Benton coach Reynolds Moore and Plain Dealing coach Coy Brotherton both took positives away from their non-district game Friday night in Plain Dealing.
For Moore, the obvious positive was the victory. It may not have been pretty, but the Class 4A Tigers pulled out a 7-6 win over the Class 1A Lions. Both teams are now 2-1.
“Ultimately coming back here with a win is a lot better than coming back here with a loss,” Moore said. “But it wasn’t what we wanted it to be, and not taking anything away from Plain Dealing, just strictly from the sense that we didn’t execute. We felt like we didn’t play our game.”
Brotherton was naturally disappointed with the loss, but he couldn’t have been more pleased with the way his team competed against a Benton team than dressed out more than twice as many players as the Lions.
“You always want to win, but we can take some positives out it,” he said. “Anytime you play up in competition, not many expect you to win, and we had a good chance to.”
Both touchdowns were scored in the first quarter. Benton’s Christian Smith hit Dorsavion Williams with a 25-yard touchdown pass. Jordan White added the extra point.
Plain Dealing’s Logan Allen, who played almost the entire 48 minutes despite battling cramps in the second half, then made two big plays. He returned an interception deep into Benton territory and completed a TD pass to Isaac Jacobs.
The Lions got in the swinging gate formation and went for the two-point conversion. Because of penalties against Benton, they got three shots at it, but the Tigers held.
“I was real proud of our defense for standing up,” Moore said.
The game was a defensive struggle after that. The Tigers got down to the 1-foot line in the fourth quarter, but the Lions kept them out of the end zone.
“The defenses, our and theirs, both played well,” Brotherton said.
Benton and Plain Dealing played 7-on-7 games almost every week during the summer.
“I told our players their four receivers could start for anyone around here so don’t take them lightly, and I don’t think they did,” Moore said.
For the most part, the Tigers shut down the Lions offense
Plain Dealing, which had many players playing offense and defense, didn’t cross the 50 in the second half until a hook-and-ladder play on their final possession.
“They hit a little hook-and-ladder and got some yards, but our defense stood tall,” Moore said.
Benton opens District 1-4A play at home Friday night against North DeSoto (2-1), which lost to Southwood 21-17 last Friday.
Moore said the Tigers made too many mistakes against Plain Dealing. The Tigers missed blocking assignments and receivers sometimes ran the wrong routes.
“We can’t keep doing that,” he said. “But you get to correct them and it doesn’t cost you a game, which is really big for us.”
Plain Dealing visits Logansport, the Lions’ first Class 1A opponent of the season, Friday. Logansport (2-1) defeated Red River 21-12 last Friday.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org