Tigers put damper on Lions’ home­com­ing

Westside Eagle-Observer - - SPORTS - MIKE ECK­ELS meck­els@nwadg.com

GRAVETTE — Af­ter a day of cel­e­bra­tion in­clud­ing a pa­rade through the down­town area, the Gravette Lions re­turned to Lion Sta­dium for home­com­ing Sept. 28. But the day of cel­e­bra­tion, in­clud­ing the crown­ing of a new home­com­ing queen, soon turned to sad­ness as the Prairie Grove Tigers over­whelmed the Lions in a 48-minute con­test to take the win by six touch­downs.

Af­ter an elab­o­rate home­com­ing cer­e­mony, the Lions took the field in a cloud of smoke but, be­fore that smoke cleared, the Tigers had re­turned the Lions’ kick­off nearly 90 yards for a touch­down.

The ball landed in the hands of Prairie Grove’s Jack­son Sorters at the Tigers 10-yard line. Sorters lat­eraled to Ja­cob Watson, who ran the ball into the end zone for a 90-yard touch­down. One more touch­down by Ke­landrae Hobbs later in the quar­ter put the Tigers up by 14 over the Lions go­ing into the se­cond quar­ter.

Gravette tried to get its of­fense work­ing be­hind the lead­er­ship of se­nior quar­ter­back Ta­jae White in the se­cond quar­ter. The Prairie Grove de­fen­sive unit was just too strong, hold­ing the Lions no closer than 30 yards from the Tigers’ goal line and pre­vent­ing any chance of scor­ing.

Three more touch­downs by Tigers Gar­rett Hel­temes, Lane Dal­ton and Hared Harger in the se­cond quar­ter put Prairie Grove up by 35 at the half.

The sep­a­ra­tion on the score­board ac­ti­vated the sportsmanship rule and the se­cond half was played with a run­ning clock. The teams ex­changed punts to start the third quar­ter and the Tiger de­fense caused yet an­other Lion punt as the third wore down.

An­other Lion foray deep into Tiger turf ended with no points and a turnover on downs at Prairie Grove’s two.

A hand-off from White to Cy Hil­ger at the Gravette 40 yard line re­sulted in a 55 yard run to the Tigers’ five-yard line. On the se­cond play of the se­ries, White moved the ball to within an inch of the goal line for a Lion first down.

Prairie Grove’s de­fense

held the line, push­ing Gravette back to the eight-yard line. White, on fourth down, elected to keep the ball and man­aged to move it to the two-yard line, giv­ing pos­ses­sion to Prairie Grove. The Lions had a chance for a safety when Tigers quar­ter­back Ethan Guen­ther stepped into the end zone. Guen­ther found a re­ceiver at the 10-yard line, giv­ing him more breath­ing room to ma­neu­ver.

On the next play, Cade Grant broke free and the sopho­more showed his speed by go­ing all the way for a 93-yard touch­down run. With the P.A.T. kick tacked on, Prairie Grove led 42-0, which be­came the fi­nal score.

With the vic­tory, Prairie Grove im­proves to 3-2 over­all and 2-0 in con­fer­ence play; while Gravette falls to 0-5, 0-2 4A-1.

Mark Humphrey con­trib­uted to this story.

West­side Ea­gle Ob­server/MIKE ECK­ELS

Look closely, the white line in front of the hand is the goal line as Gravette cen­ter Beau Hamilton pre­pares to snap the ball to Ta­jae White in the fourth quar­ter of the Gravette-Prairie Grove foot­ball game at Lion Sta­dium Sept. 28. The ball was less than an inch from the goal line, the clos­est the Lions got to the end zone all night.

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