The Benton 8th Grade Panthers finished a perfect, undefeated season with a 16-6 win on Tuesday night over the Bryant White Hornets.
The first 12:48 of the game was scoreless, then the two teams combined for two scores in the final 1:12 of the first half.
Elias Payne picked off a Hornet pass at the Benton 44-yard line on Bryant’s third possession of the first half. The Panthers turned it into points on a 12-yard run by O’Marcus King. Maddox Davis fired a strike to Julius Stinson for the two-point conversion and an 8-0 Benton lead with 1:12 left in the second quarter.
The Hornets answered in just two plays when RonRico Simmons connected with Tristan Knox on a 55-yard touchdown pass. The Hornet two-point play was foiled by a bad snap to leave Benton ahead 8-6 at halftime.
Benton opened the second half by driving into the Hornet red zone for the fifth time in five possessions. The Panthers were able to cash in on a Davis seven-yard touchdown pass to Stinson in the corner of the end zone. Davis ran in the two-point conversion for a 16-6 Benton lead with 5:01 remaining in the third quarter.
On Bryant’s ensuing possession, the Hornets reached Panther territory and appeared to convert a fourth-and-one but Myron Thrash fumbled and King recovered at the Benton 44-yard line.
The Panthers would drive two more times into Hornet territory, but the Bryant defense forced a fourth down stop and picked off a pass to keep the score at 16-6.
Benton concludes the season 9-0 overall, 8-0 against Central Arkansas Junior High conference competition. Bryant White ends their season 4-3 overall.