GENTRY -- Shiloh Christian's offense put 42 points on the scoreboard Friday night, giving the impression it dominated the game.
In reality, it was the Saints' defense that came up with the big plays in a 42-14 victory over Gentry in 4A-1 Conference action.
Gentry — McFerrin 33 fumble return (Matthews kick), 3:37.
Shiloh — Berus 5 run (Boo kick), 1:33.
Gentry — Faulkenberry 1 run (Matthews kick), 9:12.
Shiloh — Nelson 61 pass from Reece (Boo kick), 8:48.
Shiloh — Reece 26 run (Boo kick), 3:48.
Shiloh — Carruthers 4 run (Boo kick), 1:20.
Shiloh — Berus 3 run (Boo kick), 10:27.
Shiloh — Berus 47 run (Boo kick), 7:44.
Shiloh Christian (4-2, 3-1 4A-1) came up with two key fourth-down stops and allowed Gentry just one offensive touchdown to rebound from last week's loss to Prairie Grove.
"We had some big stops in the second half that gave us some momentum," Shiloh Christian coach Jeff Conaway said. "We had to have some stops there in the third quarter and our defense came up big."
Gentry trailed 28-14 late in the third quarter when quarterback Jon Faulkenberry completed four straight passes to lead the Pioneers (3-4, 1-3) to the Shiloh Christian 15-yard line. But Saints linebacker Jacob Plunkett came through to sack Faulkenberry for a 10-yard loss on fourth-and-8 to end the threat.
The Saints came up with another big stop again when Faulkenberry hit Wyatt Clark for 47 yards to the Shiloh Christian 14. A holding penalty negated an apparent Faulkenberry touchdown, and the Saints forced three straight incompletions, the last in the end zone.
Gentry's defense also had its moments, none bigger than than Kaven Flesner's strip of Shiloh Christian quarterback Connor Reece that was returned 33 yards for a touchdown by Myles McFerrin with 3 minutes, 37 seconds left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.
The Saints responded after the turnover to drive 60 yards for the tying score, with Broc Berus scoring from the 5-yard line for the first of his three touchdowns with 1:33 left in the first quarter.
The Pioneers had an answer of their own as Faulkenberry hit passes of 12, 5, 6, 7, 6, and 13 yards and capped a 47-yard drive with a 1-yard keeper and a 14-7 lead with 9:12 left in the first half.
Again the Saints answered, and quickly. Reece delivered a perfectly thrown pass to Jake Nelson down the left sideline and Nelson did the rest, going 61 yards for the tying score.
The Saints defense dominated the rest of the way. Shiloh Christian came up with a fourth-down stop inside its own 15, then marched 85 yards in 6 plays, capped by a 26-yard keeper by Reece. Then after Gentry failed on a fourth-and-5 at its own 34, the Saints scored quickly on John Marcus Carruthers' 4-yard run for a 28-14 lead at halftime.
"I think the separation in the programs took over," said Gentry coach Paul Ernest. "(Shiloh Christian) expects to win, and we, right now, are hoping to win. We've got to win some of these games at some point to get that done."
Berus rushed for 130 yards on 10 carries to lead the Saints. The Saints overcame 17 penalties for 188 yards including 8 holding calls.
Sports on 10/17/2015
Print Headline: Saints' defense keys bounce-back win