Gravette rolls over Lincoln, 40-7, in conference opener
GRAVETTE — Coach Bill Harrelson summed up his team’s win over the Lincoln Wolves in one of the most accurate ways possible.
“It was a total performance,” he said.
The Lions pounded Lincoln with the run game, rushing for over 350 yards, and stifled a pass-happy Wolves offense during Gravette’s 40-7 win Friday night in the 4A-1 Conference opener for both teams at Lions Stadium.
Behind Gravette’s potent offense was running back Austin O’Brien. The senior broke off runs of 7, 29, 41, 53 and 61 yards on his way to a game-high five touchdowns.
Lincoln coach Don Harrison said the goal was to contain O’Brien, but the Wolves struggled to bring him down in open space, which is where he did most of his damage.
Gravette (2-2, 1-0) quarterback Tajae White accounted for most of the team’s rushing yards after O’Brien, while also chipping in 58 yards passing. Having playmakers on the field playing at their peak performance was exciting to see for Harrelson, especially going into next week’s matchup against undefeated Prairie Grove, he said.
“When they’re going full tilt and our offensive line
is coming off the ball like they were tonight — I’m sure Austin had over 200 yards rushing — we threw for several yards before we quit throwing, and Tajae and Brady Moorman made plays in the receiving game,” Harrelson said. “Those guys give us a chance every night.”
The Lions’ defense held the Wolves to 178 yards of total offense, forced two fumbles, picked off two passes and recorded four sacks.
“Defensively, we shut them down pretty much the whole night,” Harrelson said. “I’m proud of the way our defense played. I thought our defensive line just dominated the game.”
Defensive lineman Bailey Soulé and the rest of the line pressured the Wolves all night and made key plays on third and fourth down, including Soulé’s sack in the second quarter that forced Lincoln to punt, which set up a touchdown drive for Gravette.
Lincoln (1-3, 0-1) was forced to play three new defenders in the game, which has fit the narrative of the Wolves playing banged-up this season. Harrison said he had multiple players playing different positions tonight due to injuries.
“When you only got 36 guys on a team and you got three defensive starters that go down, you’re moving one kid here and putting another kid there,” Harrison said. “It really caught up to us in the first and second quarter.”
Gravette quarterback Tajae White looks for an opening in the Lincoln defense during play between the two teams in Gravette on Sept. 22.