HUNTSVILLE -- Touchdowns via kickoff and interception returns lifted Prairie Grove to 41-14 win at Huntsville on Friday.
Anthony Johnson's 42-yard interception return for a touchdown gave the Tigers (4-0, 1-0 4A-1) a three-score lead in the third quarter to essentially put the game out of the Eagles' (1-3, 0-1) reach.
Prairie Grove 41, Huntsville 14
Prair — Guenther 13 pass from Elder (kick failed), 8:31
Prair — Burton 4 run (Beason kick), 1:00
Hunts — Whittington 58 pass from Elsey (kick failed), 11:28
Prair — Johnson 18 run (Burton run), 10:04
Hunts — Whittington 5 pass from McCone (McCone pass to Whittington), :33
Prair — Bryant 94 kickoff return (Beason kick), :14
Prair — Johnson 42 interception return (Beason kick), 8:06
Prair — Heltemes 14 run (Beason kick), 3:59
Johnson got an earful from coaches at halftime about taking plays off on defense, so he answered with the big defensive play to give Prairie Grove a 35-14 lead.
"I saw him coming on a cross," Johnson said. "I just kinda shifted from quarterback to receiver and I read his eyes. Lo and behold, he threw it right to me."
Johnson also scored on an 18-yard run that gave the Tigers a 21-6 lead in the second quarter. He had 10 carries for 133 yards and 2 catches for 58 yards.
"He got criticized in the first half for not playing as hard as he could on defense," said Prairie Grove coach Danny Abshier. "He took it personal and was running the ball hard. When he gets the ball, there's just something about him."
Huntsville got as close as 21-14 when Blake Whittington caught two passes in the the second quarter. The first was a 58-yard double pass from Sean McCone to Zack Elsey to Whittington. The second came on fourth down with 33 seconds remaining in the first half.
But Prairie Grove's Stone Bryant returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-14 at halftime.
"If you're going to blitz, you're going to get caught with something," Abshier said of the rare double pass play. "We've got to have somebody covering over the top."
Prairie Grove took the lead on its first drive with Ethan Guenther making a juggling catch on the first play. He also ended the drove with a 13-yard touchdown reception from John David Elder. Guenther was filling in for an injured DeMarkus Cooper.
"Ethan Guenther is a sharp kid and starts on defense," Abshier said. "He stepped it up and was eager to do it and had some catches tonight and some stops on defense."
Sports on 09/23/2017
Print Headline: Prairie Grove downs Huntsville 41-14