HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Arkansas High just couldn't quite get on track offensively.
The Hogs fell to Hot Springs, 9-6, in a defensive battle on Friday at Trojan Stadium in a Conference 5A-South football game.
Arkansas High slips to 4-3 overall, 3-2 in conference while Hot Springs climbs to to 5-3, 4-1.
"The difference was that Hot Springs scored first," Arkansas High head coach Barry Norton said. "We had opportunities in the first half, but we couldn't get anything going. We had a hard time getting going because of penalties.
"In the second half, field position was never in our favor. The safety got us, and then we were playing catchup."
Torie Blair led Arkansas High with 154 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown.
Blair scored from 2 yards out with 14 seconds left in the game.
Quarterback Braylon Bishop hit on 12 of 25 passes for the Hogs, but the 12 completions went for just 57 yards.
Bishop rushed for 38 yards on eight carries.
The first half was a nip-and-tuck affair with neither team scoring. Defense was featured, and each team made stops against the run and pass during integral times.
AHS running back Blair had 78 rushing yards on 10 attempts in the first half.
Charles Stewart had a tackle for a 4-yard loss in the first half for the Hogs.
Larry Jefferson sacked the quarterback and later hit the quarterback's arm to disrupt a pass for Arkansas High in the second quarter.
The Hogs' Jalen Pastchol had a big pass breakup on a deep throw in the second quarter.
The second half was much like the first, aside from a drive that Hot Springs put together that yielded a touchdown on a pass play with seven minutes left in the third.
The teams were locked in a defensive battle, with many punts, and sometimes fourth-down tries that failed.
After a Trojan punt that rolled down to the 5, Arkansas High committed a penalty that moved the ball to the goal line.
The Hogs completed a pass, but the receiver failed to get out of the end zone for a Hot Springs safety.