BENTONVILLE — Tim Fernandez came up with a key defensive play for the second straight week and helped Bentonville hold on for a 28-21 victory over North Little Rock in Class 7A state playoff quarterfinal action Friday night.
Fernandez, a senior defensive end, sacked North Little Rock quarterback Corvasea Cooney for a 5-yard loss on a fourth-and-11 play from the Bentonville 14 with under 2 minutes remaining. The Tigers (10-1) then ran out the clock, thanks to Jacob Clark’s 16-yard run on a third-and-6 play.
Bentonville, which hosts Fayetteville in semifinal action next week, led 28-7 at halftime. Logan Darby scored twice on an 85-yard kickoff return and a 57-yard pass from Kasey Ford, then Ford ran for one touchdown and threw to Clay Barganier for another.
North Little Rock (7-5), which had a seven-game win streak snapped, cut it to 28-21 on 1-yard touchdown runs by Darius Austin and Cooney. The Charging Wildcats were in position to possibly tie the game late, but David Nichols provided two key defensive stops before Fernandez had his sack.