One Of Those Nights
PRAIRIE GROVE DOWNS FARMINGTON 36-13
FARMINGTON — Tuesday was one of those nights when everything that could go wrong did for the Farmington Cardinals as they lost their season-opener, 36-13, to rival Prairie Grove.
Farmington coach Mike Adams acknowledged there were miscues that hurt the Cardinals in various aspects of the game, but one particular play seemed to sum up the Cardinals’ night.
“After we ran a quick screen, our guard was supposed to pull and get out there and block, but our center stepped on his foot and he didn’t get out there. He got back up after he fell down and ran out there, but
he didn’t get there in time to make a block. We made a touchdown, then we get a holding penalty. There were times we’d make a first down, then we’d drop a pass. We were our own worst enemies. We mishandled a snap. We couldn’t get out of our own way.”
Prairie Grove took an early 6-0 lead on JD Elder’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Collin Bryant, but their 2-point try failed. Farmington looked sharp on their first series, driving 70 yards to answer. Caleb Williams scored from 7 yards out and Drew Sturgeon kicked the point-after for a 7-6 Farmington lead. That soon evaporated.
On Prairie Grove’s next possession Anthony Johnson’s 4-yard touchdown run put the Tigers back in front. They led 12-7 after one quarter of play and mistakes snowballed for Farmington. A pass was batted down at the line of scrimmage and the Cardinals punted. The quarter ended with Prairie Grove knocking on the door. Johnson’s 12 yard gain put the Tigers in the red zone.
On the first play of the second quarter, JD Elder threw to tight end DeMarkus Cooper for a 19-yard score as he blew away defenders, who couldn’t bring him down until he crossed the goal line.
“That’s the only thing I try to do when I catch that ball,” Cooper said. “I turn around and I try to score. If someone’s between me and the end zone I try to knock them down. This game means to much to us. I don’t what to do if we hadn’t won it.”
JD Elder then passed to Stone Bryant, Collin’s twin brother, for a 2-point conversion. The Tigers led 20-7 at the 11:51 mark of the second quarter.
A quarterback sack forced the Cardinals to punt from the shadow of their own goal line, but they never got the kick off when the snap hit one of the up-backs. Punter Jacob Gray tried to run, but was tackled and Prairie Grove took over on downs at the Cardinal 15. Two plays later Johnson scored his second rushing touchdown and Prairie Grove went up, 26-7, with 7:56 left in the first half.
Still Farmington had opportunities to get back in the game, but wasted all three of their first half timeouts on defense and didn’t have one in a critical situation. The Cardinals drove to the Tiger four and quarterback Trey Waggle spiked the ball stopping the clock with 1 second left, but a sack ended the half.
Farmington recovered a fumbled punt and held the ball nearly nine minutes of the third quarter. Back-up quarterback Seth Swain ran for a touchdown on third and goal from the Tiger four, but the score was nullified by a holding flag. Farmington eventually turned the ball over on downs without scoring. Collin Bryant’s 74-yard interception runback for a defensive touchdown sealed the game for Prairie Grove in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers got a 21-yard field goal by senior Ben Beason and Farmington got a 25-yard touchdown run by tailback Reid Turner to cap the scoring.
“I turn around and I try to score. If someone’s between me and the end zone I try to knock them down. This game means to much to us. I don’t what to do if we hadn’t won it.” DeMarkus Cooper Tight End, Prairie Grove
Prairie Grove senior quarterback J.D. Elder fakes a handoff to fullback Aaron Preston during the Tigers’ 36-13 victory over rival Farmington on Aug. 29. The Tuesday varsity football game drew a big crowd. More game details and photos in Sports, Page 1B.