LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (THV11) -- The redemption tour is complete. The Junction City Dragons scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to defeat Hazen, 36-22, on a cold and rainy night at War Memorial Stadium.
The Hornets had all the moment early, setting the tone for the game by scoring on a 15 play, 51 yard scoring drive in the first quarter, which they turned into a 16-12 lead at the half.
Hazen struck first in the second quarter, and looked to be on the verge of closing out their first state championship in program history before Junction City ripped off 24 unanswered points.
"We talked at halftime about just executing, " said head coach Steven Jones. "We got behind the sticks a few times with penalties early and turned the ball over. We knew if we just took care of it, the only thing that could stop us was us."
"That's what our plan was coming into this game," said Dhante Gibson, the finals MVP, who carried the ball 21 times for 153 yards and two scores. "We just had to play the end game, and keep running them down and wearing them down."
It was a closer game than when the two met in the 2014 state championship, a game Junction City won 38-6. Hazen falls to 0-4 all time in state final games while the Dragons captured their 7th state championship.