Pea Ridge starts fast, but Tigers won’t quit
By Scott Loftis
The Green Forest Tigers knew they might be in for a long night Friday at Pea Ridge. And while that was true in one sense, in another sense it was over almost before it even started.
Pea Ridge’s Samuel Beard returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, starting an onslaught that saw the Blackhawks register 47 points in the first quarter on their way to a 47-14 victory over the Tigers.
“They exploded on us,” Green Forest coach Bobby Bishop said. “The first quarter was pretty ugly.”
The victory kept Pea Ridge (6-3, 6-0 4A-1) unbeaten in conference play. The Blackhawks will face 9-0 Shiloh Christian on Friday in Springdale to determine the conference championship.
Despite the lopsided score early, Green Forest didn’t go away Friday night. The Tigers responded with a pair of touchdown passes from senior quarterback Hayden Alvard to junior slotback Reiley Gordon, covering 27 and 18 yards.
Gordon opened the season as Green Forest’s starting quarterback but after suffering a finger injury that left him unable to take snaps from center, he’s emerged as a productive runner and receiver from the slot. He finished with four catches for 75 yards against Pea Ridge as Alvard passed for 121 yards.
Bishop was pleased to see his team continue to fight long after Pea Ridge had taken control.
“We’ve stressed that all year long, that it’s important for us to finish,” he said.
Green Forest (2-7, 0-6) will host Berryville on Friday in the annual Carroll County Super Bowl.