’Hawks bomb ’Cats

The Times (Northeast Benton County) - - FRONT PAGE - AN­NETTE BEARD abeard@nwadg.com

It was the im­mov­able ob­ject and the ir­re­sistible force, and both were on the side of the Pea Ridge Black­hawks as they swept to a 35-6 con­quest of the Ber­ryville Bob­cats Fri­day.

“We played a lot of our kids and we got great ef­fort from every­one,” a pleased head coach Stephen Neal re­lated. “The boys know how to prac­tice, and they took that into the game tonight. We gave sev­eral play­ers a chance at run­ning the ball, and they did not dis­ap­point.”

The ir­re­sistible force that was the of­fense scored every time they had the ball un­til the fourth quar­ter. The first Black­hawk punt did not oc­cur un­til there was only 7 min­utes left in the game. The de­fense, on the other hand, did not al­low a first down that wasn’t due to a penalty un­til the 6:00 minute mark of the third quar­ter.

Ju­nior Sa­muel Beard led the team on of­fense, rush­ing 22 times for 109 yards, scor­ing two touch­downs and a 2-point con­ver­sion. Sopho­more Cole Brown was se­cond in rush­ing, gain­ing 60 yards on nine totes.

The ’Hawks were ef­fec­tive in the pass­ing game with Car­son Rhine hit­ting seven of eight passes for 85 yards and a score, with sopho­more Zac Withrow con­nect­ing on six of eight for 48 yards. Fresh­man Trevor Blair caught four of the passes for 26 yards with Bray­den Ralph gain­ing the most yards with two catches for 41 yards and a touch­down.

’Hawks elected to kick to start the game, then held the vis­i­tors to -7 yards in their first se­ries. Se­nior Arnoldo Ras­con shot through the block­ers to drop the quar­ter­back for a 6-yard loss on the game’s first play. A rough­ing the kicker penalty on fourth down against the ’Hawks gave Ber­ryville new life, but the next three plays net­ted but 3 yards so the ’Cats punted away.

Beard started the of­fense off with a 9-yard run, then fol­lowed that up with a 17-yard scam­per to give the ’Hawks a first down at the Ber­ryville 31. Af­ter a 2-yard jaunt by Beard, Rhine flipped a pass to Blair to pick up 6 yards, with Beard rush­ing for 2 more on the next play for a first down on the 21. Rhine then found Ralph cut­ting across the mid­dle with the ju­nior grab­bing the pass, then mo­tor­ing into the end zone for the first score. Beard ran in the PAT, and the ’Hawks were ahead 8-0 with 5:48 left in the first quar­ter.

The de­fense forced an­other 3 and out on the Bob­cats’ next

pos­ses­sion fol­low­ing the kick­off. Af­ter a Ber­ryville punt sent the ball back to the Black­hawk 23, Pea Ridge would start their most time con­sum­ing scor­ing march of the sea­son. The ’Hawks would run 20 plays, in­clud­ing two that were pe­nal­ized, as they burned 8 min­utes of clock be­fore strik­ing pay­dirt.

Beard started things off with a short run, then a Rhine pass to Pey­ton Gal­braith net­ted 16 yards to the ’Hawk 43. A cou­ple of short gains by Beard were wiped out by a penalty, but Rhine and Ralph con­nected again, this time for 21 yards to the Ber­ryville 38. Beard rushed the ’Hawks to­ward a first down, but it took a 5-yard fourth-down pass to Gal­braith to move the chains again.

Beard rushed three more times to get the ’Hawks within a yard of a first down. Faced with a fourth down play on the ’Cat 19, Rhine kept the ball and earned a new set of downs on the Bob­cat 13. Beard then broke off an 8-yard run, but the ’Hawks were pe­nal­ized 5 yards on the next play. Beard ran twice more, tak­ing the ball down to the Ber­ryville 5 where the ’Hawks faced their third straight fourth­down play. Beard took it on in from with 7:02 left in the half. Rhine ran the PAT in to give the ’Hawks a 16-0 lead.

Af­ter six straight in­com­ple­tions, the ’Cats fi­nally con­nected on a pass, an 8-yarder to the Bob­cat 32 on the first play fol­low­ing the kick­off. How­ever, a wall of ’Hawk de­fend­ers jammed up the line of scrim­mage to smother the ’Cats’ next play, and on 3rd down, Gavin War­den made a fly­ing tackle to bring down the Bob­cat all car­rier 2 yards be­hind the line. A short punt then gave the ball to Pea Ridge on the Black­hawk 49.

Rhine con­nected on two straight passes for 8 yards each, first to Blair, then to Withrow. Beard burst through for 30 yards on the next play , then bashed the line for 3 more to en­ter the end zone. His score left the Black­hawks with a solid 22-0 lead.

Ber­ryville man­aged to drive into Black­hawk ter­ri­tory in the fi­nal minute of the half, with a Bob­cat pass seem­ingly headed for a Ber­ryville score un­til se­nior Ma­son Har­well stepped in front of it for a drive-killing in­ter­cep­tion.

Beard ran the first plays of the se­cond half, pick­ing up 16 yards and a 1st down on the Ber­ryville 49. From that point on, the Hawks would ro­tate a num­ber of run­ning backs into the game but the chains kept mov­ing, and the score kept mount­ing.

Nor­mally a line­backer, Tristin Brewer got the call to rush the next three plays and he did well, pick­ing up 9, 8, then 4 yards to get the ball deep into Bob­cat ter­ri­tory at the 32. Luis Reyes then ran three plays that cov­ered 10 yards, earn­ing a first down on the ’Cat 18. Brewer went back in and ram­bled into the end zone with 8:22 show­ing in the third quar­ter. Reyes booted the PAT and Pea Ridge led 29-0.

Bob­cat Chris­tian Le­mus then earned the ’Cats’ first first down with three rushes to the Ber­ryville 46. Le­mus and Tris­tan Upde­graft ran for 3 then 10 yards to the ’Hawk 41. The Bob­cats then con­nected on only their se­cond pass of the even­ing, and it very nearly scored, with J.D. Smith hit­ting Scot­land Lu­cas for 39 yards to the ’Hawk 2. Braden Lo­gan ran it in from there to score with 5:32 left in the third, mak­ing the deficit a lit­tle less at 29-6.

The ’Hawks had not been stopped on their first four pos­ses­sions and the fifth would be no ex­cep­tion. Blair started things rolling with a 6-yard catch and run, with ad­di­tional yardage tacked on when the ’Cats grabbed his face mask. Sopho­more Cole Brown then dashed past de­fend­ers to gain 28 yards to the Ber­ryville 7. Mike Ma­honey smashed through the line for 4 yards, bar­reled through it again for 2 yards, then on a third and 1 play, Ma­honey would not be stopped un­til he en­tered the end zone. His score came with 1:46 left in the third quar­ter, giv­ing the ’Hawks a 35-6 lead.

The Bob­cats used two 15 yard penal­ties against the ’Hawks to move into Pea Ridge ter­ri­tory at the 22. The ’Cats’ first play was an in­com­plete pass with the ’Hawk de­fense swarm­ing over the quar­ter­back for a 4-yard loss on se­cond down. A pass into the end zone looked like it might score for the guests un­til Brown shot into the play and knocked the ball away on fourth down.

Brown then got the first two of­fen­sive calls, pick­ing up 11 yards on two runs for a first down on the ’Hawk 32. Af­ter a hold­ing call against the ’Hawks set them back first and 20, two straight 11-yard passes from Withrow to Mar­cus No­ble and then to Pay­ton Beck­man put the ball at mid­field for a first down. The ’Hawks would get no closer, and were forced to punt for the first time with just over 7 min­utes left in the game.

Le­mus in­spired his team with a 19-yard run right af­ter Ber­ryville as­sum­ing pos­ses­sion, and a se­ries of short runs took the ball into Pea Ridge ter­ri­tory at the 40. The Cats tried a deep pass which would have worked had not the ’Hawks David Snarr knocked it away. An­other deep pass on fourth down was on the mark, but Ma­son Har­well broke the play up to get the ball back for Pea Ridge.

Pea Ridge then ran the clock down to un­der a minute, but the Bob­cats could not mount a threat in the wan­ing mo­ments and Pea Ridge took the fi­nal vic­tory.

De­fen­sive ef­forts were widely shared by a lot of play­ers with Cole Brown record­ing the most tack­les with 12. David Snarr had the se­cond most with 8, with Brewer, David Wood and Ma­honey each adding 7. Jake Adams and Ras­con had six tack­les each with Adam Tram­mel com­ing up with five stops.

Five other ’Hawks recorded rush­ing yardage with Brewer gain­ing 40 yards on five tries, Ma­honey run­ning three times for 7, Reyes rush­ing for 11 on two jaunts, with Rhine run­ning once for 6, and Withrow once for 9.

The vic­tory clinched at least the No. 2 seed for the 4A state play­offs in Novem­ber. The No. 1 seed will be awarded to the win­ner of the Pea Ridge/Shiloh reg­u­lar sea­son fi­nale game to be held Fri­day, Nov. 2, in Pea Ridge.

This week, the ’Hawks will travel to their far­thest con­fer­ence road game of the year at Green For­est. The Tigers are the new­est and weak­est mem­ber of the 4A-1, hav­ing been pro­moted out of the 3A-1 from last sea­son. Their first sea­son as a 4A mem­ber has not been suc­cess­ful to date as the Tigers have yet to score in a con­fer­ence game, be­ing the vic­tims of five straight shut outs.

Pho­to­graphs cour­tesy of Stephanie Har­well

Ber­ryville man­aged to drive into Black­hawk ter­ri­tory in the fi­nal minute of the half, with a Bob­cat pass seem­ingly headed for a Ber­ryville score un­til se­nior Ma­son Har­well stepped in front of it for a drive-killing in­ter­cep­tion.

Pho­to­graphs cour­tesy of Stephanie Har­well

Black­hawk ju­nior David Snarr (No. 13) had the se­cond most tack­les with eight in the con­test against Ber­ryville Fri­day. De­fen­sive ef­forts were widely shared by a lot of play­ers with sopho­more Cole Brown record­ing the most tack­les with 12.

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