Our final regular season RockTown Sports Game of the Week featured a contest of teams from the 6A-West as #7 Mountain Home traveled three hours south to meet #4 Little Rock Parkview Patriots at War Memorial Stadium.
Mountain Home , who went 0-20 over the previous two seasons, made immense strides under first year head coach Steve Ary going .500 in regular season for the first time since 2011.
Parkview began the season 3-0, then had to sit out for two weeks due to COVID precautions. After their break, they lost 30-20 to Benton but are now on a 4-game win streak heading into the playoffs and coach Brad Bolding likes most of what he is seeing.
“We feel good,” Bolding said. “Our guys came out in the second half and I thought we really showed what we are capable of doing, and that is getting after folks.”
After stopping the Bombers’ first drive, Parkview fumbled on its third play when Masen Walker caused it and then was recovered giving Mountain Home the ball on the Patriot 37. Gabe Hershberger capped the drive a few plays later on a 3-yard score giving the Bombers an early 7-0 lead three and a half minutes into the first quarter.
Parkview ran the ball well on the following drive led by a strong rushing attack from Razorback commit Landon Rogers and his right hand man James Jointer, but had to settle with a field goal after Brody Patterson stuffed Rogers on 3rd down as the Patriots cut into the lead 7-3.
“Our running game is dangerous,” Rogers said.”When you’ve got two guys back there who don’t go down on the first tackle, you have to be ready mentally and physically.”
On the following drive Parkview faced a 4th and 12. They were able to convert on what seemed like a quadruple reverse that ultimately resulted in Rogers connecting with Willie Eackles who gained the first down to the Bomber one. Rogers snuck it in on the next play giving the Patriots their first lead 10-7 with 10:20 remaining in the first half.
Parkview picked back up where they left off moving right down the field with their ground game. Jointer put an exclamation on the drive taking the handoff from Rogers and racing 19 yards for a touchdown extending their lead 17-7 with 4:35 left in the half.
Parkview went into the half feeling good scoring seventeen unanswered points due in large part by Rogers’ 102 rushing yards.
“It all starts with our offensive line. We average about 3,000 yards a week driving a five-man sled and I think that pays off in the second half,” Bolding mentioned. “James and Landon are tremendous athletes and when they get some space it can be deadly.”
It only took 1:15 into the second half for the Patriots to continue scoring, as Rogers took an option keeper 57 yards on 3rd down all the way home extending the lead 24-7.
The Patriots held Mountain Home to a three and out, but the ball was muffed and the Bomber safety Brody Patterson recovered on the Parkview 1. Gabe Hershberger did the rest on the next play getting into the end zone for the Bombers cutting the Parkview lead 24-14 w/ 9:29 left in the third quarter.
Once again, Parkview came roaring back when Rogers connected with Jakeylen Haney for a 34-yard score earning back their seventeen point lead 31-14.
The Bombers continued to fight back and scored on a 34-yard pass of their own to again cut it to a 10 point deficit 21-21 on the back end of the third quarter.
A great punt return had Parkview flirting with the red zone and they were within a few yards of scoring once again. Tatem Beshears had something to say about that as he was able to knock the ball loose from Willie Eackles that was recovered for a touchback by Masen Walker but they were not able to get any points after being stopped on 4th down.
James Jointer took over on the ensuing drive as we began the final quarter, and finished it breaking tackles for a 20 yards score, his second of the night making it 38-21 Patriots with 11:24 remaining.
Two scores was not enough for Jointer as he earned the hat trick with his third touchdown of the night from five yards out giving Parkview a commanding 45-21 lead with over 10 minutes still to play.
“I’m proud of this team,” Jointer stated.”A lot of people did not expect us to win much this year. Every time we play we are trying to prove a point to the entire state and take it game by game.”
Parkview was able to keep the Bombers from doing anymore damage and ran the clock down advancing to 7-1 heading into the playoffs. Mountain View drops to 5-5.
Published by Kyle Sutherland, @k_sutherlandHTP on Twitter