Lions leap over Warriors in Round 1

Hamburg Lions runningback Armodd Taylor, above right, grabs the ball to move it down the field against the Jonesboro-Westside Warriors in Round No. 1 of the 4A Region 8 state playoffs. The Lions claimed a 76-47 victory over the Warriors, with Taylor running in seven touchdowns. (VAL GAUGHT/News Observer)

Hamburg High School’s Lions football team will advance to Round No. 2 of the 4A Region 8 state playoffs after beating Jonesboro Westside in Hamburg on Friday night. 

The game was a high octane, high energy opening salvo in the playoffs for Hamburg, which has kept its edge on the field by seeking out games against whoever was available to play as COVID-19 forced scheduled game cancellations throughout the season.

Lion runningback Armodd Taylor carried the game as he ran for seven touchdowns Friday night, sending the Westside Warriors limping home after Hamburg claimed a 76-47 win.  

Hamburg jumped on the Warriors early, sending in three TDs to push the score to 20-7 by the end of the first quarter. 

The ball game wasn’t over though, and Westside rallied to take the lead in the second quarter. That was the last time that Westside would be on the top of the scoreboard, however, and Hamburg pushed back hard, shoving the Warriors down with a score of 41-35 in the Lions’ favor at the half.  

The Lions continued to dominate the field when they came back from the mid-game break, putting up 28 points in the third quarter to secure their win. 

Taylor was the offensive player of the game. On defense, Derrick Franklin took the honors. 

Special Teams player of the game went jointly to Rafael Hernandez and Bruin Barnes, and Brantley Bell was Scout player of the game. Dalton Gill was lineman of the game and Gavin Harrod was the week’s scholar athlete.

The Lions will travel to Stuttgart on Friday night to challenge on the Rice Birds in Round No. 2 of the playoff bracket. The Ricebirds are undefeated in 2020, a Cinderella story that reflects a huge turnaround from last season, during which they went 0-9. 

Stuttgart secured their own conference championship on Nov. 7 when they beat Central Arkansas Christian,  which earned them a bye in Round No. 1 of the playoffs.

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