GRAVETTE -- Shiloh Christian turned a pair of Gravette turnovers into two quick-strike touchdowns and rolled to a 33-21 win Friday night in 4A-1 Conference action.
Connor Reece, Shiloh Christian quarterback, looks to throw to a receiver during Friday’s game against Gravette at Lion Stadium.
The Saints took advantage of a Spencer Loper fumble recovery at the Shiloh Christian 35 at the end of the third quarter. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Saints quarterback Connor Reece found Broc Berus down the seam for a 63-yard touchdown pass,
Grav — O’Brien 50 pass from Moorman (kick failed), 11:48.
Shiloh — Reece 30 run (Boo kick), 8:19.
Shiloh — Berus 30 run (Boo kick), 5:58.
Grav — Moorman 1 run (Moorman to Deady), 3:30.
Shiloh — Carruthers 6 run (kick failed), 10:23.
Grav — Burnett 1 run (Childress kick), 3:21.
Shiloh — Berus 63 pass from Reece (pass failed) 11:47.
Shiloh — Carruthers 14 run (Boo kick), 11:32.
On the ensuing kickoff, Shiloh Christian kicker Caden Carter pooched the kick short and to the right. A Gravette receiver tried to field the kick, but could not hang on and the Saints recovered at the Lions' 25. Two plays later John Marcus Carruthers scored on a 14-yard run.
The two scores came 15 seconds apart and turned a 21-20 Gravette lead into a 33-21 Shiloh Christian lead and the Saints held on from there.
"Caden put the kick in a perfect location and made it tough to recover," Shiloh Christian coach Jeff Conaway said. "It bounced around a little bit and we were at the bottom of the pile and got it."
The win puts Shiloh Christian (6-2, 5-1) in position to earn the 4A-1 Conference's No. 2 playoff seed next week at home against Pea Ridge. But for a lot of Friday night's game, played in a cold drizzle, the Lions seemed to be in control behind a solid defense led by Brett Callahan, Jace Russ and a host of others who held the Saints in check.
"Our defense played unbelievable just stop after stop after stop," Gravette coach Bill Harrelson said. "When we got the lead, I thought we might hold them all night. We had some conservative play calling, but I wanted to give our defense a chance to win it for us and they almost did."
Conaway said the weather, and great execution by the Gravette defense took his team out of sync.
"Give Gravette a whole lot of credit because they took away some of the things that we hoped we'd be able to do," Conaway said. "They allowed the weather to play on their side and they had a great game plan, It really slowed us down."
The Lions (6-3, 4-2) struck first on the first play of the second quarter when quarterback Bryce Moorman found Austin O'Brien on a 50-yard touchdown strike and a 6-0 lead.
The Saints marched back, taking advantage of a short field to take a 7-6 lead when Reece scored on a 30-yard keeper, one play after a 20-yard touchdown was called back for holding.
Shiloh Christian's defense came up with a big stop on a fourth and inches play, and the Saints again took advantage as Berus scored on a 30-yard run for a 14-6 lead.
The Lions rallied to tie the score at 14-14 when Moorman hit Layne Martinez for 38 yards to set up Moorman's 1-yard keeper. Martinez made a spectacular one-handed catch in tight coverage.
Gravette also benefited from a special teams mistake when Shiloh Christian's backup punter Landon Brown could not handle a low snap and the ball rolled all the way to the Saints' 1, and Gravette's Jacob Burnett scored one play later for a 21-20 lead.
It stayed that way until the back-to-back mistakes gave Shiloh Christian all the momentum it needed.
"When you're in a dogfight like that, you need the other two phases to step up and make plays and our defense did," Conaway said. "They got us the ball back twice."
Sports on 10/31/2015
Print Headline: Saints capitalize on Gravette mistakes