On a cold, rainy Thursday night that featured little action at C.W. Lewis Stadium, the Benton Panthers freshmen squad pulled out a 6-0 overtime victory against visiting Cabot South.
The first half of the game was relatively uneventful, featuring stalled offenses and missed opportunities. Benton quarterback Nick Quinn gave up an interception at the top of the second quarter, leaving Cabot with the ball on its own 44-yard line. That turnover resulted in no score for Cabot.
Another Quinn interception in the second quarter left Cabot with solid field position on Benton’s 23-yard line. However, Cabot failed to score on its subsequent drive.
Benton, late in the second quarter, was presented the opportunity to score and exit the half with the lead. A drive that started deep in Benton’s territory resulted in the Panthers with the ball with a shot at the end zone from Cabot’s 12-yard line with 1.8 seconds remaining in the game.
Benton lost it’s chance to grab the lead when Quinn lined up in the shotgun and the ball was hiked over his head, leaving the team scrambling for the ball as the half ended.
In the second half, both teams still struggled to move the ball. Cabot did threaten to score, driving down to Benton’s 10-yard line, but fumbling the ball. A Benton recovery nullified that possession.
Cabot, at the end of the fourth quarter, was in scoring position from Benton’s 12-yard line, but failed to capitalize on that opportunity. A pass interference call against Benton, on what would have been the final play of the game, resulted in a penalty, placing the ball on Benton’s 6-yard line and giving Cabot one last chance to score and go home with a victory.
An incomplete pass, however, ended that chance leaving the score 0-0 at the end of regulation.
When a game is to be decided in overtime, the teams alternate taking possession of the ball on the opponent’s 10-yard line and is given four downs to score. Cabot won the coin toss and elected to take possession first.
The team burned through four downs without scoring, leaving Benton in the position of claiming a victory with a score. Chase Shamlin rushed to Cabot’s 1-yard line and then was allowed to finish the job, running the ball in for the score and a securing a Benton victory.
Prior to the freshmen game at 7:10 p.m., eighth-graders from Benton and Cabot South faced each other at 5:30 p.m. There was no overtime involved in that one – just a 14-6 Cabot victory at the end of regulation.