Bethel overwhelms Episcopal with 500-yard night

LITTLE ROCK — The Bryant Blue Hornets eighth grade football team of Bethel Middle School racked up a whopping 506 yards of offense including 402 on the ground as they rolled to a 34-12 win over Episcopal Collegiate’s Junior Wildcats Thursday night.

Diante Woodson ran for 118 yards and a touchdown and caught a 51-yard touchdown pass while quarterback Mike Jones added 122 yards rushing and a TD on eight tries while hitting 6 of 8 passes for 104 yards and a score.

In addition, Jonathan Smith, who also led the team in tackles on defense, rushed 76 yards on six carries with a touchdown. Parker Littleton ran for a score from 17 yards out, Ethan Thompson picked up 76 yards on seven totes and Aaron Sahlmann ran it twice for 14 yards.

On defense, Matthew Sandidge intercepted two passes in the first half.

The Hornets opened the game with an onside kick that Cazzie Pringle recovered, setting up a 51-yard touchdown drive. Seth Tate’s 14-yard pass reception from Jones helped spur the drive, which Jones capped up with a sneak from the 1. Luke Welch added the extra point.

Another onside kick was covered by Jones, setting up another scoring march, though due to a penalty, Bryant Blue had to overcome a fourth-and-15 from its own 49. That’s when Woodson took a swing pass from Jones and sprinted to the end zone. Welch kicked it to 14-0.

In the second quarter, Smith made it 20-0 with a 25-yard touchdown run and, before the half, Woodson dashed 17 yards for a score. Jones threw to Cameron Vail for a two-point conversion and the Hornets led 28-6 at the break.

To start the second half, Bethel drove 62 yards for its final score. Littleton’s 17-yard burst found the end zone, making it 34-6.

Episcopal scored again in the final three minutes of the game to set the final score.

Now 5-2 on the season, the Hornets return to action on Halloween night at Bryant Stadium against Conway White before wrapping up the campaign at Benton on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

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