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— The Gentry Pioneers gave their playoff hopes a major boost Friday.

The Pioneers forced four Prairie Grove turnovers and senior quarterback Caleb Ramsey accounted for 243 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-0 Gentry victory at Pioneer Stadium.

Fumbles and turnovers that had plagued Prairie Grove earlier in the season resurfaced Friday for the Tigers.

Prairie Grove (3-6, 3-3 1-4A) couldn’t overcome nine fumbles and four turnovers on the night. Quarterbackcenter exchanges proved to be costly in the first half as the Tigers put the ball on the ground on six different instances in the first two quarters.

Prairie Grove drove to the Pioneer 7-yard line on its second possession. A fumbled snap on third down and a Stephen Thomas no-gain on fourth down turned the ball to Gentry (4-5, 3-3).

The Pioneers then put together an 11-play, 93-yard scoring drive.

Ramsey, who ended the first half completing 11 of 16 passes for 125 yards, completed all four pass attempts on the drive for 43 yards and added another 25 yards rushing.

“As a sophomore he was able to do that quite a bit,” Gentry coach Brian Little said of Ramsey’s versatility. “He was lighter and more nimble. Last year he was injured and wasn’t able to do that as much. This year we started a little slow, he was a little bit hobbled and a little uncertain. As the season has unfolded he has came on a little bit and gotten back to the way he was as a sophomore.”

Ramsey completed 16 of 23 passes for 170 yards andone touchdown. He also rushed for 73 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.

Trailing 7-0 on its third drive of the night, the Tigers drove once again into Gentry territory at the 29-yard line. The Tigers’ fifth fumble of the first half resulted in an Eathen Ramsey recovery for the Pioneers.

A nine-play, 68-yard drive and a 14-0 Gentry cushion followed as Caleb Ramsey racked up an additional 40 yards through the air.

Gentry controlled the clock as well as the line of scrimmage as Prairie Grove managed just three third quarter plays netting 5 yards.

The Pioneers put together a 16-play, 71-yard march to take a 21-0 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Gentry recovered Prairie Grove’s eighth fumble of the night on the ensuing kickoff and Nick Weeks added another touchdown to stretch the lead to 28-0 with 10:22 remaining.

On their following possession, the Tigers advanced to the Gentry 27 before their ninth fumble stopped the march.

“We just have to keep working and do our best,” Prairie Grove coach Danny Abshier said. “We just have to fix the problems and keep going.”

Gentry travels to Huntsville Friday with a 1-4A playoff spot on the line. Prairie Grove, which finds itself in a tie with Gentry, will try to find its way into the playoffs as it finishes the regular season at Gravette.

Sports, Pages 11 on 11/04/2009

Print Headline: Gentry one step closer to postseason

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