The Big Sandy Pioneers were one of the last prep football teams playing over the weekend, but things didn’t end quite as planned.
Saturday in Hot Springs, the Pioneers took the field with the hopes of claiming a Class C Six-Man state title. However, the Pioneers ran into another Class C powerhouse in the undefeated Hot Springs Savage Heat. The Savage Heat defeated the Pioneers 77-0, improving to 12-0 on the season, while the Pioneers earned the No. 2 finish with an overall record of 10-2.
Despite the lopsided loss, the Pioneers were happy to have had the chance to play for the title. It was their first trip back to a title game since 2003, and the opportunity ended a streak of finishing their season in the state semifinals.
“We are very proud to have made it here, ” senior quarterback Trevor Lackner said. “Being stopped the couple of years was hard. ”
Big Sandy finally got another shot at state glory, but the Savage Heat proved to be tough.
Hot Springs returned the opening kick for a 70-yard touchdown, and rolled the rest of the game. They totaled 17 points in the first quarter, 32 in the second, 20 in the third and finished with eight more in the fourth.
The Pioneers struggled on both sides of the ball, including giving up seven turnovers on offense. Jessey Bailey rushed for 29 yards on 11 carries and grabbed 39 receiving yards on four catches. Lackner passed 15 times with eight completions and 71 yards.