BENTON -- The Little Rock Catholic Rockets are glad they have two quarterbacks.
After connecting on a touchdown pass to Hank Hatfield, Preston Scott suffered an injury and was pulled from the game. Enter Will Bowman, who threw for three more scores as the Rockets defeated the Benton Panthers 35-28 Friday night.
After Brandon Bisceglia woke up the offense with a 73-yard run, Scott hit Hatfield with a 7-yard score with 1:22 left in the first quarter.
Two of Bowman's three touchdowns also went to Hatfield, as the Rockets (2-1) won their second consecutive game in the renewal of a longtime rivalry that had not been played since 2009.
"That is why we play two quarterbacks,'' Rockets Coach John Fogleman. "It was a physical high school football game. Will had a good game. Preston had a good drive then he got hurt, and Bowman came in and played. That's kinda why we played two quarterbacks.You never know when something is going to happen."
Benton (1-2) had three first-quarter possessions produce yards but zero points. The Panthers reached the 13, but a holding call let to being stopped on downs. A fumble stopped another drive at the 7, and a third drive ended at the 17 on downs.
"Our defense did great at the beginning," Fogleman said. "We played a short field the whole time. They created the turnovers for us, then it kinda turned into a track meet."
A fumble recovery by Thomas Fitz at the Rockets' 7 preceded Bisceglia's long run that set up the first score.
The Panthers retaliated as Casey Johnson scored on a 1-yard run.
The Rockets led 14-7 at the half after Bowman hit Hatfield on a 28-yard scoring pass with one second left in the half.
With 7:57 left in the third quarter, Andre Lane scored on a 4-yard run as the Panthers tied it 14-14.
Bowman and Hatfield hooked up on a 36-yard scoring pass a little more than a minute later as the Rockets regained the upper hand at 21-14.
Benton answered again, this one a 48-yard scoring pass from Garrett Brown to Johnson with 3:12 left in the third quarter.
A 7-yard touchdown pass from Bowman to Hayden Hoops, then a 5-yard scoring run by Jason Stith built a 35-21 lead for the Rockets with 5:23 left.
With 4:30 left, Brown hit Cameron Harris with a 24-yard touchdown pass for Benton to climb within 35-28.
The Panthers got one more possession, but it ended on downs with 2:16 left at their own 32.
"It was a physical game,'' Fogleman said. "Benton is a physical team. It will help us prepare for what is ahead for us in conference play."