When Kimmons found a way to shut down a part of Van Buren’s offense, the coaches challenged the Pointers at halftime.
Kimmons was also running around the Pointers’ defense. The coaches issued another challenge.
The Pointers responded to the challenges and came back from a small deficit to defeat the Raiders 28-17 Thursday night at Citizens Bank Stadium at Blakemore Field.
“We challenged the offensive line to take over the game,” said coach Eric Capp. “We are blessed with a good offensive line with Colton Reather, Sam Shepherd, Logan Burna, Ivan Martinez and Caleb Davis. Those guys answered the call. On the defense, we got those big turnovers. We keep telling the guys, if you win the turnover battle, you’re going to give yourself a chance to win.”
Van Buren began the season 0-2 but has won the last three games including the first two River Valley Conference games to improve to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in league play. The Pointers travel to Chaffin next week for another RVC game in Fort Smith.
Kimmons struggled on its first three possessions, but turned around and scored on their next three to close out the first half with a 17-14 lead.
Jonathan Miranda put Kimmons on the board with a 15-yard run with 40 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Cesar Perez added the PAT. Perez was 2 for 2 on his PATs and kicked a 32-yard field goal.
Miranda would finish with 10 carries for 69 yards and two touchdowns. He would also complete 4 of 11 passes for 67 yards with two interceptions in the second half. Both were inside Van Buren territory. Andrew Hammond caught the first one for the Pointers and Malachi Henry came down with the second interception.
The Pointer began with 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a pair of touchdown passes. Henry caught both from Pressly Nichols, one for six yards and the first for 58 yards. Nichols would complete his first five passes for 82 yards, but Kimmons defense began covering the recievers a little better.
“”Kimmons knew what we were capable of,” said Capp. “They saw us pass for over 300 yards last week and once they got their coverage, it kind of took us out of our game, and that’s when we had to challege the offensive line.”
the line opened up lanes in the second half allow Thurman Cooley to finish with 175 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. Cooley capped the the first Pointer possession of the second half, a nine-play drive to give Van Buren the lead back with 1:52 left in the third quarter.
After forcing the Raiders to go three-and-out on its next possession, the Pointers ate up over 5:00 of the clock with a 12-play drive. Cooley scored on a two-yard blast up the middle at the 2:47 mark in the fourth.
Van Buren came away with the interceptions on the next two Kimmons possessions to complete the second-half shutout.