PRAIRIE GROVE -- A quarterback switch, a punter and an errant punt snap were the difference in Pea Ridge's 38-29 victory against Prairie Grove on Friday.
The Blackhawks (5-2, 4-0 1-4A) started senior Carson Rhine at quarterback, and his running coupled with timely passing gave the Tigers (3-4, 2-2) fits.
PEA RIDGE 38, PRAIRIE GROVE 29
Pea Ridge 8 14 10 6
Prairie Grove 0 14
Pea – Rhine 2 run (Rhine run), 11:06
Prair – Heltemes 9 run (Walker kick), 10:36
Pea – Rhine 53 pass to Blair (Reyes kick), 6:26
Pea – Beard 34 run (Reyes kick), 3:30
Prair – E. Guenther 17 pass to G. Guenther (Walker kick), :17
Prair – Grant 26 run (Heltemes run), 9:52
Pea – FG Reyes 21, 6:35
Pea – Rhine 45 run (Reyes kick), 4:24
Prair – Grant 52 run (Walker kick), 1:21
Pea – Rhine 13 run (kick failed), 5:59
Rhine rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another. He also had 21 carries for 144 yards during his first game at quarterback since his freshman season.
The Blackhawks also relied on Samuel Beard, who had 19 carries for 220 yards and a touchdown.
"Carson Rhine at quarterback changed our offense," Pea Ridge Coach Stephen Neal said. "He's pretty good at throwing the football, but with Carson, you have another running back."
Another game-changer was the capable right foot of Pea Ridge's Luis Reyes, who broke a 22-22 tie with a 21-yard field goal in the third quarter. But it was his punt that helped seal the victory.
On the heels of a 52-yard touchdown run by Prairie Grove sophomore Cade Grant that pulled the Tigers to within 32-29, Reyes booted a directional punt out of bounds to pin Prairie Grove at its own 2.
"That's him. He does that," Neal said. "The kicking he did tonight also. That was a huge play. Huge."
Three plays -- including a third-down sack by junior Gavin Ward -- later, Prairie Grove's Garrett Heltemes had to punt from his own goal line. The snap skipped off the wet grass, and Heltemes had no choice but to run. On the ensuing play, Rhine burst through for a 13-yard touchdown with under six minutes remaining.
"That got them," Neal said. "And it took something like that because you're talking Prairie Grove. It's Prairie Grove and Pea Ridge, and it's always going to be tough.
"But we had a couple of breaks go our way like the punt in the end zone. That's a break that went our way."
A 48-yard run by senior James Millwood set up a 26-yard run by Grant to help the Tigers even the score at 22-22 on their first possession of the second half.
Pea Ridge set the tone for the first half on the first two plays from scrimmage when Rhine ran 23 yards on a keeper, and Beard followed by sliding past tacklers to break free for a 44-yard run. Rhine capped it off with a 2-yard touchdown run and tacked on a two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead 54 seconds into the game.
It was the first of three scoring drives of three plays by the Blackhawks as they built a 22-14 halftime lead. The second covered 55 yards, with the final 53 coming on a run-pass option by Rhine. Just moments before Prairie Grove's defenders sandwiched him, Rhine threw a jump pass to Trevor Blair, who raced down the sidelines for a 15-7 lead midway through the second quarter.Gallery: Pea Ridge at Prairie Grove
The third was all runs by Beard, including a 34-yard touchdown run that pushed the lead to 22-7.
Sports on 10/13/2018
Print Headline: Little things add up for Pea Ridge