Kickers double up on work during Bentonville's spring football game

Posted: May 24, 2018 at 9:30 p.m.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO Bentonville High School Preston Crawford (1) reacts after a touchdown during the spring football game, Thursday, May 24, 2018 at Tiger Stadium in Bentonville.

BENTONVILLE -- Each time Bentonville High's football team needed somebody to kick the ball Thursday night, Sam Younger and Elliot Nimrod both raced onto the field to take their turn.

A kicking controversy? Far from it.

The Tigers decided to double up on their kicking opportunities by letting both players try field goals and extra points during their spring game at Tiger Stadium.

"We wanted to give our guys an opportunity to kick," Bentonville coach Jody Grant said. "It's important for kickers to work in front of a crowd, and it adds a little pressure to them.

"We're blessed to have a really good kicking game, so we were able to get them out here and get some work and get our snappers and holders going. It was good."

Younger, a right-footed senior, handled the Tigers' placekicking duties last season and hit 7 of 10 field-goal attempts and 51 of 53 tries. Nimrod, a left-footed junior, took care of kickoffs, where 30 of his 81 attempts went into the end zone for touchbacks.

Both players kicked 26-yard field goals to close out Bentonville's first offensive drive and were perfect on their extra-point tries. Younger hit a 44-yard try that Nimrod hooked wide right, but Nimrod later hit a 40-yard kick after Younger pushed his try too far to the left.

The only solo kick came from Younger, who hit a 45-yarder to close out the scrimmage and ended Bentonville's 10 spring practice sessions. The scrimmage, which was delayed 30 minutes by a rain shower, featured the Tigers' three offensive units taking their turns against the three defensive teams.

"We would have probably liked to get a few more sets in with some of our guys," Grant said. "But we would rather delay it and do it right than try to do it indoors. It may have cost us a couple of series, but we were able to accomplish what we wanted to accomplish.

"Everybody got reps, and we were able to get it on film so we can evaluate things going into team camp."

Rising junior Preston Crawford, who ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns in the Class 7A state championship game, delivered again early in the second quarter when he broke away for a 56-yard touchdown run. Noah Featherolf, a rising senior who saw times on both sides of the ball, accounted for the other two touchdowns.

He bolted 10 yards for a touchdown one play after Ben Pankau hit Kenny Iuso connected on a 34-yard pass. Featherolf's second score came on the last offensive play when he caught a 10-yard pass from Pankau, and that score was set up when Ethan Estes' long interception return.

"On both sides of the ball, we were able to do some things," Grant said. "As a defensive staff, you're not disappointed because you did some good things. As an offensive staff, you're pleased with how well you moved the ball at times and in crucial situations. It's pretty good when you're balanced on both sides of the ball."

Bentonville quickly moves into its offseason plans as the Tigers head to Owasso, Okla., for a team camp Wednesday before its team camp in early June. Bentonville will begin preseason workouts July 30 and will open the season at home Aug. 25 against Midwest City, Okla.

Preps Basketball on 05/25/2018