Ben­ton 49, SSHS 14 Ben­ton runs by Siloam Springs

Wal­lace runs for 208 yards in vic­tory

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - SPORTS - By Gra­ham Thomas Staff Writer gth­omas@nwadg.com ■

Siloam Springs wasn’t able to slow down Zak Wal­lace and the Ben­ton of­fense on Fri­day night.

Wal­lace, a 6-foot, 190-pound ju­nior, rushed for all of his 208 yards and scored three touch­downs in the first half and Ben­ton ran away with a 49-14 mercy-rule vic­tory in a 6A-West Con­fer­ence game at Pan­ther Sta­dium.

“With that O-line and that run­ning back, there just wasn’t any­thing we could do about it,” said Siloam Springs head coach Bryan Ross. “I mean when they can han­dle you like that, not much you can do. They’re big up front. Big, phys­i­cal, which we knew they were. Then the run­ning back’s a good hand. I thought our kids played hard. Some­times it’s just not good enough.”

Siloam Springs (2-3, 1-1) opened the game with a 47-yard pass from Lan­don El­lis to Luke Gumm on the first of­fen­sive play, but El­lis was in­ter­cepted by Ben­ton’s Tris­tan Hutchin­son in the end zone on the very next play.

The play looked like a mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween El­lis and his in­tended re­ceiver as no one was near Hutchin­son in the end zone.

Ross said it was a bad play call on his part and El­lis was try­ing to throw the ball away an didn’t get it far enough.

Two plays later, Wal­lace bolted 76 yards for a touch­down to give Ben­ton a 7-0 lead.

Siloam Springs came back and an­swered the score with a 15yard touch­down pass from El­lis to Gumm to tie the game 7-7.

But Ben­ton (4-1, 2-0) scored less than 50 sec­onds later when Wal­lace took a screen pass from Gavin Wells and ran around the edge for a 19-yard score.

Ben­ton went on to score four more first-half touch­downs to take a 42-7 lead at half­time.

Ben­ton’s Beau Brewer scored from three yards out with 50 sec­onds left in the first quar­ter for a 21-7 lead.

Wal­lace had a 52-yard run to set up an­other touch­down run for him­self early in the sec­ond quar­ter for a 28-7 lead.

“I thought our run­ning game got go­ing,” said Ben­ton coach Brad Har­ris. “I thought Zak Wal­lace did a great job. I thought our of­fen­sive line did a great job early on, gave us some run­ning lanes, and Zak’s tough to bring down. That first se­ries you saw he broke a tackle and made a long run for us. He does a tremen­dous job.”

D.J. Stur­gis re­turned an El­lis in­ter­cep­tion 85 yards for a touch­down to make it 35-7, and Brewer had one more touch­down run to end the first half as Ben­ton pulled ahead by 35 points.

Cade Clark re­turned the open­ing kick­off of the sec­ond half 90 yards for a score and a 49-7 lead.

Siloam Springs punched in a touch­down run by Kaiden Thrailkill in the fourth quar­ter.

Siloam Springs had 213 yards of of­fense, led by four catches for 104 yards by Gumm. Thrailkill had 60 yards on 16 car­ries. Kevin Canales added an in­ter­cep­tion on de­fense.

Ben­ton fin­ished with 347 yards of of­fense. Wells, a sopho­more wide re­ceiver who took over at quar­ter­back af­ter Colen Mor­row got hurt last week, com­pleted 11 of 14 passes for 89 yards and rushed seven times for 40 yards.

“The ini­tial part of the game I thought we did a de­cent job,” Har­ris said. “I didn’t think we played real crisp all night tonight. But you know when you win 49 to 14 you’ve got to be happy with it.”

Ben­ton re­turns to ac­tion next week against Texarkana, while Siloam Springs trav­els to Green­wood.

Bud Sullins/Spe­cial to Siloam Sun­day

Siloam Springs se­nior wide re­ceiver Luke Gumm hauls in a 47-yard pass on the first of­fen­sive play of the game Fri­day against Ben­ton at Pan­ther Sta­dium. Gumm fin­ished with four catches for 104 yards and a touch­down, but Ben­ton de­feated Siloam Springs 49-14.

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