The Benton Tigers had little trouble with the Wossman Wildcats Friday night, opening their 2017 season with a 49-7 rout at Tiger Stadium in Benton.
The win came against a Class 3A team that won eight games last year and reached the second round of the playoffs.
“Pretty impressive by our guys all the way around,” Benton coach Reynolds Moore said. “Defensively, I don’t think they got a first down until the second quarter. Just a really good effort overall.”
Benton’s start couldn’t have been better. The Tigers recovered at fumble forced by Garrett Jacobs at the Wossman 3 and Jermaine Newton scored on the next play, Benton’s first from scrimmage. Newton added two more touchdowns on the night.
“You can’t start much better than that,” Moore said. “You get a defensive stop, get a turnover, score.”
The Tigers led 21-0 after the first quarter and 30-7 at the half.
Benton was balanced on offense. The Tigers had 272 yards rushing and 176 passing.
“I thought we really ran the ball well,” Moore said. Newton and Keldric Moody provided most of the yardage on the ground.
Legend Denler caught two touchdown passes from Garrett Hable and Bubba Osby had one.
The only thing Moore was somewhat disappointed about was his team’s play near the end of the first half.
“I thought our guys slacked off a little more than I wanted them, too,” he said. “But all in all we came out in the second half, got the ball and played well, played really hard. It’s just a good start (to the season). We got a lot of guys in there late in the game.”
Benton visits Alexandria Senior High on Friday. The Trojans lost to Ferriday 37-27 Saturday in their season opener.
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com