VIDEO: Football: Tigers far from distracted in 70-0 blowout

Posted: October 28, 2017 at 5:57 a.m.

BENTONVILLE -- Andrew Griffith never expected to be the player to field the opening kickoff Friday, especially since he's a member of Bentonville High's kickoff team.

The senior linebacker, however, pounced on the football after the kick hit a Rogers Heritage player, and the Tigers scored four plays later en route to a 70-0 romp over the War Eagles during 7A-West Conference action at Tiger Stadium.

Bentonville High 70, Rogers Heritage 0

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Bentonville^28^21^7^14^—^70

First quarter

Bent — Mays-Hunt 28 pass from Lyons (Younger kick), 10:29.

Bent — Mays-Hunt 18 pass from Lyons (Younger kick), 7:59.

Bent — Miller 21 run (Younger kick), 5:50.

Bent — Smith 50 pass from Lyons (Younger kick), 2:14.

Second quarter

Bent — Beeler 9 pass from Lyons (Younger kick), 10:57.

Bent — Miller 27 run (Younger kick), 7:40.

Bent — Crawford 3 run (Younger kick), 4:51.

Third quarter

Bent — Escamilla 8 run (Hogue kick), 9:30.

Fourth quarter

Bent — Bell 1 run (Hogue kick), 11:14.

Bent — Ried 70 run (Hogue kick), 3:24.

"I never thought that would happen in my life," Griffith said. "I was just running down the field, trying to get to the ball carrier. I saw the ball hit the guy and bounce off him.

"Since I was going full speed with so much momentum, I was going to pick the ball up and give it our offense."

Bentonville coach Jody Grant said his kicker simply missed the kick instead of it being an onside or squib attempt. However, the Tigers had everything go their way in order to set up next week's showdown with unbeaten Bentonville West with the outright league championship up for grabs.

Bentonville (7-2, 6-0) compiled 405 yards total offense in the first half while compiling a comfortable 49-0 cushion in a game that could have been filled the distractions of next week's showdown and Senior Night. Heritage (1-8, 1-5), meanwhile, had just 162 yards total offense, but did get as close as the Tigers' 14 late in the game before Bentonville's reserves on defense manufactured three straight quarterback sacks to end the threat.

"We emphasized that from the get-go," Grant said. "All the people around us -- friends, family and the community -- they're ready to talk about next week. We made sure our kids stayed focused this week because next week will happen next week. The focus was on Heritage, which warranted the respect our kids had given them."

Nathan Lyons threw four touchdown passes for the third straight game and had 166 yards on 9 of 12 passing before he exited midway the second quarter, while running back Easton Miller had 128 yards on a pair of scores on just eight carries.

Even the Tigers' reserves joined in on the scoring as senior tailback Joey Escamilla ran for 104 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Preston Crawford, Patrick Bell and Colby Ried also had a touchdown run apiece, the latter a 70-yard burst to close out the scoring.

"Our kids are playing really good football right now," Grant said. "I think it's the right time to be doing it in all facets of the game. Things really clicked for us on both sides of the ball."

Sports on 10/28/2017