Leading by seven points at the half, Anna-Jonesboro scored two touchdowns in the first 2:42 of the third quarter and steamrolled Benton, 63-33, Friday night at Tabor Field.
Jayce Turner, who scored four rushing touchdowns for the Wildcats, had none larger than the first play of the third quarter when he rambled 76 yards up the middle. Sheldon McGrath added the point-after kick – the fourth of nine total.
On Benton"s next possession, quarterback Hamilton Page was intercepted after a pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage. Three plays later, Trenton Turner scored on a 1-yard plunge. The TD was set up by a 25-yard pass reception from Arieh Hart.
That TD gave A-J a 35-14 lead – too insurmountable for the Rangers to recover.
Benton did score on its next possession on a 22-yard pass play from Page to Grante Hungate. However, the "Cats scored two more times in the third quarter to take a 49-20 lead into the final quarter.
Page became just the second Rangers" player in four years to rush and pass for over 1,000 yards in a season. Page reached the 1,000 yard passing plateau in Benton"s first possession, going 5-of-7 for 77 yards. He needed 70 yards to reach the milestone. Page was scrambling on a fourth-and-eight when he hooked up with Oliver Davis on a 16-yard pass play to give the Rangers their only lead of 7-0.
The Wildcats tied the game on its next possession on a 4-yard run by Jayce Turner – the first of his four TD"s. Older brother Trent Turner scored two touchdowns on runs of 15 and 1 yards.
Benton finishes the season with a 4-5 record while Anna-Jonesboro improved to 7-2 and advances to postseason play.
The game marked the last game for 11 Benton seniors, who were recognized prior to the kickoff.