ROGERS -- Rogers High pulled away in the second half to get a 33-14 win over crosstown rival Rogers Heritage on Friday night at Gates Stadium and also wound up with a playoff berth.
The Mounties led only 14-7 at halftime, but scored 19 unanswered points in the third quarter to take control en route to the win.
Rogers High 33, Rogers Heritage 13
Rogers 7 7 19 0 — 33
Heritage 7 0 0 7 — 14
Rog-Ross 80 pass from Loyd (Vasquez kick), 6:11.
Hert-Graser 1 run (Christian kick), :00.
Rog-Loyd 4 run (Vasquez kick), 5:45.
Rog-Loyd 1 run (Vasquez kick), 9:31.
Rog-Loyd 36 run (Kick failed), 4:04.
Rog-Watkins 34 pass from Loyd (Kick failed), 0:47.
Hert-Moore 56 pass from Brown (Christian kick), 0:01.
But the Mounties (2-7, 2-5) will also claim the No. 6 seed and a playoff berth since Springdale Har-Ber self-reported using an ineligible player to the Arkansas Activities Association on Friday and forfeited conference wins over Rogers and Van Buren.
Rogers athletic director Keith Kilgore said he got a phone call from Springdale athletic director Wayne Stehlik prior to the kickoff informing him of the infraction.
But Rogers needed a strong second half to pull away, after committing three first-half turnovers.
The Mounties got exactly what they needed with 19 unanswered points to turn a 14-7 halftime lead into a 33-7 advantage with less than a minute left in the third quarter.
Nathan Hahn keyed a five-play drive with a 51-yard run to start the third quarter, and Hunter Loyd scored from a yard out with less than three minutes gone in the second half to give the Mounties momentum they never relinquished.
Rogers coach Mike Loyd was pleased with his team's performance and happy they get a chance to compete in the playoffs.
"What's right's right and what's wrong's wrong," Loyd said. "They made something right. Our kids get rewarded for doing the right thing and played well tonight. It's good to get on the winning track. We played some teams out there pretty tough.
"Last year, four or five teams we got mercy-ruled. This year, four out of those five, we're playing 'til the fourth quarter. The kids got better. Sometimes the record doesn't indicate it, but they didn't give up and they played hard. We talked at halftime about coming out and finishing the game. Those kids responded. They responded on that first drive."
Hunter Loyd, who ran for two touchdown and threw for two, finished off another drive with a 36-yard quarterback keeper for a touchdown. He later hooked up with Logan Watkins for a 34-yard touchdown pass with 47 seconds left in the third quarter for a 33-7 Rogers advantage.
Loyd accounted for more than 250 yards of offense, throwing for 192 and running for 65. Hahn was also a force on the ground, rushing for 172 yards on 16 carries.
Heritage coach Tony Travis said the Mounties' score to begin the third quarter was big. But he was pleased with how his defense played, especially in the first half.
"Defense did an awesome job creating turnovers," Travis said. "They weren't just putting it on the ground. It was a physical game. Opening drive of the third quarter they did a good job and hit a big play on us. That was a gut-punch. I don't know that we ever really got over that momentum-wise."
Rogers took a 14-7 lead late in the second quarter, after a good punt return by Logan Watkins set the Mounties up at the Heritage 32.
Heritage (0-10, 0-7) tied the game 7-7 with a 14-play, 67-yard drive. Ty Graser scored from 1 yard out to complete the drive. He also had a huge 28-yard gain on a reverse as the War Eagles converted a fourth-and-13 play.
Sports on 11/03/2018
Print Headline: PREP FOOTBALL: Mounties pull away from War Eagles in second half