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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO Bentonville West High School quarterback Dakota McDonald (2) leaps for a pass during a spring football game, Friday, May 25, 2018 at Wolverine Stadium at Bentonville West High School in Centerton.

CENTERTON -- Even with starting quarterback Will Jarrett absent, Bentonville West's offense managed to compile 50 points in its spring game Friday night.

That much production, however, still wasn't enough as the Wolverines' defense -- thanks to a unique scoring system -- posted a 59-50 victory as West closed out its spring workouts at Wolverine Stadium.

The defense could score points in a number of ways -- such as produce turnovers, quarterback sacks and tackles for loss -- as well as any time its forced the offensive unit into a three-and-out situation or when it stopped the offense on a fourth-down try.

"I think those defensive coaches rigged it," West coach Bryan Pratt said with a laugh. "Everything was to the defense, it seemed like, but it was a lot of fun. We try to find a way so they can compete and make it fair. I guess we did that because it was a close game."

Austin Ewbank gave the defense the lead for good when he intercepted a pass that bounced off Tucker Swoboda's hands and fell in his. That play, which was worth four points under the scoring system used, broke a 49-49 tie, then Victor Onyebueke picked off another pass to end the next offensive possession and give the defense a 57-50 lead.

The defense recorded four interceptions and six sacks -- all of which produced points -- against the combination of quarterbacks Dalton McDonald and Andrew Trader. Those two handled all of the snaps in the absence of Jarrett, who had gone overseas for a family matter.

"We have two young quarterbacks with not a lot of experience, and we had to throw them into the fire," Pratt said. "It gave them some quality reps, and it was a chance for us to coach them and get them better."

The offense trailed by a 34-17 margin before Trader hit Stephen Dyson with a 70-yard touchdown pass just before halftime. It then bounced back from a 40-24 deficit to tie the game at 40, thanks to McDonald's two touchdown passes on back-to-back plays -- a 6-yard toss to Jonas Higson and a 70-yard bomb to Jadon Jackson in the third quarter.

An interception by Ben Gray one play later helped the defense regain a 44-40 cushion, but the offense bounced back and eventually took a 49-44 lead on Trader's 23-yard touchdown pass to Aquelle Gay late in the third quarter. The defense, however, bounced back and went ahead to stay on Ewbank's interception.

"I saw our players compete, and that's what the coaching staff wanted to see," Pratt said. "It's tough going against players that you know really well, but we just wanted to see our kids compete. We saw that.

"We wanted to make sure we gave everybody a look. That was the whole deal. We wanted to give everybody a chance to play and get on film. Those younger players worked just as hard as everybody else in the offseason. This way, we can look at the film and evaluate things over the summer."

West will now turn its attention to its offseason workout schedule, which begins June 5-7 when the Wolverines head to the Tulsa team camp.

Preps Basketball on 05/26/2018

Print Headline: Defense outscores offense in West spring game

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