.
Cha — Pittman 15 run (Taggart kick), 4:13.
Cha — Shelby 10 pass from Storey (Shelby 2 point pass from Storey), :37.
Cha — Binz 1 run (Taggart kick), 4:20.
First Downs 6 16
Rushes-Yards 4-34 11-95
Passing Yards 36 241
Comp-Att-Int 4-10-0 15-20-0
Penalties-Yards 11-70 16-130
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 0-0
RUSHING — Harmony Grove, N.Johnson 12-28, Williams 1-5, Lewis 1-5. Charleston, Pittman 4-39, Shelby 1-31, Binz 4-12, Storey 1-7, Hutchins 1-6.
PASSING — Harmony Grove, Lewis 4-10-0 36. Charleston, Storey 15-20-0 219 . RECEIVING — Harmony Grove, Barber 2-19, Anderson 2-19. Charleston, Shelby 6-103, Ward 4-52, King 2-25, Pittman 2-18, Crosswhite 1-16, Sharp 1-14.