The Benton Tigers opened District 1-4A play with a 23-7 victory over the North DeSoto Griffins Friday night in Stonewall.
“That was big one,” said first-year Benton coach Reynolds Moore, whose Tigers won their second straight after opening the season with two losses.
“If you lose that first one, you’re playing from behind. You’re not putting yourself in the driver’s seat. We felt like we did that tonight and that’s great.”
Benton quarterback Jordan Shaffer completed 21 of 42 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.
Shaffer’s touchdown passes went to Tyler Stephens (4 yards), Kordy Stewart (29) and Dorsavion Williams (15).
Stewart had six catches for 123 yards, and Clayton Festavan had seven for 53. KD Thomas led Benton on the ground with 53 yards on 14 carries.
North DeSoto (1-3, 0-1) took a 7-0 lead on Damien Boone’s 13-yard run in the first quarter, but the Tigers shut the Griffins down after that.
Bailey Grimes kicked three PATs and a 30-yard field goal.
North DeSoto managed just six first downs and 186 total yards. The Griffins turned the ball over a whopping nine times.
“Our defense was around the football the whole night,” Moore said. “They did a very, very good job and forced those turnovers. It’s great to force those things instead of being the ones it happened to.”
The only negative was that the Tigers had several chances to turn the game into a blowout thanks to the turnovers but couldn’t do it.
Benton missed out on several scoring opportunities because of penalties, sacks and turnovers near the North DeSoto goalline.