No. 3 Bentonville 24, No. 4 Fayetteville 20
Bentonville’s Harrison Campbell (left) tries to break away from Fayetteville’s Carsten Johnson (27) and Marquez Douglas during Friday night’s game at Bentonville.
BENTONVILLE 24, FAYETTEVILLE 20
BENTONVILLE — Bentonville Coach Jody Grant just wanted Harrison Campbell to get into field-goal range and give the Tigers a chance to force a tie as time ticked away Friday night.
The Tigers’ senior receiver did one better. Campbell hauled in the pass from Easton Hughes, then headed down the left sideline and scored with 47 seconds left as No. 3 Bentonville won its 13th consecutive regular-season game over No. 4 Fayetteville with a 24-20 victory over the Bulldogs at Tiger Stadium.
“I told our kids all week we would have to play well,” Grant said. “It was going to be a four-quarter football game, and that’s exactly what it was.”
Montell Berry’s 10-yard touchdown run with 3:08 remaining gave Fayetteville (5-2, 2-2 7A-West) a 20-17 lead, but Huxley Richardson’s extra-point attempt was blocked. That left the score at 20-17, meaning Bentonville (4-3, 4-0) could tie the game with a field goal.
The Tigers needed an 11yard run by Preston Crawford on fourth-and-1 to keep the drive alive, but Hughes was sacked on the next play. That’s when Bentonville went to Campbell, who caught the ball in the middle of the field inside the Fayetteville 40, then broke to his left for the sideline before he dove into the end zone with 47 seconds remaining.
“I was slanting in on our scissor route,” Campbell said. “I took the middle, and there were two guys down there. I made sure I caught the ball first and looked down the field. I knew I had to break them off, then get down to that sideline.
“Once I got to the sideline, I saw just one guy left. I knew if I could lay out, I could probably get in the end zone. It was close. It is indescribable to lay out and you see [the referee’s] hands go up. You run to the sideline, and you can hear everybody screaming and know you contributed something to the team.”
Fayetteville took the ensuing kickoff and moved from its 20 to its 47 after a 9-yard pass from Darius Bowers to Beau Stuckey with 5 seconds left. The Bulldogs’ final play, however, just went backward after a number of laterals and Connor Flannigan was ruled down inside the Fayetteville 20 as time expired.
The loss ruined the return of Bowers, who had sat out the previous four games with a knee injury. He completed 17 of 27 passes for 276 yards and threw 2 touchdowns to Stuckey — an 87-yarder in the first quarter and 13-yard pass that gave the Bulldogs a 14-10 lead with 5:48 remaining in the third quarter.