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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Six minutes to save a season

Fayetteville mounts huge comeback, earns Slim Chickens Team of the Week

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Last Friday, with their season on the brink, the Fayetteville Bulldogs rallied together, and for their efforts are the Slim Chickens team of the Week.

With two minutes to play, Fayetteville trailed fort Smith Southside by ten. Down and staring an 0-5 start in the face, something had to give. With the game paused for an injury, junior linebacker Kaiden Turner spoke up.

“I just brought the team together and said hey nobody has the momentum right now, let’s go get it and let’s go win this game.”

The Purple Dogs scored a touchdown, got the onside kick, and scored again to take the lead. Then Turner came up with the game-sealing interception.

“It was incredible. My whole life, my dad told me big time players make big time plays, so that’s what I did. My adrenaline was through the roof, and I couldn’t really control myself.”

“They just found a way to come together and win, which is what we preached at halftime,” says head coach Casey Dick, “just never give up no matter what the circumstances are, and they did a fantastic job of coming out here and competing.”

“Definitely the best quarter of football we’ve played this season,” admits junior wideout Isaiah Sategna. “Everything just came together, our adrenaline was so high that quarter, everything just went into place and we pulled ahead at the end.”

Fayetteville has been through it all this year from a winless non-conference slate to missing games due to COVID-19. But thanks to that one quarter, they have a fresh start, a boost of confidence, and an undefeated start to conference play.

“It was amazing, it’s what we’ve been working for,” says Turner. “We’ve gone through a couple bad things, but it’s brought us closer together, like a big family. Knowing that no matter what, Coach Dick has our back and we have his.”

“It’s just been crazy in every point of aspect that we’ve gone through,” adds Dick.  “It’s just a testament to the kids and their ability to just be flexible and just come out here and play the game they love with a bunch of kids they grew up with.”

Sategna simplifies things.

“Even after all the bad things, we’re 1-0.”

It doesn’t get any easier for the Purple Dogs, who go on the road to Bentonville this Friday. Even with the undefeated Tigers looming, Fayetteville still gets to enjoy some chicken, as the Slim Chickens Team of the Week.