The Football Friday Night Game of the Week pits, maybe, the two best defenses in the whole state. No. 3 Har-Ber travels to No. 2 Bentonville for the first conference game of the year. The winner will be the favorite to win the 7A/6A- West. The calendar reads September, but this game feels like November.
“If you’re going to try and win the conference title in the 7A West, it goes through Bentonville,” said Har-Ber head coach Chris Wood. “The proof is in all the district championships they’ve had since 2007.”
Bentonville has won or shared all six conference titles in that span. Har-Ber has not beaten them since 2008. This game will mold the conference championship. But it’s not going to define the season.
“If we win, keep working hard and do what we’re doing,” said Har-Ber senior receiver Camden Scott. “If we lose, we know how much more prepared we need to be.”
“Win or lose it can’t be the defining moment for the whole year,” said Bentonville head coach Barry Lunney. “There’s too much good football left.”
Both of these teams love to play smash mouth football. Friday night we’re going to find out which one is tougher and which one is the favorite to win the State Championship. All eyes around Arkansas are on the very far Northwest part of the state this weekend.
“We just got to come off and hit them in the mouth,” said Har-Ber senior tackle Isaac Johnson. “We need to be more physical than they are.”
Har-Ber boasts a physical defensive line, anchored by national college prospect Josh Frazier. Bentonville features an opportunistic defense that thrives off turnovers.
“We fly around and don’t ever take a play off,” said Bentonville senior defensive end Darion Moore. “There’s no plays where someone’s looking and watching. We all fly to the ball and coach Lunney has based our defense upon gang tackling. If one person has him locked up there are 10 more ready to go smash him.”
Game time in Bentonville is set for 7:30 p.m.