FORT SMITH — The best half of Fuller Chandler’s Springdale High career kept the Bulldogs within striking distance of arguably the most-talented team in the 7A-West Conference on Friday.
But then Fort Smith Northside took over in the second half.
The Grizzlies forced four Springdale turnovers and scored the first 21 points after halftime to pull away for a 55-35 win on homecoming at Mayo-Thompson Stadium.
Chandler kept Springdale within 34-28 at halftime by accounting for 313 of his career-high 496 total yards and four of his five touchdowns in the opening half. He threw for 220 yards and two scores while running for 93 yards and two more touchdowns in the half.
Chandler finished with 390 passing yards and three touchdowns, with 106 rushing yards and two more scores, all career-highs.
The Bulldogs led 7-0, 14-7 and 21-20 in the first half, but trailed at halftime despite outgaining Northside 364-308.
Springdale had a chance to take the lead in the third quarter when its defense got a rare stop on the first drive of the second half. But Chandler’s pass bounced off a receiver’s hands and was intercepted and returned 27 for a touchdown by cornerback Keyshawn Dorsey, the first of the Bulldogs’ second-half turnovers as Northside asserted itself.
- Northside senior quarterback Grant Hood had a big night of his own, throwing for 152 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 141 yards and a score.
- Northside senior running back Justin Curry finished with 87 yards on 15 carries, including a 52-yard touchdown run late in the first half. Junior Luke Bolton ran for 80 yards and two touchdowns on just three carries, including a 69-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
- Springdale senior receiver Salvador Sandoval caught 13 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns, all career-highs for the 7A-West’s leading receiver. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark this season in the second half.
- Springdale improved to 4-1 against Hootens’ spread in conference games. Northside was favored by 35 points.
For the full game story, check out Saturday’s Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.