GENTRY — Gentry overcame two turnovers Friday, including a pass interception in the end zone, to end a decade of frustration against Gravette.
The Pioneers scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, then thwarted a potential game-tying two-point conversion in the final two minutes, to escape with a 21-19 victory over the Lions at Pioneer Stadium.
The win was the first for Gentry (3-2, 1-1 4A-1 Conference) in the series since defeating the Lions (1-4, 1-1) 36-31 in 2003. Gravette has dominated the series since, with only two games decided by fewer than 10 points.
The Lions carried a 13-7 lead into the fourth quarter, but Gentry took its first lead since it was 7-0 when Bobby Montes sprinted 30 yards around right end for a touchdown less than 90 seconds into the fourth quarter. Enrike Zamora’s extra-point kick gave Gentry a 14-13 lead.
Gentry forced a punt but was backed up to its 10. On second down, Stone Faulkenberry got behind Gravette defender Garrett Bray to haul in a 90-yard pass from Jarod Cousins for a 21-13 lead with 8:25 remaining.
“It’s probably not very much in the history of my coaching career that we’re running more than we’re throwing,” Gentry Coach Brian Little said. “We sneak that throw in there and we’ve had that happen a few times this year.
“It was a great adjustment by the quarterback and a great catch. A big, big difference-maker in the game for us.”
The Lions rallied in the final five minutes with a 63-yard scoring drive. Wyatt Banta had passes of 27 yards to Cody Heaton and 11 yards to Aaron Means before hitting Shay Shimer for a 9-yard touchdown with 1:45 left. Banta’s pass to Cody Robinson for the tying conversion fell incomplete at the goalline.
“They had some playmakers and they made some plays tonight,” Gravette Coach Bill Harrelson said. “We just couldnt get it done.”
• Gravette fumbled on its first possession, leading to a 37-yard touchdown drive on three Jon Brown runs. The Lions had third first turnover, a fumble to end their second possession, to set up Gravette’s second touchdown.
• Shimer had a hand in all three Gravette touchdowns. Besides the final touchdown reception, he caught a 14-yard pass on fourth-and-nine for the Lions’ first touchdown and threw a 36-yard halfback pass to Means on the final play of the first quarter.
• Gentry turned the ball over on downs inside the Lions’ 25 on the first possession of the second half, but Cousins returned an interception 24 yards to the 10 shortly after. Gravette called timeout when the Pioneers lined up in a trick-play formation. Cousins then was intercepted in the end zone by Means.
• Cousins ran for 75 yards and passed for 165 to lead the Pioneers. Faulkenberry caught four passes for 109 yards. Cedric Duarte had 95 yards on 24 carriers to pace the Lions. Gentry outgained Gravette 313-213.
• Gravette’s Tyler Kerley had 12 tackles.
Both teams continue 4A-1 Conference play next week. Gentry visits Pea Ridge. Gravette hosts Ozark.
HOW THEY SCORED
Gentry 21, Gravette 19
Gen — Jon Brown 9 run (Enrike Zamora kick), 9:28
Grav — Shay Shimer 14 pass from Wyatt Banta (Jackson Soule kick), 3:28
Grav — Aaron Means 36 pass from Shay Shimer (kick failed) , 0:00
Gen — Bobby Montes 30 run (Enrike Zamora kick), 10:39
Gen — Stone Faulkenberry 90 pass from Jarod Cousins (Enrike Zamora kick), 8:25
Grav — Shay Shimer 9 pass from Wyatt Banta (pass failed) , 1:45