Football: Prairie Grove uses quick start to roll past Pottsville

PRAIRIE GROVE -- The difference between Prairie Grove and Pottsville was displayed early when both teams attempted onside kicks in the first quarter.

Pottsville failed to recover on a kick to start the game and Prairie Grove needed only three plays to take the lead. The Tigers then recovered their onside kick and added another score five plays later.

Prairie Grove 56, Pottsville 21


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First Quarter

Prair — Colin Bryant 39 pass from Elder (Beason kick), 11:01

Prair — Burton 30 pass from Elder (Beason kick), 9:37

Potts — Bradley 2 run (Junkins kick), 2:34

Second Quarter

Prair — Johnson 50 run (kick failed), 9:39

Prair — Johnson 49 run (kick failed), 1:19

Prair — Cooper 30 pass from Elder (Johnson run), 1:03.

Third Quarter

Potts — Torres 18 pass from Stevens (Junkins kick), 8:11

Prair — Johnson 47 run (Beason kick), 6:24

Fourth Quarter

Prair — Johnson 19 run (Heltemes), 9:32

Potts — England 2 run (Junkins kick), 6:25

Prair — Grant 51 run (Beason kick), 1:18

Prairie Grove continued to roll and defeated Pottsville 56-21 Friday in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs at Tiger Stadium. Prairie Grove advanced to the second round, where the Tigers will host Stuttgart after the Ricebirds eliminated Shiloh Christian.

Prairie Grove reached the semifinals last year before losing to Warren, the eventual 4A state champions.

Prairie Grove (10-1) was able to mix in the passing of John David Elder with the strong running of Anthony Johnson to roll over the Apaches. Elder completed touchdown passes of 39 yards to Colin Bryant, 30 yards to Dustin Burton, and 30 yards to Demarkus Cooper in the first half while Johnson scored on runs of 50, 49, 47, and 19 yards yards to give the Tigers a commanding lead.

Johnson finished with 219 yards rushing and four touchdowns on just 10 carries. Elder was 4 of 7 passing with touchdowns to three different receivers.

"Johnson had some big runs and J.D. is pretty good if his head is tuned in," Prairie Grove coach Danny Abshier said. "We want to try and be multiple, 50-50, but it's me who slows us down, I think. I like running the ball so much."

Johnson's first touchdown followed an interception by Burton, who cut in from a Pottsville receiver near midfield. Johnson stumbled just beyond the line of scrimmage on his second touchdown run, but the senior regained his balance and outran the Pottsville pursuit into the end zone.

Pottsville (6-5) was able to move the ball on occasion with some inside running and short passes on the perimeter by senior Grayson Stevens, a left-handed quarterback. The Apaches went 60 yards and scored in 12 plays to cut its deficit to 14-7 on a 2-yard run by Spencer Bradley.

Pottsville threatened again late in the second quarter when the Apaches moved from their own 36 to the Prairie Grove 10 while converting three fourth-downs. But the Tigers held on another fourth-down attempt and Elder threw to Colin Bryant to near midfield. Johnson then took over and scored on a 49-yard run to increase the lead to 26-7.

Prairie Grove continued to dominate in the second half with the help of sophomore Cody Kruse, who had an interception, and freshman Kade Grant, who scored on a 51-yard run touchdown run.

Sports on 11/11/2017

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