The Benton Freshman Panthers withstood a late rally on Halloween night in Cabot to defeat Cabot South 14-8. The win marks Benton’s third straight win heading into Tuesday’s season finale against Bryant.
Benton and Cabot traded possessions throughout the first half until Jamarius Morgan returned a Cabot punt to the 15-yard line. Three plays later, Donovan Pearson scored to give Benton a 7-0 halftime lead.
A scoreless third quarter ended with Benton at the Cabot 25-yard line. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Jack Woolbright completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Abe Rose. Lucas Wilbur kicked the extra point to give Benton a 14-0 lead.
Noah Koch picked off a Cabot pass on the next possession, but the Panthers were forced to punt.
Cabot scored following the punt on a 48-yard touchdown pass from Abe Owen to Ethan Kemp. Owen converted the two-point play on a pass to Maher Alami to trim Benton’s lead to 14-8 with 3:24 remaining.
Benton appeared to lock up the victory with two first downs on the ensuing drive. Woolbright completed a 35-yard pass to Pearson on third-and-twenty to move to the chains and Pearson raced for 22 yards to the Cabot 11-yard line. With 59 seconds remaining and Cabot out of timeouts, Benton lined up in the victory formation, but a muffed snap would give Cabot life.
Cabot reached the Benton 38-yard line, but on the game’s final play, Walker Davis busted through the line to sack Owen and seal the win for the Panthers.
For the third straight game, Pearson went over the century mark rushing with 114 yards on 16 carries. Woolbright completed 7 of 11 passes for 122 yards. Rose hauled in two passes for 44 yards.
Jake Jones led the Panther defense with seven tackles and a forced fumble. Pearson (five tackles, one sack, one forced fumble) and Brody Blanton (five tackles) also played big roles in the win. Hunter Goodwin and Jacob Munns recovered Cabot fumbles for the Benton defense.
The Freshman Panthers (4-5, 3-4) will conclude their season at home on Tuesday, November 5 against the Bryant Hornets. The Hornets, having already secured the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference championship, will enter the game 9-0 overall, 7-0 in conference.
The Benton 8th Grade Panthers ran into a buzz-saw in Cabot South and suffered a 32-14 defeat. Benton bookended the game with Chris Barnard touchdown runs of 77 yards (on the opening play of the game) and 60 yards (with 1:57 remaining in the fourth quarter). In between, Cabot South scored 32 straight points to secure the win.
The 8th Grade Panthers are now 5-3 overall, 5-2 against Central Arkansas Junior High conference opponents. The 8th Grade Panthers will conclude their season on Tuesday, November 5 at home against Bryant. Kickoff will be at 5:30.