ROGERS — Fort Smith Northside totalled 358 yards against Rogers High, but the Grizzlies’ offense sputtered when it mattered most Friday.
Shakari Jones was unable to hang on to what would have been a 27-yard touchdown pass with 4:39 left in a tie game. He then slipped and fell in the Northside end zone on a reverse with 33 seconds left, giving the Mounties a safety in a 30-28 nonconference victory at Whitey Smith Stadium.
Northside (0-2-1) had gained the momentum after scoring twice in the fourth quarter to rally from a 28-14 deficit, then stopping Rogers running back Preston Young for no gain on fourth-and-1 from the Mounties 37 with 7:18 remaining.
Northside reached the 21 before losing 6 yards on third-and-4 when quarterback Grant Hood pitched wildly out of bounds on an option play. He had Jones streaking down the left sideline on the fourth-down pass, but the ball slipped through the receiver’s hands at the goal line.
Jones caught nearly everything else that came his way, pulling down five passes for 86 yards and a touchdown.
The Mounties (3-0) again piled up yardage on the ground, rushing for 271 yards. Rogers quarterback Max Harrell attempted only two passes. His lone completion went for 30 yards to Zachary Arrick for a touchdown with 6:42 left in the third quarter for a 21-14 lead.
“Our passing game is about efficiency,” Rogers Coach Shawn Flannigan said. “It’s about throwing when we think we can get a completion.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Brandon Workman kept the Rogers offense grounded, rushing for 113 yards on 13 carries and scoring on runs of 20, 19 and 13 yards. His second touchdown, on the second play of the second half, broke a 7-7 halftime tie.
UP NEXT: The Mounties open 7A/6A-West Conference play Friday at Springdale.
BY THE NUMBERS
2.5 Tackles for losses by Brett Hauser of Rogers, including one sack for 4 yards.
9.2 Average yards per play by Rogers on first down. Only one of the Mounties’ 25 first-down plays went for negative yardage.
37.2 Punting average by Kyle Eason of Rogers. He pinned Fort Smith Northside at its 13 with 1:13 remaining, setting up the game-winning safety.