PEA RIDGE (KFSM)--In 2015, Prairie Grove lost to Nashville in the 4A title game. Last season, Pea Ridge fell to Warren at War Memorial Stadium. And now in week seven, a pair of 4A-1 powers square off for a likely conference title.
"It’s looking like your own destiny, the conference championship could be on the line here," Tigers coach Danny Abshier said.
"Two of the top five teams in the state. Obviously it’s gonna be a big game, it’s gonna be a big game for the 4A-1 conference," said Blackhawk quarterback Jakota Sainsbury.
"We here at Pea Ridge, we’re trying to make it a rivalry, but as supposed to a rivalry there is a whole lot of respect," Stephen Neal, Pea Ridge's second year coach said.
"Us and Pea Ridge, it’s been going on a long time," Abshier added. "They’ve done really well, got a great class of seniors and we got a great class of seniors. And so it ought to be what everybody wants to see, a good football game."
With both teams sitting at 6-0, the winner has the fast track to a the 4A-1 conference title and a number one seed in the 4A playoffs. Pea Ridge has excelled with a powerful offense, spreading the ball around to numerous weapons.
As Neal said, "We’ve got the ball in the hands of Drew and Jordan and Hayden. Jakota, his completion percentage has been really good."
"Last week, you know, Drew goes off big game 300 yards. Week before that I throw four touchdowns, Hayden and Drew, so preparing for us isn’t gonna be easy either," said Sainsbury.
"Man that Winn kid he can run. They just keep producing those good running backs," Abshier said about Pea Ridge.
On the flip side, Prairie Grove’s M.O. is defense. But stopping the Tigers' Wing-T offense isn’t your average cup of tea.
"Hopefully you’re making some fakes and this misdirection stuff is going to throw somebody off, put them out of position, make them delay just a little bit," Abshier explained.
"Prairie Grove, they’re a physical team. Up front they’ve always been physical my three years of high school. They’ve had big defensive lineman," Sainsbury said.
"I think we’ve got the momentum rolling now [after wins over Gravette & Shiloh Christian], we’ve got some confidence under our belts and I think we can go out there and we know we can do it. I think just execute and we’ll be able to beat them," Prairie Grove quarterback John David Elder said.
The Tigers have won the last four games at Pea Ridge and five of the past six road matchups in the series. Dating back to 2001, Prairie Grove leads Pea Ridge 9-2 including a 42-21 win last season.