Junior Cards Win In Final Seconds
FARMINGTON CLAIMS VICTORY AT PRAIRIE GROVE
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.