Ju­nior Cards Win In Fi­nal Sec­onds


Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - SPORTS - By Mark Humphrey

PRAIRIE GROVE — Farm­ing­ton quar­ter­back Tate Sut­ton scored the go-ahead touch­down with 14 sec­onds left on a 4-yard run as the ju­nior Car­di­nals beat Prairie Grove, 14-8, Thurs­day.

Tate Sut­ton added a 2-point con­ver­sion run and Farm­ing­ton sur­vived a long kick­off re­turn by Prairie Grove’s Miles Castle­man. He was brought down at Farminton’s 40 and the ju­nior Tigers had time for one play from scrim­mage, a deep pass that fell in­com­plete as the fi­nal horn sounded con­clud­ing an epic 2017 edi­tion of the ‘Bat­tle of 62.’

Farm­ing­ton fans cel­e­brated the break­through win as Prairie Grove won the var­sity game, 36-13, Tues­day and the sev­en­th­grade con­test, 20-16, prior to the ju­nior high game. Tate Sut­ton threw a scor­ing pass with 1:15 left in the first half, look­ing off the de­fense at DeCory Thomas in the left flat. Prairie Grove’s cor­ner­back bit leav­ing Collin Hum­mell open in the left cor­ner of the end zone and Tate Sut­ton lofted a per­fect throw for the touch­down. The con­ver­sion failed and Farm­ing­ton led 6-0 at the half.

Prairie Grove an­swered on the first pos­ses­sion of the third quar­ter. Jack­son Sorters’ re­turn set up a 9-play, 67-yard touch­down drive capped by Castle­man’s 1-yard quar­ter­back sneak. Fos­ter Lay­man ran for two and the ju­nior Tigers took an 8-6 lead into the fourth quar­ter. Prairie Grove drove but turned the ball over on downs at Farm­ing­ton’s 26 when Trey Hill brought down a run­ner for a loss on fourth and 9.

Farm­ing­ton took over with 3:31 to go and Tate Sut­ton led the 13-play win­ning drive that in­cluded a fourth-down con­ver­sion and a key 15-yard per­sonal foul penalty against Prairie Grove.

Farm­ing­ton coach Tracy Sut­ton said his son, Tate, played a good game at quar­ter­back, but was con­cerned with a de­ci­sion Tate made to put the ball in the air while try­ing to avoid a sack right be­fore the half. Po­ten­tially that could have re­sulted in an in­ter­cep­tion and the out­come could have been dif­fer­ent.

Tracy Sut­ton said Tate needs to work on that, but praised his de­fense for get­ting the ball back to keep Farm­ing­ton in the game.

“We had to have a stop there, we got the stop,” Tracy Sut­ton said.

He also had high praise for block­ers, who paved the way for Tate’s game-win­ning touch­down run.

“They did a good job of block­ing on the edge for him,” Tracy Sut­ton said. “The guys block­ing for him was the big­gest dif­fer­ence.”

Prairie Grove coach John El­der was dis­ap­pointed, wish­ing his ju­nior Tigers would have com­pleted a sweep of the ri­valry.

“We had a lot of men­tal mis­takes tonight,” El­der said. “The first game you hope it wouldn’t be that bad. There are a lot of things to fix and cor­rect.”

Ex­cept for a cou­ple of runs, Farm­ing­ton’s de­fense shut down ju­nior Tiger half­back Cade Grant, who started Prairie Grove’s first pos­ses­sion with a 33-yard run. Only a shoe­string tackle by Joshua Cartwright pre­vented him from go­ing all the way.

“They knew we run the sweep, they did some things in the first half,” El­der said. “In the sec­ond half we ad­justed and got it off.”

El­der was pleased with Castle­man in his first start at quar­ter­back and David Hall on de­fense.

“David Hall, he’s our most ag­gres­sive de­fen­sive player,” El­der said. “He does a good job. He played a lot last year so he’s got ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Af­ter the game Tate Sut­ton posed with Jack­son Sorters. The boys knew each other years ago when their fa­thers both coached at Des Arc. Tracy Sut­ton ap­pre­ci­ates the mu­tual re­spect and friend­ship dis­played af­ter com­pe­ti­tion is over.

“That’s a game you hate to see any­body lose. I’m not go­ing to lie, I want to win,” Tracy Sut­ton said. “The ri­valry right there is huge. It’s nice to win. You see him (Tate) and Jack­son af­ter the game, that puts it in per­spec­tive. I love that.”


Friend­ship and mu­tual re­spect su­per­sedes ri­valry on the foot­ball field once the fi­nal horn sounds. Farm­ing­ton ju­nior high quar­ter­back Tate Sut­ton (left) and Prairie Grove wide re­ceiver/de­fen­sive back Jack­son Sorters have known each other since their fa­thers both coached on the Des Arc staff a few years ago. Farm­ing­ton de­feated the ju­nior Tigers, 14-8.

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