GRAVETTE — Playing in a steady rain throughout the game Friday, Farmington stayed on the ground out of necessity until it had to go the air.
When they did start passing, Keaton Austin completed 6-of-9 passes in the final 7:30 to rally the Cardinals to a 27-22 victory over Gravette at Lion Stadium.
Keaton’s first completion down the stretch went for 5 yards on fourth-and-4 from the Farmington 46 with the Cardinals (5-1-1, 3-1 4A-1 Conference) trailing 22-15.
Josh Blew ended the drive with a 31-yard touchdown run to pull Farmington within 22-21 with 6:45 remaining. A wide center snap led to a missed kick by Juan Flores on the extra point.
“If we gave the ball to them in that field position we weren’t going to get it back,” Farmington Coach Mike Adams said. “We ran a little fake punt and connected.”
After forcing a punt by Gravette (2-5, 2-2), Farmington turned the ball over on downs at their 42 with 3:22 remaining, but the Lions failed to convert and gave the Cardinals the ball at their 35 with 1:54 left.
Austin completed 5-of-7 passes for 56 yards, including a 10-yard pass to a diving Chas Turner in the back of the end zone on fourth down with 22 seconds left.
“I’m proud of our guys for rallying at the end,” Adams said. “We had to get a stop and we did and we had to go the length of the field and we did in bad conditions.”
Gravette’s last-ditch rally ended in an interception.
“Our kids played our hearts out,” Gravette Coach Bill Harrelson said. “They made one more play than we did.”
Both teams had deep snapping issues during a sloppy scoreless first quarter.
Gravette had a second snap sail over the head of punter Jackson Soule early in the second quarter. Soule ran into the end zone for a safety with 11:06 left.
On the first play after the free kick, Farmington running back Justice Hobbs raced 48 yards for a touchdown. Hobbs was stopped on the two-point try, leaving the Cardinals with an 8-0 lead with 10:53 left in the first half.
The Lions then had two long touchdown drives to grab a 14-8 lead at halftime.
Cedric Duarte carried 10 times on a 14-play, 80-yard drive, including a 1-yard touchdown with 4:52 left. He added the two-point run for an 8-8 tie.
After forcing a Farmington punt, Duarte again got the bulk of the work on a 72-yard scoring drive, finishing with a 3-yard run with 51 seconds left in the half.
“We had exhilaration last week (in a 27-21 overtime victory over Ozark) and depression this week, but that’s the life of football,” Harrelson said. “There were a lot of plays that had one of them gone differently we would’ve won the ball game.”
w Duarte ran 35 times for 146 yards and three touchdowns to pace the Lions. Gravette had 190 yards rushing, skewed by a 35-yard loss on the intentional safety.
w Hobbs had 144 yards on 22 carries to lead the Cardinals, who gained 214 yards on the ground.
w Farmington outgained Gravette 302-232. Both teams lost a fumble and intercepted a pass.
Farmington, which remains tied for second place with Lincoln in the conference, hosts Ozark. Gravette visits Lincoln.
HOW THEY SCORED
Farmington 27, Gravette 22
FHS — Safety Jackson Soule tackled in end zone , 0:00
FHS — Justice Hobbs 48 run (run failed), 10:53
GHS — Cedric Duarte 1 run (Cedric Duarte run), 4:52
GHS — Cedric Duarte 3 run (run failed), 0:51
FHS — 0 16 pass from Keaton Austin (Juan Flores kick), 6:20
GHS — Cedric Duarte 2 run (Cody Heaton pass from Wyatt Banta), 10:25
FHS — Josh Blew 31 run (kick failed), 6:45
FHS — Chas Turner 10 pass from Keaton Austin (pass failed), 0:22