FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)–Week three of the high school football season brought us a rivalry, a new stadium and a possible state championship preview. Plus some important bounce back performances for schools in the 4A. With conference play just a couple days away, all teams are on equal footing. For now.
Five Takeaways From Week Three
- Big Step For 4A-1 Powers – After starting the season a combined 0-4, Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove made statements on Friday. The Blackhawks, coming off a bye, shutout 5A school Farmington 42-0 (as we predicted at the bottom of our week two article last week). The Tigers beat Pottsville on the road 19-0. That’s just the end to non-conference play each school needed.
- Possible 7A state championship preview? – Fayetteville and Bryant put on an instant classic in Saline County with the Purple Dogs scoring late to win 36-35 and finish 3-0 outside of conference play. Billy Dawson’s team led 21-7 at the break before the Hornets scored four times to take a 35-24 edge into the fourth. Two touchdowns later, Fayetteville had revenge for two losses to Bryant last year.
- New Stadium Opens With Bang – Elkins unveiled John Bunch Jr. Field and right from the first play you knew it was the Elks’ night. Cody Drummond took the opening kick back 50 yards. Quinn McClain looked super comfortable at QB and the Elks stifled Huntsville 38-20. Bryan Hutson inherited a good team that’s going to be tough to beat in the 4A-4.
- Another 76-71 Game? Not Quite – Same winner, much different result. When Greenland beat Gentry last season, the teams combined to score the 2nd most points in state history. This year, the Pirates went on the road for a much more pedestrian 28-17 win. Riding a two game win streak, Lee Larkan’s squad opens conference play with Charleston.
- Franklin County Feud Lives Up To Hype – Charleston’s 20-19 win over Ozark was its sixth straight in the rivalry. And it may be the Tigers best win over the Hillbillies. Mason Keener scored on a pitch play as time expired to clinch the win. Keener and three other Tigers touched the ball on a play that Charleston’s never run in a game until now.
Five Thoughts On Week Four
- 7A Games To Look Forward To – Bentonville hosts Har-Ber. The Wildcats are trending up with road wins at Russellville and Pine Bluff, while the Tigers took a much needed bye week after an 0-3 start. Elsewhere, Northside travels to Bryant in a game that could decide playoff seeding in a couple of months. Fayetteville hosts Bentonville West, with the schools splitting the two previous meetings. Which brings me to…
- College Commits To Help Wolverines? – WR Jadon Jackson and LB Kendall Young are two of the highest recruited players in the area. Young plans to announce his future school on Thursday (down to Missouri or Arkansas), while Jackson committed to Ole Miss last week. Friday’s game at Fayetteville will be the first test for these two star players with the recruiting process behind them. Do we see a new, looser West team?
- Lincoln Continues To Roll – Coming off three straight wins to start the season, Lincoln hosts Gravette and could improve to 4-0. It’s the most intriguing game out of the 4A-1 this week, but the Lions are down this season. It’s been eleven quarters since Doug Greenwood’s team scored a touchdown (just one all season), as Gravette has been held to 12 points in three games.
- Will The Real Van Buren Please Stand Up – Three games into a coaching career is way to early to make snap judgements. But Casey Dick and the Pointers had a chance to win two of the next three games after opening with a win at Alma. The Pointers fell by three points at home to Siloam Springs (2-1 under first year coach Brandon Craig) and travel to Rogers next week. Games against the Rogers schools are vital, as Heritage, Rogers & Van Buren are likely fighting for one playoff spot.
- Intrigued By The 3A-1? You Should Be – Booneville, Mansfield and Lamar are all 3-0 with Charleston and Greenland sitting at 2-1. The restructuring and reclassification of teams made this an interesting and balanced conference that should provide some great games this fall. Booneville is still the favorite, even without Brandon Ulmer at quarterback. But a feisty Charleston team will provide a real challenge all year long.