Eighth-graders win third straight game to close year

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - SPORTS - From Staff Re­ports

The Siloam Springs eighth-grade foot­ball team wrapped up its sea­son Tues­day with a 30-8 win against Rogers Elm­wood at Pan­ther Sta­dium.

Af­ter start­ing the sea­son with just one win in their first seven games, the Panthers won three straight to fin­ish the year with a 4-6 record.

“This was a great game to fin­ish the sea­son,” said head coach Chuck Jones. “We were able to get ev­ery­one into the game and they played well. The de­fen­sive per­for­mance af­ter the first few games was pretty good. Our tack­ling re­ally im­proved and the kids played hard.”

Hunter Jenk­ins led the Panthers of­fen­sively with nine car­ries for 137 yards and a touch­down. Ivan Ar­ras rushed seven times for 44 yards and a score, while Tyson Seyer had eight car­ries for 49 yards.

Kevin De Paz scored a rush­ing touch­down, while Jose Rico re­turned an in­ter­cep­tion 15 yards for a touch­down.

Dax­ton Moody led the spe­cial teams ef­fort with two tack­les. Caleb Cas­te­nada led the de­fense with three tack­les for loss.

“We had sev­eral in­juries dur­ing the sea­son which caused us to move around our per­son­nel,” Jones said. “It took a while for us to ad­just to new po­si­tions. Coach (Ehldane) Labitad did a great job with our line­men. A few of his guys had to learn two to three dif­fer­ent po­si­tions dur­ing the year. The last three games, our line con­trolled the line of scrim­mage on both sides of the ball.”

Jones cred­ited of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Robert Staggs with mak­ing ad­just­ments af­ter quar­ter­back An­drew Pilcher went down with a torn ACL early in the year.

“We be­came a more phys­i­cal, run­ning team,” Jones said. “Coach Staggs did a nice job iden­ti­fy­ing what we could do best and ex­ploited op­pos­ing de­fenses. We came to­gether as a team, over­came some ad­ver­sity and fin­ished strong. I couldn’t be more proud of a group of young men.”

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