October 2, 2011 by wcobserver
Prairie Grove smashes West Fork, Greenland continues winning streak
By Brent Harrison
WEST FORK – Prairie Grove and Greenland picked up wins last Friday, Sept. 16, in their final tuneup before beginning conference play this week. The Tigers stopped West Fork 35-14 and Greenland remained unbeaten on the young season with a 28-13 win over Pea Ridge. West Fork looks for its first win on Friday after coming out of the short end the last three weeks.
Prairie Grove 35, West Fork 14
Against West Fork, Prairie Grove was returned to a “smash mouth” type game on the ground, where it ran for 225 yards.
“We talked about getting back to being more and more physical,” Prairie Grove coach Danny Abshier said. “That’s what we were able to do tonight.”
“The thing I see is we had a bunch of mistakes tonight and if we can delete those we will get to rolling better.”
It certainly didn’t take long for the Tigers to get things rolling against West Fork. Weston Bartholomew capped the opening scoring with an 8-yard run after a 13-play, 60-yard drive for Prairie Grove.
He finished his night with 84 yards on 14 rushes. In addition to a score on the ground, the junior returned a kick 75 yards for a touchdown. Running mate Daniel Schrock added 81 yards on 13 carries and a score.
In addition to its running game, Prairie Grove’s junior QB Cooper Winters (11-20-0-194, 2 TD) did damage both through the air and on the ground.
“We need him to run the ball more,” Abshier said of Winters. “We want him to run the ball a little more so we can balance it out with him between the run and the pass.”
Winters ran for 41 yards on nine carries, his longest completion of the night covered 70 yards to Colby Elkins for a fourth quarter score.
Prairie Grove (2-1) did the job upfront both offensively and defensively as they out-gained the West Fork Tigers 419-163.
“When we started the game, our defense was playing like you wanted,” Abshier said of a D-line that had West Fork with negative one yards in the first quarter. “All of a sudden we kind of lost a little focus. We couldn’t stop them for a little while, but then we got back on track a little later.”
West Fork (3-0) suffered losses to defending 2A Champion Magazine in both its Aug. 30 opener and against Farmington on Sept. 9 before Prairie Grove on Friday.
“[Prairie Grove] controlled the line of scrimmage and they are an awfully good football team,” West Fork coach Rodney Selph said. “They’re going to win a lot of games. We had our moments where we played pretty well, but they handled us for the most part and they had some big plays.”
Wil Jarnagan (23-125) had the biggest play for West Fork as he returned a second quarter kickoff 55-yards to the Prairie Grove 25. Prairie Grove held a 14-0 lead. After a 22-yard run up the middle from Jarnagan and a 3-yard scoring run West Fork cut the lead to 14-6.
“I thought Wil ran the ball well,” he said. “Offensively, at times I thought we blocked well and were able to move the ball.”
On the ensuing kickoff, Bartholomew took the wind from West Fork as he took a handoff and raced 75 yards for a score.
“The kickoff took a lot of momentum away from us,” Selph said. “We score and give the long kickoff return right back too them.”
A fumble and two West Fork interceptions did nothing to help the Tigers cause.
“That’s part of football,” he said. “Hopefully those will start bouncing our way eventually.”
Greenland 28, Pea Ridge 13
Not only did the Pirates remain perfect on the year at 3-0, but it knocked off a 1-4A opponent that has had Greenland’s number the past two years.
Calvin Giddens (25-116) continued to rack up the yards, totaling 146 in the Aug. 30 opener, and 141 in the second game against Mansfield, Sept. 9. Despite his numbers, Greenland coach Lee Larkan says there’s room for improvement.
“He still has a long way to go,” Larkan said. “He’s still not hitting the holes as long as he needs to or running as physical. But he’s started off pretty good.”
In his first year playing quarterback, junior Darian Froud has been solid in all three starts. After throwing for 164 in the first game of the season and 78 yards against a tough Mansfield defense in the second week, he was an accurate 9-11 for 96 yards against the Blackhawks. Most importantly he had no INTs.
“He did a good job and they didn’t account for his running (11-63),” Larkan said. “He started off a little iffy but he got control of his self and did a good job.”
Pea Ridge back Dayton Winn entered the contest averaging 176 yards through the first two contests, Greenland’s defense did the job holding Winn to 90 yards.
Greenland (3-0) outgained the ‘Hawks 278-161 total yards.
“Fifty-nine of those yards came on two carries,”Larkan said of Winn. “The defense did a really good job of paying attention to what they were doing and getting to the football. The linebackers have done a good job, Giancarlo Diaz had 16 tackles Friday Night.”
The Pirates have averaged 39 points through three games.
“Actually, I’m pretty discouraged with the offense,” he said. “We haven’t hit 300 yards the last two games.”
Prairie Grove hosts Ozark in its home opener, West Fork welcomes Yellville-Summit, and Greenland makes the long trip to Marshall on Sept. 23.