Football: Bentonville rallies past Bixby

BIXBY, Okla. -- After struggling in its scrimmage and in its season opener, Bentonville High appeared headed for a similar result Friday night.

After trailing 21-0 in the second quarter, the Tigers came to life particularly during a second half in which they scored five unanswered touchdowns, and they went on to win 47-28 in convincing fashion.

Bentonville High 47, Bixby, Okla. 28

Bentonville 0 13 21 13 47

Bixby 8 20 0 0 28

First quarter

Bixby — Calton-Watkins 14 pass from King (Tillman run), 6:31.

Second quarter

Bixby — Tillman 15 pass from King (Vernon kick), 11:19.

Bixby — Sherman 9 pass from King (kick blocked), 7:59.

Bent — P. Crawford 96 kick return (kick failed), 7:45.

Bent — Lyons 33 run (Younger kick), 1:33.

Bixby — Pawley 4 run (Vernon kick), 0:43.

Third quarter

Bent — Mays-Hunt 10 pass from Lyons (Younger kick), 8:07.

Bent — Jack Boettcher blocked-punt recovery (pass failed), 6:16.

Bent — Mays-Hunt 5 pass from Lyons (Johnson pass from Lyons), 1:50.

Fourth quarter

Bent — Campbell 61 pass from Lyons (Younger kick), 11:50.

Bent — Miller 4 run (kick failed), 1:40.

"We kind of got our butts beat last week and coach just came in and challenged us, whether this was going to be a repeat of Week 1 or whether we were going to come out and make a difference," Tigers quarterback Nathan Lyons said. "We were the better football team tonight and we played well and we deserved the win."

Lyons, who switched to No. 20 in honor of injured teammate Lucas Bowman, was flawless after halftime, propelling Bentonville (1-1) to its best drive and connecting on a 10-yard pass to top target Kam'Ron Mays-Hunt.

From there, the Tiger defense played lights-out, with Angel Guerrero totaling three sacks in the second half. His third-down sack on the Spartans' first drive in the third quarter led to a blocked punt recovered by Jack Boettcher in the end zone, and all the momentum was swinging Bentonville's way.

"We clearly didn't play well in the first half and made a lot of mistakes," Bentonville coach Jody Grant said. "We challenged them at halftime to come out and play Bentonville Tiger football and we most definitely did that in the second half."

Mays-Hunt scored another touchdown in the third quarter, and Harrison Campbell broke away for a 61-yard bomb as the Tigers pulled away in the fourth. Easton Miller, who rushed for 65 yards on 24 carries, sealed the victory with a late 4-yard score.

"Our kids played so well," coach Jody Grant said. "I don't think people realize our defense came out and shut them out in the second half and that's a phenomenal football team on both sides of the ball. They're going to win a lot of games. This is a big win for us this year and we're excited to build on this."

Bixby, which has won three consecutive Class 6AII state championships in Oklahoma, was riding high from knocking off neighboring powerhouse Jenks for the first time in 40 years last week and pounced early despite playing without standout left tackle Bryce Bray, who is committed to Oklahoma State but was sidelined with an injury.

Bentonville, which prevailed 44-34 at home in last year's meeting, scored twice during a sloppy second quarter to get within 15 at halftime. The first came on a 96-yard kickoff return by Preston Crawford, and after two Bixby touchdowns were called back because of holding penalties, a 73-yard interception return by Mays-Hunt led to a 33-yard touchdown run by Lyons.

Sports on 09/09/2017

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