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Bryant beats Bentonville 36-7 to win 7A state title

The Hornets become the first team to win five consecutive titles in the playoff era.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Bryant football team continues to prove that they are a dynasty. The Hornets took down the Bentonville Tigers, 36-7 to win the 7A state football championship. 

In the first quarter, the Hornets played their starting quarterback Jordan Walker.  However, things took a turn when Walker threw high on a backward pass that was recovered in the end zone by Bentonville's Logan Roberson, which gave the Tigers the 7-0 lead. 

Bryant eventually switched quarterbacks. Backup quarterback Gideon Motes came in and like Walker, he used his legs to pick up yardage for the Hornets. 

The Hornets tied it up 7-7 in the second quarter when Motes sent a 4-yard touchdown pass to Mytorian Singleton. 

They kept things moving defensively too. Bryant defensive back Malachi Graham picked off Bentonville quarterback Carter Nye and returned it 77 yards for the score to put Bryant up 14-7. 

The Tigers did intercept Motes in the second quarter, but they weren't able to capitalize off of it and the Hornets still kept their cool. 

To end the first half, Bryant went 96 yards on six plays in less than a minute, Motes found Singleton again for the 26-yard TD pass to put the Hornets up 21-7 with four seconds left in the half. 

In the third quarter, Motes found Karter Ratliff for a 25-yard touchdown pass to put Bryant up 28-7. 

The long passes continued, with receiver Chris Gannaway catching a 36-yard touchdown pass which made it 34-7, and the Hornets added a successful two-point conversion which made it 36-7, which would be the final score. 

"I don't think people understand how hard we coach them and what we expect from them. My hats off to these guys and this community. Five in a row is mind-boggling. It's something these guys will remember forever, I know I will remember it forever," head coach Buck James said.

The Hornets have established a dynasty by not only winning five 7A state titles in a row, but they've never lost to an in-state team in the past five seasons.

Gideon Motes was named the MVP of the game.

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