Cards Put Crunch On Lions


Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Mark Humphrey

FARM­ING­TON — Two swings on de­ci­sive plays in the first half loomed large dur­ing Farm­ing­ton’s 40-2 drub­bing of for­mer 4A-1 con­fer­ence foe, Gravette, in non­con­fer­ence foot­ball Fri­day at Allen Hol­land Field.

Farm­ing­ton coach Mike Adams said the Car­di­nals re­sponded well to coach­ing when the Lions lined up in a formation they hadn’t pre­pared for in prac­tice.

“They gave us a cou­ple of looks that we hadn’t seen on both of­fense and de­fense so we just talked to our guys about those new looks and the ad­just­ments to them,” Adams said. “I was very pleased with our of­fen­sive line — they did a great job block­ing our counter play that pro­duced sev­eral ex­plo­sive plays and four touch­downs. De­fen­sively I thought our lineback­ers played much bet­ter than they did against Prairie Grove.”

In the first quar­ter the Lions forced Farm­ing­ton to punt from deep within its own ter­ri­tory. Gravette put heat on with a big rush which re­sulted in a very short kick that an alert Lion fielded be­hind most of the cov­er­age nearly look­ing the north goal line in the face. One Car­di­nal was aware and quickly brought him down be­fore he could get up a head of steam, but the Lions ap­peared to have prime field po­si­tion.

All that ef­fort went for nought with a “run­ning into the kicker” penalty al­low­ing Farm­ing­ton a “do-over” with the Car­di­nals mak­ing the most of an op­por­tu­nity to pin Gravette at the other end of the field with a long line-drive punt that was not fielded and rolled for­ward in­side the Lions’ 20.

“I felt like we won the kick­ing game, which was a big fac­tor in field po­si­tion for us, par­tic­u­larly in light of the wet con­di­tions,” Adams said.

Gravette’s of­fense then went in re­verse with a pair of false starts re­act­ing to shifts by Farm­ing­ton’s de­fen­sive line. The flags pushed the Lions back within the shadow of their own goal line at the south end of the field and led to a punt from the 20.

Now it was Farm­ing­ton’s turn to en­joy good field po­si­tion and the Car­di­nals wasted no time cash­ing in. Senior tail­back Reid Turner ran to the right, turned the corner and ac­ti­vated his af­ter­burn­ers leav­ing all 11 de­fend­ers gasp­ing for breath in his wake as he took the ball 59 yards to the house. Farm­ing­ton led 6-0 at the 5:26 mark of the first quar­ter and would never trail.

When ac­tion re­sumed fol­low­ing a light­ning de­lay, senior quar­ter­back Eric Hill hit a wide-open Drew Stur­geon, who hastily blazed a trail to the end zone good for 70 yards and a touch­down. The tan­dem hooked up for a 2-point con­ver­sion pass giv­ing the Car­di­nals a 14-0 cush­ion.

With 5:20 left in the first half, Gravette coach Doug Green­wood got the matchup he wanted com­ing

out of a time­out.

“I like the look and I like the re­ceiver,” Green­wood said as the Lions set up a slot left.

Gravette quar­ter­back Ta­jae White, who fin­ished 5-of-14 for 62 yards nearly had a big com­ple­tion, but a re­ceiver dropped the ball with a step on the Car­di­nal sec­ondary. They would rue the play, fum­bling the ball away on the next play. Farm­ing­ton recovered and set up shop on the Lions’ 28. From there, Turner gal­loped in for his sec­ond touch­down of the game. Gravette’s Cy Hil­ger bat­ted down a 2-point con­ver­sion pass and Farm­ing­ton set­tled for a 20-0 lead. Turner would get one more on an 11-yard dash to cap a 7-play, 51-yard drive as the Car­di­nal of­fense re­deemed the time scor­ing in 2:37 and leav­ing a mere 45 sec­onds in the half. Kolton Reeves’ point-af­ter kick lifted Farm­ing­ton to a 27-0 half­time lead.

Stur­geon re­turned the open­ing kick­off of the third quar­ter 86 yards for a touch­down. Gravette’s of­fense pro­duced no points, but their de­fense pro­vided two with a safety when Jar­rod Barker tack­led Hill in the end zone with 4:45 to go in the third pe­riod. Hill ran a naked boot­leg on the play go­ing right with no block­ers while the rest of the Car­di­nals went left. Im­me­di­ately Barker and Kyle Rachel were in his face. Hill re­treated with nowhere to go and was brought down by Barker, a 6-5, 235 pound senior de­fen­sive tackle.

Fol­low­ing the free kick, Gravette drove in­side the Car­di­nal 25 be­fore los­ing a fum­ble. Turner ripped off a 54-yard run to the Lion 17. On the next play Tony Mayo checked in and ran for a touch­down. Reeves kicked the P.A.T. and Farm­ing­ton led 40-2 with 1:06 to go in the third.

Among tack­ling lead­ers on de­fense for Farm­ing­ton, Colton Kil­gore was tops with 9 solo tack­les and 3 tack­les for loss. Hay­den Cox added 4 so­los, 1 as­sist and 1 tackle for loss; Ja­cob Free­man made 4 so­los; while Di­mariae Dono­van con­trib­uted 3 solo stops and a pair of as­sisted tack­les.

Sopho­more quar­ter­back Tate Sut­ton will have surgery on his shoul­der this week and will miss the sea­son from an in­jury in­curred prior to the sea­sonopener.


Farm­ing­ton ju­nior Drew Stur­geon jumps to catch a 2-point con­ver­sion pass from quar­ter­back Eric Hill. The Car­di­nals over­whelmed Gravette by a score of 40-2 Fri­day at Allen Hol­land Field.

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