Cards Put Crunch On Lions
FARMINGTON DOMINATES GRAVETTE, 40-2
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.