Tigers put damper on Lions’ homecoming
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.
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.