Bentonville West Defense Steps Up On Big Stage

CENTERTON (KFSM)-- Last year, Bentonville West lost to Springdale Har-Ber 45-0. Last Friday, the fledgling Wolverines took down the WIldcats 37-19.

At 7-0 with wins against traditional powers like Fayetteville and Har-Ber, second year program Bentonville West isn’t surprising anyone anymore. Well, anyone outside the program that is.

"Honestly I’m a little surprised, I’ll say that," says defensive backs coach John Thompson. "I thought we'd be succesful for sure, but 7-0 is a bit surprsing. But we're gonna keep rolling."

Head Coach Bryan Pratt almost wishes the Wolverines could remain a secret

"Unfortunately for us I think that people understand that we’re a pretty good football team now and we can play not only offense but also defense."

We’ve seen the West offense tear up opponents for weeks, but it was that defense Pratt mentions that finally stepped into the spotlight against Springdale Har-Ber, a game that felt like it was a long time coming for the Wolverines

"It was just kind of a culmination, of us building it each week and finally having some fruits of our labor," says Thomspon. "I don't think we had any interceptions the first five weeks, but since then we've been able to get some. Hopefully those things come in droves."

"I think it’s big'" adds defensive coordinator and line coach Harry Wright.  "I mean, I think we’ve always had some confidence in ourselves, it was just about getting over that hump and being able to see that we can play with the teams that we think we can play with."

Bentonville West turned the Wildcats over four times, and threw in nine sacks for good measure. For Pratt, this was the rest of the conference’s introduction to the defense he always knew he had.

"The way our offense plays a lot of people think you can’t be physical on defense and stop the run because your offensive mentality is to throw the football around, but these guys are extremely physical."

This is a team that’s all about consistency. So while the opponent changes each week, the focus does not.

"It’s all on us. We feel  like if we focus on us, not our opponent, and take care of the tings that we can take care of, then we’ll be successful. From day one it’s just been to go 1-0 every week."

The Wolverines have now been 1-0 seven weeks in a row; their next test is Rogers-Heritage on Friday.