BENTONVILLE -- First-year program Bentonville West resembled anything but that Friday, earning a defining victory in the process.
The Wolverines (2-4, 2-1 7A-West) held off a late Springdale High rally -- capped by Jason Gloeckler's pass breakup on a two-point conversion attempt in the final two minutes -- to secure a 42-40 win against the Bulldogs at Tiger Stadium.
Bentonville West 42, Springdale 40
West — Gloeckler 99 interception return (kick failed), 5:01
West — Jarrett 11 run (Jackson pass from Jarrett),
Spring — Mendez 12 run (Lopez kick), 7:34
Spring — Thompson 46 pass from Hutchins (Lopez kick), 4:17
West — McDonald 16 pass from Jarrett (McDoulett kick), 3:36
West — Banda 5 pass from Jarrett (McDoulett kick), 11.4
West — Banda 34 pass from Jarrett (McDoulett kick), 9:47
Spring — Minchew 48 pass from Hutchins (Lopez kick), 8:54
West — Jackson 51 pass from Jarrett (McDoulett kick), 3:32
Spring — Thompson 38 pass from Hutchins (pass failed), 9:07
Spring — Thompson 13 pass from Hutchins (pass failed), 1:52
"That wasn't how we drew it up there at the end," said West coach Bryan Pratt. "We're up by 21 but they get things going and we're in a dogfight. It's crazy, all of us coaches coming from other states, to think that you can win two games and you're in the playoffs. We're extremely excited about that, but that obviously isn't our goal. It's to get better every week."
West held a 14-point halftime lead and extended it to 21 on the opening drive of the second half. Will Jarrett connected with Stefan Banda on a 34-yard scoring play, putting the Wolverines up 35-14. Springdale answered with Layne Hutchins' tunnel screen to Jayden Minchew that turned into a 48-yard score.
The Wolverines kept the Bulldogs at bay with another score, but Springdale kept battling, pulling to within eight with nine minutes to play and finally to within two on Hutchins' 13 yard TD pass to Alex Thompson with inside two minutes remaining. That's when Gloeckler (who also scored the game's first TD on a 99-yard interception return) made the play of the game on Springdale's two-point conversion attempt, battling down Chris Crawford's option pass with tight coverage in the end zone.
"When you start a program and have no seniors, sometimes it takes a little while to get going," Pratt said. "We can be really good and we can also make some really bad mistakes, but I couldn't be more pleased with another win and more importantly, the second win in conference."
Jarrett, a dual-threat quarterback with a big arm, was 21-of-29 for 332 yards and four touchdowns. Jadon Jackson was everywhere for the Wolverines, catching 12 passes for 198 yards and a score.
"Will's going to be a great quarterback. He's a really smart kid, can scramble and keeps his head downfield and knows where the plays are," Pratt said. "Jadon is extremely athletic and he's still growing.
"I was pleased with the way our offensive line played. We struggled early, but we were able to run the football and when you do that, it definitely helps in the passing game, putting people in the box and giving us some easy balls. I'm really proud of those guys. They work extremely hard and we're going to continue to do what we do. The way we play offense is a little different from most, but it's a lot of fun to watch."
Erick Mendez led Springdale with 18 carrries for 159 yards. Hutchins was 22-of-33 passing for 343 yards with four Tds and three interceptions.
The Bentonville chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes presented Rodney Williams, father of the late Springdale star Kyler Williams, a signed football during a presentation at midfield before kickoff. Kyler Williams was killed Sept. 24 in a single-vehicle accident.
Sports on 10/08/2016
Print Headline: West holds off Springdale High