CONWAY — If ever a final score wasn’t indicative of the level of play in a game, it was last Friday night when Bow topped Kennett High 41-0 in Gary Millen Stadium at the top of Eagles’ Way.
Yes, the Falcons deserved the win, but with a yard here or there, it might have been a 15-10 halftime scoreline, and who knows how things play out?.
“We were better than the final score,” Vaughn Beckwith, Eagles’ head coach, said. “We had some chances, especially in the first half.”
The loss dropped Kennett to 6-2 on the season, while Bow improved to 8-0 and remained the lone undefeated team in Division II.
The good news is both the Eagles and the Falcons have secured playoff berths heading into the final week of the regular season. In fact, Kennett still has a lot of good things left to play for when it heads to Wolfeboro to play rival Kingswood (3-5) on the turf on Friday at 7 p.m.
Kennett can secure a Top 4 seed and the opportunity to potentially host either Hollis-Brookline (6-2) or Plymouth (6-2) in a first-round playoff game next week.
Bragging rights are also on the line against the Knights along with the prestigious Carroll County Trophy, something the Eagles have held onto for the past 12 years.
Kennett won last year’s Carroll County game 46-27 at Gary Millen Stadium.
Bow took the lead quickly on Friday. Starting from the KHS 41-yard line, the Falcons drove to the Eagles’ 7, but the hometown defense stiffened and forced a 30-yard field goal by Andrew Robbins with 6:40 left in the first quarter.
The Eagles, who went three plays and punted on its first possession, moved the ball well the next time they got it. KHS got the ball at its own 23-yard line, and while yards on the ground were hard to come by, junior quarterback Parker Coleman was the money.
“Parker threw the ball great,” Beckwith said. “I’ve got to give Bow credit, this was the best (pass) coverage they’ve ever played against us.”
Coleman moved the Eagles to the Bow 28 thanks to an 11-yard pass to Atticus “House” Fayle and a 27-yard dart to Justin Olson, but the drive ended in downs at the Bow 22.
Using a full-house backfield (three running backs lined up behind the quarterback forming the shape of a T), the Falcons went 78 yards in six plays with Steven Guerrette scoring from 5 yards out on a run with 25 seconds left in the quarter.
“Guerrette is probably the player of the year in our division,” Beckwith said. “He’s a very good football player.”
The extra point was no good.
Trailing 9-0, the Eagles went from their own 19 to the Bow 9 on 12 plays before attempting a 30-yard field goal. Braeden Bailey had plenty of foot but the kick was barely wide to the right.
Bow went 80 yards on its next possession to the land of six on 10 plays with Guerrette scoring on a 30-yard run. with 6:08 left in the first half.
The Falcons went for the two-point conversion but Guerrette was stuffed by a flock of Eagles.
Down 15-0, Kennett came oh-so-close to getting on the scoreboard on its next possession. The Eagles went 65 yards down to the Bow 1-yard line. KHS ran the ball four times, but couldn’t cross the goal line.
“That was a huge momentum swing,” Beckwith said. “We score with a minute left in the half and it’s a different game.”
After the impressive goal-line stand, the Falcons built onto their lead in the second half with Guerrette running for two more scores and Thomas Rolla scoring on a 63-yard run, all in the third quarter, and adding a late fourth-quarter TD.
Friday was also Senior Night for the Eagles. Before kickoff, seniors Russell Chick, Jack Wheeler, Braeden Bailey, Justin Olson, Malik Memia, Dom Jones, Austin Parker, Ethan Ouellette, Will Eaton, Jackson Ogren and Trevor LaRusso will be recognized for their commitment and dedication to the program along with their parents.