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Fayetteville coach Billy Dawson is quick to point out the Bulldogs lost five games last year in the fourth quarter.

Two of those losses were to Bryant, 38-37 in overtime during Week 2 of the regular season and 21-20 to the Hornets in the quarterfinals of the Class 7A state playoffs. Fayetteville appears much improved with a 2-0 record that includes victories over St. John (Mo.) Vianney and Owasso, Okla.

How much Fayetteville is improved will be determined tonight when the Bulldogs play at Bryant in a showdown between top-ranked teams in the state. Bryant is No. 2 and Fayetteville No. 3.

Bryant won a handful of close games last year during a 10-2 season and the Hornets left Bentonville West last week with a 17-10 victory over the Wolverines. The Hornets are led by senior quarterback Ren Hefley and senior running back Latavion Scott, who accounted for 184 yards of total offense in the win over Bentonville West.

Fayetteville has been on fire with its passing game, led by senior quarterback Darius Bowers, who has already thrown for 776 yards and 7 touchdowns without an interception in two games. Juniors Connor Flannigan and Beau Stuckey have combined for over 600 yards in receiving and Stuckey returned a kickoff for a touchdown against Vianney.

Fayetteville could've won both of those games last year with Bryant, especially the first one at Harmon Field when a receiver had the football in his hands then lost it on a late play in the end zone. But would've, should've, could've doesn't apply to teams coached Billy Dawson, who is determined to turn those close losses into victories for the Bulldogs this season.

RICK'S PICK Fayetteville

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

CLASS 7A

LITTLE ROCK PARKVIEW at Rogers

FORT SMITH SOUTHSIDE at Rogers Heritage

SPRINGDALE HAR-BER at Pine Bluff

Siloam Springs at VAN BUREN

CLASS 6A

Sand Springs, Okla. at GREENWOOD

CLASS 5A

Russellville at ALMA

FARMINGTON at Pea Ridge

CLASS 4A

Huntsville at ELKINS

Yellville-Summit at BERRYVILLE

GREENLAND at Gentry

West Fork at GREEN FOREST

Gravette at JAY, OKLA.

Prairie Grove at POTTSVILLE

Beggs, Okla., at SHILOH CHRISTIAN

LINCOLN at Subiaco Academy

CLASS 3A

Ozark at CHARLESTON

Waldron at DANVILLE

Johnson County Westside at LAMAR

LAVACA at Two Rivers

CLASS 2A

PANAMA, OKLA. at Hackett

LAST WEEK 15-6 (71 percent)

OVERALL 40-17 (70 percent)

Sports on 09/14/2018

Print Headline: PREP FOOTBALL: Fayetteville's resolve will be tested tonight at Bryant

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