SPRINGDALE (KFSM)--Twelve years ago, Springdale rolled through the class 5A ranks en route to a state championship. That 2005 squad, led by current Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, was the last Bulldog team to start 3-0. Until this season.
Current players don't even remember that 14-0 team that finished ranked #2 in the country.
"Not really I was just five years old," senior Mason Hutchins said.
"[Growing up in Warren] I was a bad little kid playing around in the woods getting in trouble with my parents," Razorback commit Isaiah Nichols recalled.
But this season is different, thanks to a defense anchored by Nichols that has allowed just one team to rush for 100 yards through three games.
"I just feel like we have that attacking mentality and we're just gonna fight you no matter what. Fight you from the first quarter all the way through the fourth and never give up," Hutchins said.
The other big difference for the Red Dogs? Experienced leaders staying healthy.
"We've got an outstanding sophomore class but we only start one of those guys. And in the past it's been between six and nine sophomores that we've put out there," third year head coach Zak Clark said.
With experience comes better results. And winning streaks tend to breed more dedicated fans. It's clear that the Springdale community has certainly rallied around the team thus far.
"Growing up being here from the '05 season all the way through the 0-10 season, just being able to see all the change," said Hutchins.
Nichols agreed. "Showing everybody that we have what it takes to bring that winning culture back to Springdale."
"Football's a big deal in this town and people take a lot of pride in it. That's one thing that these kids, they understand that we've got a whole town behind us," Clark, a former quarterback and offensive coordinator at Fayetteville said.
Since the 2006 split, Har-Ber has earned most of the spotlight. This 2017 Bulldog team is looking to change that. Following non-conference wins over Conway, Alma and Russellville, Springdale travels to Heritage on Friday night with the goal of a 4-0 start.