Week Two Of The FFN Ten: A Rainy Friday Night
FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)–Over the last few football seasons, mother nature has smiled upon Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley on Friday nights. It’s been brutally hot and frigidly cold but typically no rain or precipitation. Until week two.
Lightning delays were the name of the game all across the area as well as torrential downpours at certain games. That didn’t stop us from compiling another week of observations.
Five Takeaways From Week Two
- Springdale Sweeps Non-Conference Play Again – Much like 2017, the Red Dogs are unblemished after the first three weeks. Zak Clark and company receive a bye before heading into 7A-West play against Rogers Heritage. The Bulldogs started 4-0 last season and have a good shot to match that mark this fall. But the question is whether or not Springdale can better its 6-5 finish from a season ago.
- Poteau Turning Heads In Oklahoma – The Pirates have trended towards the top of the 4A rankings after a dominant non-conference slate. Forrest Mazey and Poteau have recorded three wins over 5A schools. An opening 38-19 triumph over El Reno, followed by a 51-6 thrashing of Durant, and a 38-16 win at McAlester.
- Mansfield Continues To Roll – The Tigers are 3-0 for the first time since 2008. Mansfield began the season with a two point win at Hackett and followed that up with a 40-7 win over Waldron and 47-0 thumping of Lavaca. In 2008, Mansfield finished 9-4 with a loss to Lamar in the state quarterfinals.
- Greenwood Took Some Anger Out – Held to just 16 points in a season opening loss at Northside, the Bulldog offense exploded on Friday. Greenwood posted 52 points in a win at Southside, while the Rick Jones defense held the Mavericks to just 27. If anything, this proves that there’s no need for snap judgements after one loss.
- Your Weekly Check On The Bentonville Schools – West played arguably the toughest non-conference slate in the state and paid the price. The Wolverines are 0-3 with numerous injuries to top players like QB Will Jarrett and LB Kendall Young. Bentonville is also 0-3, with losses in OT to Midwest City, a defeat at Conway and a blowout loss to Aledo, Texas in Shreveport. It’s absolutely too early to count West or BHS completely out, however, this bye week is much needed for each before 7A-West play. The Tigers and Wolverines are 0-6 with a combined point differential of -79.
Five Thoughts On Week Three
- New Stadium Opening – With Elkins returning from two road games, the Elks will open up their new stadium against Huntsville in week three. Head coach Bryan Hutson has led Elkins to a pair of blowout wins over geographical rivals Greenland (48-28) and West Fork (54-0).
- The 4A-1…What Happened? – Yes, it’s just three weeks into the season. But the historically strong 4A-1 has an overall record of 4-12. Lincoln leads the way at 2-0 and hosts Subiaco Academy next. Prairie Grove’s offense hasn’t hit its stride yet and Pea Ridge’s defense has played poorly. Both squads are 0-2. Gravette, Green Forest and Gentry have combined to score 34 points in six losses. Shiloh Christian put on the best display for the conference with a 35-7 road win at Trumann.
- Something’s Brewing In Northside – Casey Dick’s first home game was also the #5NEWSFFN game of the week. And Northside left no doubt against Van Buren in a 46-21 win. The Grizzlies are 3-0 with a stingy defense and potent offense. A top three finish in the 7A-Central is a very realistic possibility. Mike Falleur’s team has the third best point differential in the state (+109) heading into its bye week.
- Week Zero Allows For More Flexibility – While it may not have been the bang-bang-bang nature of previous non-conference slates, the addition of week zero enabled teams some wiggle room in finding three games in four weeks. Having a bye at all during the season helps both players and coaches get healthy and prepared for the coming weeks. I believe the teams that take byes after week two are set up best for conference play, especially those that rattled off three wins to start the year.
- Most Intriguing Game Of Week Three? – In my eyes it’s Farmington at Pea Ridge. The Cardinals are 2-0 with a stout defense and numerous offensive weapons. The Blackhawks are still figuring it out on offense and haven’t played well defensively. But you better believe Stephen Neal will have Pea Ridge fired up after a bye week. Fayetteville at Bryant and Har-Ber at Pine Bluff are also interesting matchups.