PEA RIDGE With its gunslinger on the bench the entire second half with a possible concussion, Gentry turned to a reserve quarterback and its running game to beat rival Pea Ridge 24-7 in a 1-4A Conference game here Friday at waterlogged Blackhawk Stadium.
Gentry quarterback Caleb Ramsey took a vicious hit by defensive end Devon Pollock early in the second quarter. Ramsey played the rest of the half and scored the game’s first touchdown from the 1 with seven seconds left.
Reserve junior quarterback Austin Millsap threw 41 yards to Justin Stewart on the third play of the third quarter on a look-in pass for a 14-0 Gentry lead.
The Pioneers (2-4, 1-2) rushed 33 times for 200 yards with running back Nick Weeks carrying 19 times for 76 yards.
“We felt like the way they were playing the game up front, we were going to have to go to Nick to keep them off balanced,” Gentry coach Brian Little said. “It worked.”
Just nine seconds after Pea Ridge pulled within 17-7 with 5:30 left in the game, Gentry junior fullback Ethan Ramsey - Caleb’s brother - rumbled 60 yards up the middle for a touchdown and a 24-7 lead.
“That was just a trap; we were trying to run some clock,” Little said.
Blackhawks’ running back Tyler Ramsey - a cousin of Caleb and Ethan - capped a 39-yard drive, scoring from the 3. He and Pea Ridge quarterback Ethan Rhine rushed for 28 of those yards with Rhine going around right end for 15 yards to the 10.
That score was set up by a fumbled punt recovered by Scott Fisher.
“It’s no secret right now we want to try and run the football,” Pea Ridge coach Tony Travis said. “We’re going to have to get a little more from our offensive line. I told them in the locker room, I take that personally because I coach the offensive line.
“We got whipped a little bit up front tonight. Our running backs have proven ifthey can get a little room they’re going to run hard for us.”
Millsap completed 4 of 5 passes - including his first four - for 89 yards and the score.
“Walter came in and did a great job,” Little said. “I’m proud of him. He had a real good (JV) game at Gravette Monday night.
His confidence was up. We talked about that at halftime. It spilled over.”
Travis said he was shocked to see Millsap on the field to start the second half.
“He threw some good balls,” Travis said.
“He put it right on target. Now, the bad news for us was he was throwing to guys wide open. He did a great job getting it to them. There weren’t any black jerseys really close to them. That’s a problem of coverage.”
Caleb Ramsey, who was smacked on the side of the head by Pollock, did not complete his first pass until 4:33 was left in the first half. He finished the night completing 2 of 9 passes for 11 yards. He rushed 11 times for 51 yards.
Stewart set up Ramsey’s score, intercepting Rhine at the 20 on first down.
Weeks picked up 18 yards on two runs of 9 yards each to the 14 and from the 10 to the 1.
Pea Ridge (1-5, 0-3) had a chance to take an early lead in the first quarter but came up empty. Rhine rushed around right tackle 29 yards to the 16. The Blackhawks drove for a first down at the 5. There, the Pioneers’ defense bowed up and ended the drive.
“That was a critical stop,” Little said.
“The defense kept them off the board.”
Travis said that one hurt.
“We put together a little drive there,” he said. “When you put the ball inside the 10 yard line you’ve got to come away with points. When you don’t, it’s almost like giving them points.”
Gentry kicker Robbie White, who booted a 24-yard field goal for a 17-7, missed on field goal tries of 41 and 44 yards in the second quarter.
“We needed this victory for some heeling,” Little said. The Pioneers had lost fourstraight after opening the season with a win at Colcord, Okla.
NOTES: Gentry played without junior lineman/ linebacker Tyler Rosenthal, whodid not dress out. Rosenthal has a bruised back. Gentry was also without junior receiver Kevin Scherer, who suffered a concussion last week.
Sports, Pages 6 on 10/14/2009
Print Headline: Gentry turns to reserve, runs to beat Blackhawks