GRAVETTE — Pea Ridge would like to forget both Cedric Duarte and the first two possessions of each half Friday.
The Blackhawks had three turnovers and punted once in those four possession while Duarte rushed for 218 yards and two touchdowns to lead Gravette to a 26-12 victory at Lion Stadium.
The Lions (1-3, 1-0 4A-1 Conference) scored on their first two possessions of each half to take control of the game.
Gravette drove 65 yards on the game’s first possession for a 7-0 lead on Wyatt Banta’s 20-yard pass to Cody Heaton.
After Seth Brumley fumbled on Pea Ridge’s first play, Cody Robinson ran 3 yards for a touchdown for a 13-0 lead with 5:14 left in the first half.
The Blackhawks (2-2, 0-1) again fumbled on their next play. Robinson recovered Shane Ivy’s fumble at the 33, but Gravette failed to convert.
Trailing 13-6 at halftime, the Blackhawks suffered their third turnover on the first series of the second half when Aaron Means intercepted Brumley near midfield.
Duarte scored from the 5 and Jackson Soule kicked the extra point for a 20-6 lead with 8:24 left in the third quarter.
After forcing a punt, the Lions drove 77 yards to take a 26-6 lead with two minutes left in the period. Duarte, who had a 38-yard run on the drive, finished it with an 8-yard touchdown.
“He ran like a man tonight,” Gravette Coach Bill Harrelson said. “Duarte and Cody Robinson both had big nights running the ball because of those guys up front. They controlled the line of scrimmage.”
Pea Ridge Coach Tony Travis was also impressed with Duarte’s performance.
“He probably got 160 (yards) after contact,” Travis said. “We did a poor job of tackling.
“Gravette got after us up front and that had a big effect on the game.”
Robinson finished with 82 yards and a touchdown for the Lions.
Harrelson credited a defense that limited the Blackhawks to 175 yards.
“You can’t say enough about our defense,” he said. “They had one drive where they got the ball on the 5 and scored. But our defense held them to basically one touchdown other than a 5-yard drive.”
Pea Ridge scored on Shane Ivy’s 5-yard run on the second play of the second quarter. It was set up by Jack Rapp’s 34-yard punt return to the 5.
Dylan McClellan scored on the third play of the fourth quarter on a 5-yard run but the 2-point pass failed, leaving Pea Ridge with the 26-12 deficit.
w The Lions didn’t attempt a pass in the second half and finished with 360 yards offense, including 320 on the ground. They averaged 5.7 yards per play, running 63 plays to the Blackhawks’ 46.
w Ivy had eight carries for 75 yards, a 9.4-yard average.
w Travis was disappointed with the Blackhawks’ focus. “Mentally we weren’t ready to play,” he said. “We’ve got a quarterback who can through the ball and some guys who can catch it but we found out tonight we’re not very good at protecting him and we’ve got to get that fixed.”
UP NEXT: Both teams resume 4A-1 Conference play Friday when Gravette visits Gentry and Pea Ridge hosts Lincoln.
HOW THEY SCORED
Gravette 26, Pea Ridge 12
GHS — Cody Heaton 20 pass from Wyatt Banta (Jackson Soule kick), 8:28.
GHS — Cody Robinson 3 run (kick failed) , 5:14.
PRHS — Shane Ivy 5 run (kick failed) , 11:39.
GHS — Cedric Duarte 5 run (Jackson Soule kick), 8:24.
GHS — Cedric Duarte 8 run (pass failed) , 2:57.
PRHS — Dylan McClellan 5 run (pass failed) , 10:56.