BENTONVILLE (KFSM)--Not many games have or will have the hype that Bentonville-Bentonville West garnered in 2017. But once again, the budding rivalry has a ton on the line. Two teams fighting for the top two playoff seeds and a 7A-West championship.
"It was a great atmosphere last year, expect very similar this year and I just look forward to this being a great event," West quarterback Will Jarrett said.
"This is the one game we play that it rivals a big time Texas high school football game," said Bryan Pratt, head coach of the Wolverines.
"This is the second year in a row that this game has the magnitude that it has," added Bentonville coach Jody Grant. "And I’m gonna tell you what. If we can duplicate the atmosphere that we had last year it’ll be awesome."
"We always talk about the game during the offseason. We’re great friends and we always want to compete against each other," Tigers senior Nick Brown said.
The Bentonville school district split three years ago. West won three games and made the playoffs its first year before exploding for nine wins a season ago. But one thing the Wolverines haven't accomplished is beating the school they all came from.
"Gives you goosebumps every time you walk in there," West senior Dakota McDonald said. "A little bit of hatred going back over there, a little more emotion. Every guy you’re going against you got a little more competitive edge on you."
"I wouldn’t call it friendly competition but I would say it makes it more competitive," agreed Bentonville quarterback Easton Hughes.
Both squads boast talent, experience, and a six game win streak after 0-3 starts.
"I think it means a lot that this game between us and BHS is the conference championship, being it’s the two Bentonville teams out of the conference," West senior Jonas Higson said.
"It’s an opportunity to go out and win another conference championship which is important in our program," Grant said.
Bentonville has done just that recently, winning or sharing 10 of the past 11 conference crowns. Bentonville West is still seeking its first conference title and playoff win.
"They’ve got some playmakers over there that you don’t see on a regular Friday night in our conference," Grant said.
"They’re very well coached, they’re Bentonville. Their team is gonna come out and play really hard," Pratt countered.
Bentonville pulled away from Bentonville West in the fourth quarter for a 37-28 win in week ten last season. The game kicks off at 7:00 p.m. on Friday. Both teams receive byes, but the winner takes the top seed into the class 7A playoffs.