Panthers try to shut down Cabot ground game

Benton junior Gavin Wells, 2, runs for a 40-yard touchdown two weeks ago in a 56-17 rout over the defending champion Arkadelphia Badgers on the road. Wells is currently Saline County’s leader in receptions as Benton hosts a tough Cabot Panthers squad tonight at the Benton Athletic Complex. BLAKE FOGLEMAN/Special to The Saline Courier
Tony Lenahan
Sports Editor

BENTON – After routing the defending 4A state champion Arkadelphia Badgers 56-17 on the road two weeks ago, the Benton Panthers’ final nonconference game will be no cakewalk tonight at Panthers Stadium in Benton. In fact, there will be a lot of running from the Cabot Panthers as they ran the ball 58 out of their 59 plays in a 27-10 win over the El Dorado Wildcats last week.
“They’re a really good team,” Benton Coach Brad Harris said of Cabot. “I’m really impressed. We went and watched them last week at El Dorado and they’re really tough. They handled El Dorado pretty easily.”
Not only did Cabot down El Dorado, the Panthers handled an always good Pine Bluff Zebras team 35-14 in their opener when senior T.J. Rogers ran 11 times for 149 yards and junior Graham Turner had 117 yards on 18 carries. Turner also had 113 yards against El Dorado with two more backs going for 69 or more yards.
“Offensively, they’re really good at what they do,” Harris said. “They don’t do anything fancy. They’re two-tight, Dead-T backfield 100 percent of the time. They just run it right at you. Their philosophy is stop it if you can. They’re not the biggest offensive line that we’ve seen or the biggest running backs, but they do a really good job doing what they’re coached to do.
Benton and Cabot will kick off at 7 p.m. at Panthers Stadium at the Benton Athletic Complex in Benton. Listen on 106.7 FM The Ride.
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