PREP FOOTBALL REPORT

Posted: October 11, 2018 at 1 a.m.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/BEN GOFF @NWABENGOFF Grant Allen, Springdale High quarterback, looks for a receiver in the 1st quarter vs Springdale Har-Ber Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, at Jarrell Williams Bulldog Stadium in Springdale. Allen led the Bulldogs on two late fourth quarter scoring drives and a 43-42 win, ending the program's 11-season losing streak to its crosstown rival.
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NWA Democrat-Gazette/BEN GOFF @NWABENGOFF Grant Allen, Springdale High quarterback, looks for a receiver in the 1st quarter vs Springdale Har-Ber Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, at Jarrell Williams Bulldog Stadium in Springdale. Allen led the Bulldogs on two late fourth quarter scoring drives and a 43-42 win, ending the program's 11-season losing streak to its crosstown rival.

SPRINGDALE HIGH

Bulldogs show grit in comeback win

Conference Standings

7A-WEST CONFERENCE

^Conference^^Overall

TEAM^W-L^Pts.^W-L

Bentonville High^3-0^39^3-3

Bentonville West^3-0^29^3-3

Fayetteville^2-1^26^4-1

Springdale High^2-1^14^5-1

Springdale Har-Ber^1-2^13^3-3

Van Buren^1-2^10^2-4

Rogers High^0-3^0^1-4

Rogers Heritage^0-3^0^0-6

Last Week’s Scores

Bentonville High 56, Rogers Heritage 7

Bentonville West 41, Rogers High 14

Fayetteville 50, Van Buren 14

Springdale High 43, Springdale Har-Ber 42

This Week’s Games

Fayetteville at Bentonville

Springdale at Rogers

Bentonville West at Springdale Har-Ber

Rogers Heritage at Van Buren

7A-CENTRAL CONFERENCE

^Conference^^Overall

TEAM^W-L^Pts.^W-L

North Little Rock^3-0^39^6-0

Bryant^3-0^35^5-1

FS Northside^2-1^26^5-1

Conway^2-1^19^5-1

LR Catholic^1-2^2^4-2

FS Southside^1-2^6^2-4

Cabot^0-3^0^2-4

LR Central^0-3^0^1-4

Last Week’s Scores

Bryant 56, LR Central 0

Conway 34, Cabot 28, OT

FS Northside 40, LR Catholic 14

North Little Rock 49, FS Southside 27

This Week’s Games

North Little Rock at LR Catholic (tonight)

LR Central at Cabot

FS Northside at Conway

Bryant at FS Southside

6A-WEST CONFERENCE

^Conference^^Overall

TEAM^W-L^Pts.^W-L

Benton^3-0^39^5-1

Greenwood^3-0^39^5-1

Russellville^2-1^26^4-2

El Dorado^2-1^26^3-3

Lake Hamilton^1-2^13^4-2

Siloam Springs^1-2^10^3-3

Sheridan^0-3^0^2-4

LR Hall^0-3^0^0-5

Last Week’s Scores

Benton 49, LR Hall 0

El Dorado 31, Sheridan 17

Greenwood 42, Siloam Springs 7

Russellville 28, Lake Hamilton 14

This Week’s Games

El Dorado at Benton

Russellville at Greenwood

Siloam Springs at Lake Hamilton

LR Hall at Sheridan

5A-WEST CONFERENCE

^Conference^^Overall

TEAM^W-L^Pts.^W-L

Harrison^3-0^38^6-0

Alma^3-0^21^3-3

Greenbrier^2-1^26^4-2

Farmington^1-2^13^3-3

Morrilton^1-2^13^2-4

Vilonia^1-2^13^2-4

Huntsville^0-3^0^2-4

Clarksville^1-2^13^2-4

Last Week’s Scores

Alma 23, Morrilton 22

Clarksville 62, Huntsville 35

Greenbrier 28, Farmington 14

Harrison 62, Vilonia 6

This Week’s Games

Clarksville at Alma

Harrison at Greenbrier

Morrilton at Huntsville

Farmington at Vilonia

4A-1 CONFERENCE

^Conference^^Overall

TEAM^W-L^Pts.^W-L

Shiloh Christian^3-0^39^5-1

Pea Ridge^3-0^36^4-2

Lincoln^2-1^25^5-1

Prairie Grove^2-1^26^3-3

Gentry^2-1^26^2-4

Berryville^0-3^0^2-4

Green Forest^0-3^0^1-5

Gravette^0-3^0^0-6

Last Week’s Scores

Gentry 35, Green Forest 0

Lincoln 41, Berryville 7

Pea Ridge 42, Gravette 0

Shiloh Christian 57, Prairie Grove 14

This Week’s Games

Berryville at Gravette

Lincoln at Green Forest

Pea Ridge at Prairie Grove

Gentry at Shiloh Christian

4A-4 CONFERENCE

^Conference^^Overall

TEAM^W-L^Pts.^W-L

Elkins^3-0^39^6-0

Ozark^3-0^34^4-2

Dardanelle^2-1^26^5-1

Pottsville^2-1^26^3-3

Mena^1-2^13^3-3

Dover^1-2^6^1-5

Subiaco Academy^0-3^0^1-5

Waldron^0-3^0^1-5

Last Week’s Scores

Elkins 58, Subiaco Academy 12

Mena 46, Dover 6

Ozark 21, Dardanelle 13

Pottsville 42, Waldron 6

This Week’s Games

Dardanelle at Dover

Elkins at Mena

Ozark at Pottsville

Subiaco Academy at Waldron

3A-1 CONFERENCE

^Conference^^Overall

TEAM^W-L^Pts.^W-L

Booneville^3-0^39^6-0

Lamar^3-0^39^6-0

Mansfield^3-0^32^6-0

Greenland^1-2^13^3-3

Charleston^1-2^13^3-3

Cedarville^1-2^13^2-4

Paris^0-3^0^0-6

West Fork^0-3^0^0-6

Last Week’s Scores

Booneville 62, Greenland 34

Cedarville 58, Paris 23

Lamar 41, West Fork 6

Mansfield 22, Charleston 10

This Week’s Games

Mansfield at Booneville

West Fork at Cedarville

Paris at Charleston

Greenland at Lamar

2A-4 CONFERENCE

^Conference^^Overall

TEAM^W-L^Pts.^W-L

Mountainburg^2-0^26^4-1

Magazine^2-0^19^3-2

Lavaca^2-1^26^3-3

Hector^2-1^26^4-2

Hackett^1-1^13^2-3

Western Yell Co.^0-3^0^2-4

JC Westside^0-3^0^1-5

Last Week’s Scores

Lavaca 21, Western Yell County 0

Magazine 39, Hector 21

Mountainburg 66, Johnson County Westside 28

Hackett open

This Week’s Games

Hector at Hackett

Magazine at Lavaca

Western Yell County at Mountainburg

Johnson County Westside open

CLASS 7A STATISTICAL LEADERS

TEAM OFFENSE

TEAM^RUSH^PASS^TOTAL^AVG/GM

Springdale^1079^1862^2941^490.2

Fayetteville^992^1824^2816^469.3

FS Southside^1162^1203^2365^394.2

Bentonville West^903^1360^2263^377.2

FS Northside^1402^859^2261^376.8

Bentonville^1009^1029^2038^339.7

Springdale Har-Ber^1112^905^2017^336.2

Van Buren^771^1210^1981^330.2

Rogers High^617^912^1529^305.8

Rogers Heritage^912^589^1501^250.2

TEAM DEFENSE

TEAM^RUSH^PASS^TOTAL^AVG/GM

FS Northside^654^764^1418^236.3

Bentonville^891^690^1581^263.5

Fayetteville^796^1225^2021^336.8

Springdale^1226^807^2033^338.8

Springdale Har-Ber^808^1388^2196^366.0

Rogers High^1038^849^1887^377.4

Bentonville West^1009^1322^2331^388.5

Van Buren^1330^1158^2488^414.7

FS Southside^1629^924^2553^425.5

Rogers Heritage^1676^1246^2922^487.0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

PASSING

PLAYER, SCHOOL^COMP^ATT^INT^YDS^TD

Allen, Springdale^122^186^1^1862^20

Gatewood, FS Southside^81^143^4^1203^14

McDonald, Bentonville West^77^136^0^1078^19

Hughes, Bentonville^73^117^3^987^9

Morrow, Van Buren^93^164^7^973^6

Bowers, Fayetteville^65^95^0^963^9

Gibbs, Fayetteville^58^108^3^861^12

Loyd, Rogers^83^164^7^855^6

Wise, FS Northside^47^63^1^803^7

Wittschen, Springdale Har-Ber^43^87^0^657^8

Z.Brown, Rogers Heritage^54^113^10^561^2

RUSHING

PLAYER, SCHOOL^ATT^YDS^TD^AVG.

Vaughan, Springdale^139^832^11^6.0

Savoy, FS Southside^86^622^5^7.2

Smallwood, Bentonville West^74^596^8^8.1

Crawford, Bentonville^81^515^7^6.4

Wise, FS Northside^76^510^7^6.7

Zamarron, Rogers^98^489^3^5.0

Pena, Springdale Har-Ber^76^475^3^6.3

Z.Brown, Rogers Heritage^84^465^5^5.5

Gatewood, FS Southside^70^396^6^5.7

Rivas,Van Buren^77^342^5^4.4

Burns, Springdale Har-Ber^34^323^4^9.8

Bolton, FS Northside^41^298^6^7.3

Lemmond, Rogers Heritage^70^271^3^3.9

Shepard, FS Northside^40^257^3^6.4

Morrow, Van Buren^74^248^4^3.4

Jordan, Fayetteville^34^197^1^5.8

Allen, Springdale^51^193^1^3.8

Farmer, Fayetteville^26^192^1^7.4

RECEIVING

PLAYER, SCHOOL^NO^YDS^TD^AVG.

Flannigan, Fayetteville^50^813^11^16.3

Pounders, Springdale^42^717^4^17.1

Stuckey, Fayetteville^31^563^7^18.2

Bartholomew, Van Buren^31^455^2^14.7

Solomon, FS Southside^27^358^4^13.3

Sims, Rogers^27^279^1^10.3

Ross, Rogers^26^331^2^12.7

Cornelius, Springdale^24^346^4^14.4

Dyson, Bentonville West^23^248^3^10.8

Jackson, Bentonville West^21^420^5^20.0

Charboneau, Fayetteville^21^306^2^14.6

Seawood, Springdale Har-Ber^20^304^1^15.2

Humphreys, Van Buren^20^283^4^14.2

Campbell, Bentonville^19^354^1^18.6

King, FS Northside^19^278^3^14.6

Smallwood, Bentonville West^18^176^3^9.8

Savoy, FS Southside^17^345^5^20.3

McDonald, Bentonville West^17^198^0^11.6

Rivas, Van Buren^17^128^0^7.5

Swoboda, Bentonville West^16^299^1^18.7

Vaughan, Springdale^16^233^1^14.6

Hodges, Rogers Heritage^16^182^1^11.4

Wood, Springdale Har-Ber^15^356^6^23.7

Smith, Bentonville^15^171^3^11.4

CLASS 6A AND BELOW

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

PASSING^^^^^

PLAYER, SCHOOL^COMP^ATT^INT^YDS^TD

Holt, Greenwood^105^153^1^ 1,366 ^7

McClain, Elkins^80^125^3^ 1,104 ^14

Stovall, Mansfield^69^114^2^ 1,036 ^13

Caudle, Charleston^81^140^3^ 1,025 ^8

Dietz, Ozark^67^101^5^ 1,025 ^10

Atwood, Gentry^87^144^3^ 989 ^8

Johnson, Harrison^45^69^1^ 927 ^12

Vaughn, Greenland^67^100^4^ 924 ^7

Reece, Shiloh Christian^61^88^0^ 924 ^13

Busey, Pea Ridge^47^100^8^ 874 ^11

Hill, Farmington^59^105^4^ 842 ^8

Ellis, Siloam Springs^57^125^6^ 694 ^5

Blair, Alma^50^92^2^ 635 ^7

Hertlein, Subiaco Academy^29^89^3^ 596 ^8

Hester, Hackett^32^57^3^ 540 ^1

Henry, Shiloh Christian^24^44^2^ 518 ^6

RUSHING

PLAYER, SCHOOL^ATT^YDS^TD^AVG

Huskey, Harrison^111^900^14^8.1

Thrailkill, Siloam Springs^153^828^8^5.4

Heltemes, Prairie Grove^74^692^8^9.4

Sanders, Ozark^77^670^8^8.7

Ray, Booneville^85^617^12^7.3

Armistead, Lavaca^93^604^9^6.5

Stout, Greenland^126^584^9^4.6

McClain, Elkins^65^577^10^8.9

Turner, Farmington^86^516^5^6.0

Taylor, Mountainburg^40^490^9^12.3

Beard, Pea Ridge^95^482^3^5.1

Buckner, Clarksville^75^469^3^6.3

Hester, Hackett^76^468^4^6.2

Jones, Elkins^81^417^7^5.1

Holt, Greenwood^67^417^9^6.2

Gregory, Mountainburg^54^404^8^7.5

West, Mountainburg^37^371^3^10.0

Rosebeary, Alma^71^344^3^4.8

Zepeda, Green Forest^110^334^2^3.0

Wilkinson, Greenwood^57^334^10^5.9

Robertson, Booneville^30^328^5^10.9

RECEIVING

PLAYER, SCHOOL^NO^YDS^TD^AVG^

Leonard, Greenwood^42^507^3^12.1

Tollett, Shiloh Christian^40^652^8^16.3

Wright, Gentry^37^347^3^9.4

Dawson, Greenwood^33^483^3^14.6

Graham, Elkins^32^431^7^13.5

Bryant, Greenland^31^555^5^17.9

Sturgeon, Farmington^30^435^5^14.5

Kengla, Charleston^30^184^1^6.1

Nason, Charleston^25^339^2^13.6

Bailey, Alma^23^379^4^16.5

Howard, Mansfield^22^244^4^11.1

Rains, Pea Ridge^21^318^3^15.1

Sanders, Ozark^21^274^3^13

Griffin, Mansfield^20^357^5^17.9

Burns, Ozark^18^410^5^22.8

Thomson, Shiloh Christian^17^309^4^18.2

Dunn, Elkins^17^221^3^13.0

Huskey, Harrison^16^432^5^27.0

Weaver, Siloam Springs^16^201^1^12.6

Tomlin, Gentry^16^161^0^10.1

Holte, Greenland^16^118^1^7.4

Statistical leaders for Class 6A and Below are taken from each school’s MaxPreps web site. Teams who do not post their statistics to MaxPreps can submit their statistics by noon each Tuesday to sports@nwadg.com

Arkansas Sports Media High School Football Poll

Following is the Overall top 10 overall high school football teams in Arkansas and the top five in Classes 6A, 5A, 4A, 3A and 2A, as voted by a panel of sports media from around the state for the week ending September 29. Ranking is given with first-place votes received, records, total points and last week’s rankings:

OVERALL

^Record^Pts^Prv

  1. North Little Rock (28)^6-0^ 280^1

  2. Bryant ^5-1^241^2

  3. Fayetteville^^5-1^219^3

  4. Conway ^5-1^162^4

  5. FS Northside^5-1^133^6

  6. Greenwood^^5-1^122^5

  7. Pulaski Academy^5-1^97^7

  8. Bentonville West^3-3^69^8

  9. Warren^5-0^56^10

  10. Benton^5-1^40^9

Others receiving votes: West Memphis 38, Bentonville 37, Springdale 28, Joe T. Robinson 11, LR Christian 4, Mount Ida 4, Clinton 2, Texarkana 1, Foreman 1, Booneville 1.

CLASS 6A

^Record^Pts^Prv

  1. Greenwood (21)^5-1^ 128^1

  2. Benton (2)^5-1^108^2

  3. West Memphis (5)^6-0^98^3

  4. Searcy^5-1^39^—

  5. Jonesboro^4-2^22^—

Others receiving votes:, El Dorado 18, Marion 6, Russellville 1.

CLASS 5A

^Record^Pts^Prv

  1. Pulaski Academy (25)^6-1^136^1

  2. LR McClellan (1)^6-0^99^2

  3. LR Christian (1) ^5-1^71^3

  4. Harrison^6-0^62^4

  5. Texarkana (1)^5-1^45^5

Others receiving votes: Blytheville 2, Nettleton 1, White Hall 1.

CLASS 4A

^Record^Pts^Prv

  1. Warren (26)^5-0^138^1

  2. Joe T. Robinson (2)^5-1^114^2

  3. Rivercrest^^6-0^67^4

  4. Nashville^5-1^54^3

  5. Bauxite ^6-0^23^—

Others receiving votes: Stuttgart 9, Shiloh Christian 6, Dardanelle 5, Elkins 4, Hamburg 2, Arkadelphia 2, Dumas 1, Jonesboro Westside 1.

CLASS 3A

^Record^Pts^Prv

  1. Booneville (24)^6-0^136^1

  2. Clinton (3) ^6-0^102^2

  3. Smackover (1)^4-1^78^4

  4. Rison^6-0^47^5

  5. Prescott ^5-1^26^3

Others receiving votes: Glen Rose 13, Newport 7, Atkins 5, Osceola 4, Mayflower 3, McGehee 1, Mansfield 1.

CLASS 2A

^Record^Pts^Prv

  1. Mount Ida (18) ^6-0^127^1

  2. Foreman (8)^5-0^108^2

  3. Hazen (1) ^5-0^97^3

  4. Junction City (1)^3-2^50^4

  5. Conway Christian4-2^21^5

  6. Earle^5-1^21^5

Others receiving votes: Salem 3, Hampton 2, Fordyce 1, East Poinsett County 1.

Down two touchdowns with 9 minutes, 18 seconds left, the Bulldogs needed a spark to get back into their game with Har-Ber last week.

Springdale promptly laid an egg on its next possession, having a 38-yard pass completion negated by a holding penalty. Then on a screen pass, Grant Allen lofted the ball in the direction of back Garrett Vaughan, but Vaughan got caught behind one of his own linemen and could not get to the ball. And to cap the futile possession, Allen tried to pin Har-Ber back deep on a punt, but the ball rolled end-over-end into the end zone 71 yards, and Har-Ber got the ball at the 20.

"At times we played really, really well," Springdale coach Zak Clark said after the game. "At times we didn't."

Over the final six-plus minutes, the Bulldogs played exceptionally well. The defense finally found a way to contain Har-Ber's sensational junior Jay Burns, who rushed for 323 yards and four touchdowns, and the Springdale offense drove 94 and 57 yards for touchdowns, the last coming with 9 seconds left, then the gutsy two-point conversion for the 43-42 win that ended the program's 11-season losing streak to its crosstown rival.

On the winning conversion, Clark said the Bulldogs had used their two-point play earlier in the game, so they had to go to Plan B at the end. But even that did not go as planned.

"The play broke down, and that's just Grant Allen making a play," Clark said of the two-point pass from Allen to Jaden Cornelius. "That guy just made play, after play, after play. I don't know that I've ever seen anyone play a better game than he did."

The Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1 7A-West) will close the season with three road games over the final four weeks, starting this week at Rogers High.

-- Chip Souza • @NWAChip

ALMA

Airedales hitting their stride

When Alma started the season 0-3, it looked like their Airedales' run of 5A-West Conference championships might be over.

Not so fast. Alma has flipped the script in league play and has won three straight and sits atop the conference standings at 3-0 heading into Friday night's home game against Clarksville.

"Starting out 0-3 this season, everyone was kind of doubting where we were as a team and what we were doing and all that kind of stuff," Alma coach Doug Loughridge said. "Now looking at our level of competition the first three weeks showed true to light. The 6A and 7A teams we played early in the season have been doing pretty good. So that got us ready for conference."

Loughridge said it took a few games for players to settle into new roles at several key skill positions, including quarterback and running back.

Alma used both Landon Blair and Tanner Shelton in a rotation at quarterback, and first-time running back Keegan Rosebeary was still feeling his way along. Now Blair has taken over control of the offense, and Rosebeary is growing more comfortable as a back.

"The offense continues to get better every week," Loughridge said. "We're still using Tanner as our running quarterback, and Keegan is starting to figure out what he can do on that side of the football. He's finally getting comfortable back there I think."

The key to Alma's success can be found up front, where the Airedales have the size and experience to power down the field.

Loughridge praised his offensive line of tackle Zac Henson (6-4, 280), guard Eli Aleck (6-3, 245), tackle Levi Prestige (6-3, 250), guard Darion Crawford (5-11, 210) and center Nick Archer (6-2, 240).

"Just to have those guys up there and their senior leadership and those big 250-, 270-, 280-pound guys makes a big difference," Loughridge said. "They have been the leaders of our team."

-- Chip Souza • @NWAChip

BERRYVILLE

Bobcats almost lose home game

Berryville gets to enjoy a 4A-1 Conference home game this week against Gravette, but that almost wasn't the case.

A construction mishap near the school's new football stadium nearly caused Friday's game to be moved to Gravette, coach Doug Shott said.

"People were working on the sprinkler system on our baseball and softball fields," Shott said. "Something happened, and it caused some flooding in our high-voltage area. We were afraid that when we turned all the power on, there might be a shortage, and we might lose our warranty on some items.

"I didn't find out about this until about 1:30 (Monday) afternoon. We'll just have to overcome it."

The school announced Wednesday that the electrical issues were dealt with and Friday's game can remain at Berryville.

-- Henry Apple • @NWAHenry

BOONEVILLE

Bearcats pull away from Greenland

Booneville coach Scott Hyatt said his team lost its composure a bit in the first half last week against Greenland but regained it to pull away from the Pirates.

"They hit us with some big plays, an onside kick to start the game and a double pass," Hyatt said. "They got down to the 5 and scored on us pretty quickly."

Greenland scored late in the first half to pull within 34-27, but the second half was almost all Booneville. The Bearcats (6-0, 3-0 3A-1) scored 28 unanswered points to take control that left Hyatt pleased.

"The second half was probably the best half of football we've played all year," Hyatt said. "Our D-backs did a better job, and our defensive line played better, too, in the second half."

Junior quarterback Evan Schlinker has settled into the position nicely, Hyatt said, after replacing all-state senior Brandon Ulmer, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the season opener. He completed 6-of-7 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns on Friday.

"I think he's stepped in and done a pretty nice job," Hyatt said. "He's throwing the ball well right now. He's ran this offense since seventh grade, and he's comfortable in it. He's stepped up and done well."

-- Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulB

MANSFIELD

Tigers defense proving their mettle

Add tradition-rich Charleston to the list of Mansfield's conquests this season.

The Red Tigers (6-0, 3-0 3A-1) allowed a first-half touchdown and trailed early, but the defense clamped down and gave up only a field goal the rest of the way en route to the 22-10 victory.

"We've kinda bowed our backs when we needed to and been pretty tough in the red zone," Mansfield coach Craig Bentley said of his defense, which has only four senior starters. "We have a lot of speed, and we've limited big plays. We've also been very physical and been pretty good tacklers."

Bentley also pointed to a big defensive stand late in the first half to keep Charleston out of the end zone, despite being inside the Mansfield 10. Bentley said the team's success has the entire town excited, and it showed last Friday.

"It was a fun night for football for sure," Bentley said. "It's been awesome with people packed in the bleachers and all over the rails. I knew they were craving for a winner when I got here a couple years ago."

Wins over Charleston and Greenland also helped validate his team as a legitimate contender, Bentley said.

"I think we made people realize we are for real," Bentley said.

But the challenges don't stop with unbeaten Booneville up next followed by Lamar, which is also currently undefeated.

"Booneville's an outstanding team, and they execute their offense extremely well," Bentley said.

-- Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulB

ELKINS

Elks on the move again

Elkins will make its third long road trip in four weeks for Friday's 4A-4 Conference game at Mena.

It's the longest trip of the regular season for the Elks (6-0, 3-0), who played at Waldron and Dover before returning home last week against Subiaco Academy. Elkins will leave early Friday afternoon for the nearly three-hour bus ride to Mena.

"Waldron and Dover were both over two hours, so our kids are kind of used to the long trips," Elkins coach Bryan Hutson said. "They've overcame some things and kind of become road warriors, but we know Mena is a really good football team on both sides of the ball. It'll be big-boy football Friday night."

Mena's three victories have come against Dover (46-6), Hot Springs (19-0) and DeQueen (28-14). The Bearcats (3-3, 1-2) have young players at key positions, including sophomore quarterback Max Montgomery, who has thrown for 997 yards. But Montgomery has also thrown eight interceptions to go along with 13 touchdown passes.

That could mean more opportunities for an Elkins defense that has 11 interceptions and six sacks on the season. Senior Chad Graham leads the way with four interceptions.

"Our defense has played really well," Hutson said. "We've been able to take care of business and do what we need to do to win football games."

Elkins is also rolling on offense behind junior quarterback Quinn McClain, who has thrown 14 touchdown passes with only three interceptions. McClain has also rushed for 577 yards and 10 touchdowns.

-- Rick Fires • @NWARick

Bentonville High

Tigers face 'must-win' situation

Bentonville currently is tied for first place in the 7A-West Conference standings, yet coach Jody Grant said the Tigers (3-3, 3-0) are treating Friday's home game against Fayetteville as a must-win situation.

"It's definitely a must win because our goal is to win the conference," Grant said. "You have to beat a Fayetteville in order to put yourself in a position to win the conference and stay on the top of those standings. It's very much a must-win, and that's our mentality this week.

"We've done this before. In Week Four against Springdale Har-Ber, I talked to our kids about how that game was a must win. It's been that type of mentality through the week."

Bentonville also enters this week having to prepare for two different quarterbacks Fayetteville could use. Grant expects Darius Bowers -- the Bulldogs' normal starter -- to be back after missing the last three weeks with a knee injury, but the Tigers must be ready for Hank Gibbs in case Bowers isn't ready to return.

"We'll probably see the Bowers kid in there some," Grant said. "A lot depends on how he feels as far as how long he can go. The other kid has three games under his belt and has improved each week. He throws the ball real well. In our practice scripts and play cards, we have plays for our kids to understand who is at quarterback and what we are getting."

-- Henry Apple • @NWAHenry

FAYETTEVILLE

Gibbs back at quarterback

Hank Gibbs will start at quarterback Friday when Fayetteville plays at Bentonville in a feature game in the 7A-West Conference.

The junior will make his fourth consecutive start in place of senior Darius Bowers, who is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered in Week 3 at Bryant.

"I don't want him to play until Darius can be Darius," Fayetteville Billy Dawson said of his No. 1 quarterback and senior leader. "He's getting better, but he's still rehabbing."

Fayetteville has growing confidence in Gibbs, who has improved since his first start during a 31-28 loss to Bentonville West. Gibbs now has 896 yards passing with 13 touchdowns after leading the Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1) to consecutive conference wins over Rogers and Van Buren. He's only thrown one interception since throwing two against Bentonville West.

"(Gibbs) has played really well since that first game against Bentonville West," Dawson said. "It was raining, and he was probably nervous at the start, but even then, he gathered himself and finished strong."

Facing Bentonville (3-3, 3-0) at Tiger Stadium has long been a challenge for any team in the 7A-West. The Tigers are tied for first place and have dominated three league opponents since starting 0-3 against some rugged competition.

"Bentonville is really impressive, like always," Dawson said. "They've got good players, and they play so well within their system. Their kids are locked in."

-- Rick Fires • @NWARick

Preps Sports on 10/11/2018