BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Bentonville West was coming off a national TV showing just six days earlier against Broken Arrow.
Albeit a loss in that contest, the No. 5-ranked Class 7A team in Arkansas returned home and looked fit for prime time in front of the home crowd Friday, sending Muskogee home with a 41-0 loss and an 0-2 start to 2020.
The Wolverines (1-1) scored on five of six first-half possessions. Quarterback Dalton McDonald ran for three of those scores from 15, 17 and 10 yards out, the last coming with :06 left in the half and making it 34-0. He also threw for one, that coming on his team’s first drive, a two-play strike ended on a 47-yard pass to Landon Grigg.
Bentonville West had 289 yards of offense at the half, with McDonald having 83 on the ground on 10 carries and 14-of-25 passing for 172 yards.
The Roughers, who started out with Walker Eaton at quarterback, had three three-and-outs and found themselves down 20-0 when head coach Rafe Watkins went with sophomore Walker Newton behind center. Both quarterbacks had got equal reps all week as they plug in for OSU commit Ty Williams (hamstring). Newton directed two first downs, both on running back Brandon Tolbert’s legs, a gain of 10 and another of 6 on a fourth-and-1. That drive, which reached the Wolverines 27, would die after a loss of four by Newton, who was then stopped after a 1-yard gain to turn the ball over on downs.
The Wolverines would add the first of two second-quarter scores on a 10-play, 70-yard march that ended with a 2-yard run by running back Carlos Hall.
Muskogee had just 36 yards of offense in the half and a 15-3 deficit in first downs.
“This is all on me. We’ve obviously got a long way to go coaching these kids,” said Watkins. “We’ll make then accountable in two weeks. Right now this on me and the staff and I’ll take full blame for it.”
Muskogee has an open date next week. It’ll be likely some will see JV action for the sake of reps. Then comes Coweta in two weeks, and then the start of district play.
Watkins will go with what he has, whatever that is and however it looks.
“We came to win these
games,” he said. “If this is what’s it’s going to be, this is what it’s going to be, but we’ve got to get better. Effort, being on time and all the little things that requires us to be a good football team. There’s no one facet we’re good at right now, not even close.”
The Wolverines went 51 yards to start the second half and capped it with Grigg’s 12-yard touchdown reception from McDonald, setting into motion a running clock with the margin exceeding a 35-point advantage.
Landon Jordan’s 27-yard interception return off a Newton pass had the Wolverines looking for another score at the Rougher 15, but Muskogee’s Brenden Wilson caught one in the end zone on a third-and-goal from the MHS 1 off backup Wolverine quarterback Jake Casey to prevent another score.
Muskogee had one last ditch scoring opportunity, reaching the 15, but Newton’s pass for TK Thompson was overthrown to end the game.
BENTONVILLE WEST 41, MUSKOGEE 0
Muskogee 0 0 0 0—0
Bentonville West 20 14 7 0—41
BW — Landon Grigg pass from Dalton McDonald (Truxton Travis kick), 9:40.
BW— McDonald 15 run (kick failed), 5:52.
BW— McDonald 17 run (Travis kick), 2:12.
BW — Carlos Hall 2 run (Travis kick), 7:21
BW — McDonald 10 run (Travis kick), 0:06.
BW– Grigg 12 pass from McDonald (Travis kick), 9:28
First Downs 8 23
Rushes-Yards 27-124 31-178
Passing Yards 18 218
Passes C-A-I 4-19-1 19-38-1
Punts-Avg. 6-35 1-37
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 6-35 3-15
Rushing: MHS, Brenden Wilson 11-65. BW, McDonald 11-86 (3 TD).
Passing: MHS, Walker Eaton 3-6-13. BW, McDonald 16-30-198 (2 TD).
Receiving: MHS, Antonio Zapata 3-18. BW, Grigg 4-75 (2 TD), Ty Durham 6-59.