Bulldogs lose to Hermits in their first game of the reborn eight-man football league

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

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Westside Eagle Observer/MIKE ECKELS Jimmy Mendoza (Decatur 3) slips a Hermitage tackle and finds an open field for a 65-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter of the Decatur-Hermitage football contest at Bulldog Stadium in Decatur Aug. 31. Hermitage won the first Arkansas eight-man football league game, 38-32, over Decatur.

Westside Eagle Observer/MIKE ECKELS Jimmy Mendoza (Decatur 3) slips a Hermitage tackle and finds an open field for a 65-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter of the Decatur-Hermitage football contest at Bulldog Stadium in Decatur Aug. 31. Hermitage won the first Arkansas eight-man football league game, 38-32, over Decatur.

DECATUR -- Eight-man football made its return to Northwest Arkansas on Friday as the Decatur Bulldogs and the visiting Hermitage Hermits made their first entry into the new league at Bulldog Stadium in Decatur. When Decatur began its first football program in 1956, eight-man football in Arkansas was a very popular venue for small schools. In the mid-sixties, the program changed to the eleven-man format, which continued until 2017. Hermitage, located between Warren and El Dorado near the Louisiana border, traveled 330 miles, a five-hour trip to Decatur for the game. Because the league is new, most of the six other schools, including Decatur, will have similar travel times. The Hermits received the opening kick. They marched it downfield to around the 20-yard line before Decatur stopped them short of a first down, giving the Bulldogs the ball....


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