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Champion versus former champion.

That's one of the best matchups in sports, especially when the former champion is only two years removed.

Many expect Shiloh Christian to take the lead again in the 4A-1 Conference after finding only moderate success in Class 5A. Prairie Grove won two league championships during Shiloh's absence and the Tigers kind of like being on top.

They get to show how much when the teams face off tonight at Champions Stadium in Springdale.

It's unlikely anyone at Prairie Grove has forgotten about Shiloh Christian. If they have, a photo that appeared in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Wednesday can serve as a reminder. The picture shows workers hanging banners at Champions Stadium that trumpet the Saints' seven state championships in football. Shiloh Christian's last title came in 2010 when the Saints finished 14-1 as a members of the 4A-1 Conference and won their third straight Class 4A state title.

Perhaps it is only a coincidence that the project was completed in time for the Tigers' arrival.

Both teams won conference road games last week. Prairie Grove (3-1, 2-0) outscored Gravette 39-27 while Shiloh Christian (3-2, 2-0) rolled past Huntsville, 54-13. The Saints scored on all seven possessions in the first half and invoked the mercy rule with a running clock in the second half. Just like the old days.

But Prairie Grove plays a vastly better brand of football than Huntsville and the Saints will know they've been in a fight after tonight. The Tigers built a 31-7 lead last week, then held on against a good Gravette team to win their 16th straight conference game.

Another quick start will benefit the Tigers, who are eager to show the former champions who's boss now in the 4A-1 Conference.

Rick's Picks: Prairie Grove

Other games involving teams from Northwest Arkansas (selections are capitalized).

Class 7A

BENTONVILLE at Springdale Har-Ber

Springdale at FAYETTEVILLE

Rogers Heritage at FORT SMITH NORTHSIDE

FORT SMITH SOUTHSIDE at Rogers

Class 6A

Van Buren at SILOAM SPRINGS

Class 5A

FARMINGTON at Clarksville

CLASS 4A

BERRYVILLE at Lincoln

HUNTSVILLE at Gentry

Pea Ridge at GRAVETTE

PRAIRIE GROVE at Shiloh Christian

Class 3A

Cedarville at WEST FORK

Marshall at ELKINS

Yellville-Summit at GREEN FOREST

Mountain View at GREENLAND

Last Week: 9-5 (64 percent)

Overall: 59-22 (73 percent)

Sports on 10/10/2014

Print Headline: Tigers Eager For Test Against Former Champs

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