Visions of deja vu might have been creeping into the head’s of Bentonville fans Friday as they sat inside a cold and wet War Memorial Stadium.
The Tigers, who hadn’t lost to an Arkansas school all season, trailed 14-13 at halftime to Cabot. But the second half was a far different story.
Bentonville reeled off a furious final two quarters and ran away with a 39-28 win to claim their third 7A state championship over the past six seasons.
Tigers fans saw perfect seasons come to an end in Little Rock each of the previous two seasons but the Bentonville senior class wasn’t going to let it be a third straight disappointment.
“We just came out fired up,” senior tight end Jack Krauss said. “We weren’t going to let this team get the best of us tonight and out physical us. We just came out firing and do what we were able to do. We came out firing, got some good turnovers and made some great plays.”
Bentonville led by as much as 39-21 in the closing minutes, a lead senior linebacker Nick Fernandez had been waiting three years for.”
“The past two years we’ve come up short in the championship game,” Fernandez said. “Hey, senior year, doing it right, all I could ask for.”
Bentonville is 69-7 over the past six seasons and have lost only five games to schools from Arkansas during that same stretch.
The win also gives coach Barrey Lunney state title number seven in his career. Lunney won four titles at Southside and has now won three with the Tigers.
Bentonville, along with Fayetteville and the rest of the 7A-West, have won the past nine state championships in Arkansas’ largest classification.