PRAIRIE GROVE — Turnovers and penalties plagued both Prairie Grove and Morrilton throughout the game Friday, but the Devil Dogs took advantage late.
The Tigers drove into Morrilton territory before Jacob Storlie’s fumble with two minutes remaining set up Morrilton at its own 47. Toney Hawkins passed 23 yards to Reese Heidenreich for the winning touchdown with 31 seconds left in the Devil Dogs’ 28-21 victory at Tiger Stadium.
The fumble was the second of the game lost by the Tigers (1-1). Logan Bartholomew fumbled inside the Morrilton 10 in the second quarter, one play after his 3-yard touchdown run was wiped out by a holding penalty.
Morrilton (1-1) also lost two fumbles, but it was one the Devil Dogs didn’t lose that enabled them to tie the game with four minutes left.
Facing fourth-and-9 from the Tigers’ 34, Hawkins collided with teammate Jymond English, knocking the ball to the ground. Hawkins picked it up and blindly lofted a pass that Heidenreich pulled down at the 3. Sharaz Rhodes scored from the 2 to forge a 21-21 tie.
“Hawkins is a great athlete,” Morrilton Coach Cody McNabb said. “He knew it was fourth down and knew we had to have something. That was just a great play and at the time we deserved to have something bounce our way.”
Both teams scored on their first possessions. The Tigers were marching on their second before Storlie was intercepted at the 4. The Devil Dogs were driving before Bartholomew intercepted Hawkins and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown with 1:08 left in the third quarter for a 13-7 lead.
But the Tigers were penalized 10 times for 68 yards, several times stalling drives because of them.
“Penalties hurt us all night,” Prairie Grove Coach Danny Abshier said. “We just didn’t get the job done tonight. That’s the bottom line.
“We could have, we should have, but we didn’t.”
Penalties cost the Tigers on their final two possessions of the first half.
After taking over on downs at their 10, the Tigers drove to midfield but had two holding penalties wipe out big gains.
Connor West recovered a fumble at the 50 for the Tigers, who drove to the 3 before the touchdown-nullifying penalty and Bartholomew’s fumble.
w Hawkins and Sharaz both rushed for 101 yards for the Devil Dogs. Sharaz rushed for two touchdowns.
w Hawkins was 20 of 27 for 327 yards passing and two touchdowns. His other touchdown pass was for 80 yards to Rayshod Criswell late in the third quarter to give Morrilton a 14-13 lead.
w Nick Sugg carried 15 times for 109 yards as the Tigers gained 298 on the ground. Morrilton had 519 yards to Prairie Grove’s 340.
w Last year’s meeting at Morrilton was canceled because of severe weather. It was one of 12 games across the state that night canceled because of heavy thunderstorms.
Both teams are on the road Friday to wrap up nonconference play. Prairie Grove visits West Fork. Morrilton travels to Searcy.
Morrilton-Prairie Grove stats
HOW THEY SCORED
Morrilton 28, Prairie Grove 21
PGHS — Jacob Storlie 2 run (J.D. Speed kick), 9:29
MHS — Sharaz Rhodes 2 run (Jorge Rivero kick), 6:44
PGHS — Logan Bartholomew 80 interception return (kick failed), 1:08
MHS — Rayshod Criswell 80 pass from Toney Hawkins (Jorge Rivero kick), 4:22
PGHS — J.D. Speed 7 run Dylan Soehner pass from, 9:08
MHS — Sharaz Rhodes 2 run (Jorge Rivero kick), 4:00
MHS — Reese Heidenreich 23 pass from Toney Hawkins (Jorge Rivero kick), 0:31
Rushing: Morrilton, Sharaz Rhodes 19-101, Toney Hawkins 11-101, Hunter Lentz 1—1, Rayshod Criswell 1—9, . Prairie Grove, Nick Sugg 15-109, Bobby Catt 5-55, Eli Lopez 1-42, Jacob Storlie 8-39, Logan Bartholomew 7-31, J.D. Speed 7-22.
Passing: Morrilton, Toney Hawkins 20-27-1 327, . Prairie Grove, Jacob Storlie 4-9-1 42.
Receiving: Morrilton, Rayshod Criswell 8-147, Reese Heidenreich 8-144, Jymond English 2-23, Sharaz Rhodes 1-8, Hunter Lentz 1-5, . Prairie Grove, Dylan Soehner 1-19, Bobby Catt 1-19, Logan Bartholomew 1-3, Nick Sugg 1-1.
Missed field goals: Morrilton, None. Prairie Grove, None.