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— Overmatched by talent but not by spirit, the varsity Blackhawks put up a spirited battle but still fell to the state’s number No.

1-ranked football team, Shiloh, by a 44-13 count.

Pea Ridge was sparked by two touchdowns and 83 rushing yards by the ’Hawks’ quarterback Ethan Rhine along with an 89-yard rushing night by Tyler Ramsey against what consider to be the best defensive line in the state of any classification.

The ’Hawks’ 13 points were in fact the second highest total of any conference opponent against Shiloh in the past two years. During that span, Shiloh has averaged 5 points per game on defense with Gravette’s 14 points scored in 2008 being the most accumulated by any opponent.

“What can I say?” ’Hawk coach Tony Travis said.

“We played the No. 1-ranked team in the state, an extremely talented team with no weak spots.

They have a solid program and they came here well prepared. Having said that, though, I was very proud of our efforts on the field. Offensive mistakes put the defense in some tough situations but to their credit, our kids didn’t give up or roll over.

They battled to the end.”

Shiloh asserted itself early, with the Saints scoring two touchdowns and a safety in the opening minutes of the game. The safety was scored after the ’Hawks’ Scott Fisher thwarted a touchdown via an interception downed at the Pea Ridge 1-yard line.

The Saints defensive line, which held Pea Ridge to negative yardage until the second quarter, broke through to tackle the ’Hawk ball carrier in the end zone for the safety.

After Shiloh scored again early in the second period, the ’Hawks sandwiched two fumbles around a great 13-yard run by Rhine, resulting in a turnover to the visitors on the ’Hawk 23. Easterling sacked the quarterback for a 7-yard loss on the Saints’ first play but four plays later Shiloh was back in the end zone to boost the advantage to 30-0 with 8:05 left in the half.

On the ’Hawks first twoplays after returning the ensuing kickoff, Pea Ridge lost yardage to face a third and 12 from their own 17.

Rhine then found an open Kyle Westerdale for a 13-yard gainer to the 34. In what seemed like a disastrous play on first down, a ’Hawk fumble resulted in a 13-yard loss back to the 21. Undaunted, Rhine then hit Bo Snyder for an 9-yard pass which was followed by a burst up the middle by Ramsey, as the senior tailback rambled 40 yards to the Shiloh 30. A Rhine pass to Westerdale gained 11 yards to the Shiloh 20 and two plays later, Rhine pulled off an outstanding fake to enable him to dash into the end zone with 2:10 left in the half to cut the deficit to 30-6.

Reminding the ’Hawk faithful of why the Saints are so highly ranked, Shiloh threw a 61-yard scoring bomb on the first play from scrimmage torebuild their lead to 37-6.

The third quarter started on a high note as the ’Hawks stopped the Saints on their own 33 with a fumble recovery, their first takeaway of the game The ’Hawks could not move the ball, however, and were forced to punt.

took Shiloh just four plays to go the 50 yards for their sixth touchdown. Shiloh scored on a 9-yard run followed by a good point after kick to pad their lead to 44-6 with 6:15 showing.

The score only steeled the ’Hawks’ resolve as they responded by driving 80 yards in just seven plays. Ramsey got the drive rolling with a 13-yard run, followed by a 53-yard explosion by Rhine to the Shiloh 14 yard line. Fisher covered half the distance to the goal on a sevenyard run on first down.

On second down, Ramsey battered his way to the Saint 3-yard line for a firstdown. On second down, Rhine swept left to scoot into the end zone with 10:21 left in the game.

Neither team could put points on the board the remainder of the way as they traded fumbles to run out the clock.

“This was a very, very physical game,” Travis said, “but it is the kind of game that only make us better. We stood up to the best in the state and we didn’t quit, we didn’t back down and it’s something we can build on. We are going to have a good program.”

The schedule will get a bit easier on the second half of the season, with Pea Ridge having already played the top two teams in the conference. The 1-4 ’Hawks will be home this week against Gentry in the annual Homecoming game.

News, Pages 10 on 10/07/2009

Print Headline: Senior ’Hawks played well, but lost, to Shiloh

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