Ozark — The Ozark Hillbillies (9-2) advanced in the 4A state playoffs as they racked up 271 yards of total offense and blitzed the Crossett Eagles 42-7 at Hillbilly Stadium.

The Hillbillies will go on the road in the second round of the playoffs next Friday in a showdown with perennial 4A powerhouse Warren.

The Hillbillies played stellar defense, especially in crucial situations, and forced three second half turnovers in what had been a close game to pull away from the Eagles. Ozark dialed up the defensive pressure led by sophomore defensive end Bryant Burns and junior safety Eddie Graham. Graham had two interceptions in the second half, one for 84 yards and a touchdown to ice the game at 35-7, and Burns came up with big tackles and a fourth quarter fumble recovery.

Crossett (3-8) made the four-hour trip from southeast Arkansas and saw their season come to an end as they simply could not generate enough momentum at key points in the game. On their lone touchdown drive to start the third quarter, the Eagles went 69 yards to cut the Ozark lead to 14-7 at 8:20 left on a Justin Stokes 25-yard pass to receiver Deandre Webb.

The Ozark staff made offensive adjustments at halftime and on the ensuing possession, mixed the run and pass effectively, going 74 yards in 14 plays, as Ozark junior dual threat quarterback Dawson Dietz scored on a two-yard option keeper on fourth-and-goal. Marcus Johns, who was perfect on the night, kicked it to 21-7 with 3:48 left in the third. Dietz completed two passes to his favorite receiver, sophomore tight end Burns, for 15 and 12 yards to get the Hillbillies moving.

The Hillbillies defense took it from there, as Graham got his first interception three plays later returning it 33 yards to the Crossett 6. The Eagles held the Hillbillies on this time, but after a three-and-out, and a punt, Ozark was in business at the Crossett 37. Dietz faked a jet sweep, and outmaneuvered defenders for a 36-yard run to the 1. From there, Daniel Woolsey took it in for the TD and suddenly it was 28-7, with 11:00 left in the fourth.

After a long Crossett drive, Graham stepped in front of a receiver and intercepted another Stokes pass and took it quickly 84 yards to paydirt in the open field to ice the game at 35-7 with 8:30 left in the game.

Dietz finished with 10 carries for 104 yards and two rushing touchdowns and completed 4-of-9 passes for 55 yards. Sophomore Daniel Woolsey was the workhorse out of the backfield, carrying 23 times for 92 yards and one TD. Graham had 5 carries for 15 yards, and two rushing TD’s and caught one pass for 23 yards.

The Hillbillies took the opening kickoff and marched methodically, going 61 yards in 8 plays, all on the ground. Dietz had an 18-yard keeper down to the Crossett 32. The on a fourth-and-five, Dietz broke tackles at the line of scrimmage and went 28 yards for the first score on an option keeper to make it 7-0 with 7:59 remaining in the first quarter.

Ozark was presented a short field early in the second quarter after a shanked Crossett punt and scored 23 yards in four plays as Graham scored from a yard out and Johns kick made it 14-0 at 10:42 left in the second.