MOUNTAIN PINE -- Bigelow made a big comeback in the second half after trailing Mountain Pine 40-14 at the half, but the Red Devils, led by senior quarterback Collin Smith, held on to take a 60-42 win over the Panthers at Stanley May Field Friday night.
Smith accounted for 368 of the Red Devils' 449 yards, running the ball into the end zone seven times and throwing a touchdown pass to Kayden Anzaldua. Seniors Jace Chacon and Hayden Barnes led the Red Devils defense with 10 tackles each, including 1.33 sacks.
Mountain Pine (3-3, 3-0 2A-5) got off to a slow start with Smith running the ball in from the 35 on the team's second drive of the night to take an 8-0 lead after Anzaldua's conversion run with 6:22 left in the first period. The Panthers (0-6, 0-3) pulled within 8-7 after a 13-yard pass from Keithlin Brown to Vincent Hurtado with 3:27 left in the frame.
The Red Devils added 32 points in the second quarter while allowing just one touchdown for the Panthers to take a 40-14 halftime lead.
Mountain Pine's defense came out slow in the second half as the Panthers scored on three of their four drives in the third quarter to pull within 48-34 after the Red Devils had pulled out to a 34-point lead with 7:37 off the clock in the half. Brown broke free on a 57-yard run for the end zone on the Panthers' third drive of the half after breaking at least four tackles on his way.
The Red Devils recovered and scored two more touchdowns, an 11-yard run and a 66-yard run both by Smith, to push out to a 60-34 lead with 3:27 left in the period. The Panthers found the end zone once again to set the final with 19.1 seconds left in the game.
Smith was 3-for-9 passing for 30 yards, but he was most impressive with his feet as he averaged 13.0 yards per carry with 26 touches for 338 yards. Chacon and classmate Jeremiah Walker both finished with 43 yards, Chacon with four touches and Walker with 14. Anzaldua had a pair of catches for 20 yards with Josiah Walpole reeling in one for 10.
Brown led the Bigelow offense with 323 of the Panthers' 386 yards. He rushed for 209 yards on 21 carries (9.95 avg.) while throwing 11 for 19 for 114 yards with one interception. Hunter Alexander had 17 carries for 80 yards, and Hurtado and Nic Orr led the receivers corps with three catches each. Hurtado had 48 yards to Orr's 40.
Both teams struggled with penalties with the Panthers taking five calls for 40 yards and the Red Devils four for 45, but Mountain Pine won the turnover battle as they had two turnovers while forcing three for Bigelow. Bigelow had five fumbles, losing two, and Mountain Pine lost both of their fumbles. All of Mountain Pine's penalties were on the defense or special teams.
The Red Devils will take the short trip to Hot Spring County to take on the Magnet Cove Panthers (5-1, 3-0), and the Panthers will host Poyen (5-1, 2-1).Sports on 10/12/2019
Print Headline: Smith leads Red Devils past Panthers for homecoming