Russell snags 4 TDs as Benton blows by Southwood


Benton attacked Southwood early and often through the air as the Tigers won their third straight contest, overpowering the Cowboys 56-12 in a District 1-5A mismatch at Independence Stadium Friday night. 

Benton (4-3, 3-1) topped the 50-point mark for the fourth straight game as they’ve proven to have one of the most potent offenses in the state. 

The Tigers did most of their damage in the first half as Benton built a 35-6 halftime lead. 

Quarterback Gray Walters threw four first-half touchdowns, three to Pearce Russell. Walters finished with five scores through the air – four to Russell, including a flanker screen on the Tigers’ first snap. Benton also scored on its first play last week in a 62-15 rout at Natchitoches Central.

Russell wound through defenders going across the field and cutting back to the middle to break free on a 51-yarder to light up the scoreboard for the first time. Russell entered the contest second in the state in receiving yardage, according to, and added to his total with 201 yards on nine catches.

The Tigers’ defense bent but didn’t break often against a Southwood offense that moved the ball up and down the field. 

“Ultimately holding them to 12 points is a really good thing . . . and we loved that we made plays when we had to,” said Benton coach Reynolds Moore. “But we missed too many tackles and didn’t do a good job of playing fundamentally sound. 

“We let them drive deep twice before stopping them, and then we had a third deep drive in which we forced a fumble to stop them from scoring.” 

Southwood (0-7, including two wins reversed to losses by forfeit) dropped to 0-4 in district despite a pair of touchdown runs by Marrio Stevenson, who piled up 157 yards rushing on 27 attempts.

Benton 56, Southwood 12

Score by quarters

Benton | 7 | 28 | 14 | 7 | – 56

Southwood | 6 | 0 | 6 | 0 | – 12

Scoring summary

B – Pearce Russell 51 pass from Gray Walters (Peyton May kick)

S – Marrio Stevenson 11 run (run failed)

B – Greg Manning 1 run (May kick)

B – Russell 28 pass from Walters (May kick)

B – Russell 13 pass from Walters (kick failed)

B – Manning 65 pass from Walters (Landon Duggan run)

B – Manning 2 run (May kick)

B – Russell 46 pass from Walters (May kick)

S – Stevenson 1 run (run failed)

B – Jeffrey King 69 run (May kick)

Individual leaders


Benton (22-233) – Manning 14-105, Walters 3-45, King 1-69, Jayden McNeil 1-5, Connor Jeter 1-3, Cole Austin 1-3. Team 1-minus-3.

Southwood (49-236) – Stevenson 27-157, Corinthian Walters 10-60, Shamichael Johnson 8-9.


Benton – Walters 16-21-0-360, King 0-2-0.

Southwood – Brooks 10-20-0-119.


Benton – Russell 9-201, 4 TDs, Andy Lim 2-38, Manning 3-79, 1 TD, King 2-42. 

Southwood – Zamarian Tageleri 5-77, Jamontae Cawthorn 1-31, Javien Markray 1-12.