Monticello 38, DeWitt 19

DeWITT — Diante Barnhill rushed for 158 yards on 14 carries and scored three touchdowns to help Monticello’s Billies tune up for the state playoffs with a 38-19 win over 8-4A Conference foe DeWitt here Friday night.

Barnhill wasn’t the only Monticello star. Quarterback Cole Connelley also shined as he ran 12 times for 80 yards and kicked a field goal and five extra-point conversions.

Monticello, which will travel to Pea Ridge for a first-round playoff match next week, took charge by jumping out to a 24-0 halftime lead. The conference’s fourth seed in the playoffs, the Billies (5-5, 4-3 in 8-4A) led 17-0 after the first period behind a 56-yard touchdown run by Barnhill, a 1-yard pop by Omar Simpson and Connelley’s field goal, which came from 27 yards away.

Barnhill then scored on a 57-yard romp.

DeWitt (1-9, 1-6) cut its deficit to 24-6 when Blake Murdock — the game’s leading rusher with 170 yards on 29 carries — scored a touchdown on a 9-yard run early in the third quarter. Monticello responded with a pair of rapid-fire touchdowns, one on a 15-yard Barnhill run and the other on a 25-yard sprint by Jaquarius Davis, to take a 38-6 command into the final period.

The Dragons tallied their final 13 points on a 1-yard dive by Charles Dabner, a 2-yard twist by Murdock and a Jeremy Smith point-after kick.