The Benton Tigers bounced back strong Friday night with a 42-20 District 1-4A victory over the Northwood Falcons at Jerry Burton Memorial Stadium.
The Tigers, who lost to Woodlawn 54-28 in Week 7, improved to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in district. They close the regular season at home this Friday against Bossier (4-5, 2-4), a 28-21 winner against Huntington.
Northwood dropped to 2-7 and 1-5.
Benton came into the game at No. 10 in the 4A power rankings, which determine playoff seedings. The Tigers will host a first-round game a week from Friday.
“Overall, our guys did a real good job,” Benton coach Reynolds Moore said. “We had a good week of practice, and they came out and executed in the second half tonight. I was real proud they didn’t get caught up in the loss last week.”
The Tigers led just 14-7 at the half.
“I just told them at halftime, you’re up 14-7 it ought to be more, ” Moore said. “We were just giving stuff away and not making plays. This is going to be a dogfight if you leave them around for a little bit longer. “
Jayree Anderson had a big interception and return in the third quarter that helped Benton pull away. The Tigers scored a couple of players after it and went up 21-7.
“That was kind of a big turning point,” Moore said. “We felt like when they got the ball they were kind of driving on us a little bit. I felt we were a little bit flat. It’s kind of one of those deals where you’re hoping for a big play at some point and that kind of got everybody going and the defense played a lot better in the second half.”
The Tigers ran only 45 play in the game. Garrett Hable passed for just 98 yards, but three of his completions went for touchdowns and he had no interceptions.
Doyle Adams Jr. had five catches for 49 yards and two touchdowns. Jermaine Newton rushed for 90 yards on nine carries and scored touchdowns on runs of 33 and 16 yards. Legend Denler caught a touchdown pass.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org