Week Twelve Of The FFN Ten: Chaos Begins
Week one of playoff football typically goes according to plan. As does the second week, for the most part. On a whole, 2018 was no different. But when you examine certain brackets, games and matchups down the road, Friday was a night to remember. Here’s what you need to know in preparation to talk high school football with your friends and family on and around Thanksgiving. Remember to check out all the scores, matchups and brackets here.
Five Takeaways From Week Twelve
- No Rematch In 7A Playoffs – Greg Washington was right in predicting a Northside win over Bentonville. The Grizzly defense was stifling all night and allowed just one Tiger offensive TD in a 30-17 win. That sets up a semifinal date with Bryant (who blocked the potential tying field goal to hold off Fayetteville 28-25) and also eliminates the possibility of a Bentonville-North Little Rock 7A title game rematch. You can watch Washington’s prediction by skipping to the 28 second mark of this video.
- Wolverines Snag 1st Playoff Win – After two straight early exits, Bentonville West finally broke through with a 31-17 triumph over Conway. Will Jarrett and Jadon Jackson are a tough combo to stop, especially at home. The victory sends Bryan Pratt and the Wolverines to North Little Rock for a date with the top ranked Charging Wildcats. Expect a close game–after all, Southside lost to NLR by a tight score of 48-45.
- Greenwood Coasts In Opener – Rick Jones, Peyton Holt and the Bulldogs rolled to a 35-0 win over Searcy. Just two more victories to repeat as 6A state champions. And the reward for a win over the Lions? How about a date with Sylvan Hills. The sixth seeded Bears were 3-7 in the regular season but pulled off two upsets over Russellville in 2OT and a late win over Marion. The Bulldogs enter the semifinals as a heavy favorite.
- Four Small School Routs – Ozark shutout Lonoke 34-0 and Shiloh Christian decimated Mena 59-7. Two marquee matchups await as the Hillbillies get Joe T. Robinson at home while the Saints host Nashville at Champions Stadium. Down in class 3A, Booneville beat Walnut Ridge 41-13 and Lamar held off Harding Academy 32-13. The Bearcats now get to host after Camden Harmony Grove knocked off Glen Rose, while the Warriors hit the road for Rison.
- Down To Two Schools In Oklahoma – Poteau improved to 12-0 with a 36-14 win over Blanchard. The Pirates are into the class 4A final four and take on 12-0 Tuttle. Elsewhere, Vian pulled off a stunning upset over No. 1 Millwood. The Wolverines ran in a touchdown with seven seconds left and pitched a second half shutout for a 27-26 win. The shocking victory ended Millwood’s 39-game win streak. Vian now hosts Adair in the class 2A quarterfinals. The other two area teams remaining fell, as Gore and Stigler both were blown out.
Five Thoughts On Week Thirteen
- The Power Shift Continues – We saw a trend begin last season in the 7A, with three 7A-Central teams make the semifinals. Once again, there’s only one team from the West left in the final four. Bentonville West takes on North Little Rock and Bryant hosts Northside. I believe this is the start of a nice run for the Central.
- 4A Quarterfinals Are Loaded – You can make an argument that any of the eight teams left can win the state championship. That’s the sign of a great bracket. Ozark hosts Robinson, a game in which the winner is likely the favorite to make it to Little Rock. On the same side, Rivercrest welcomes Dumas. The right side sees defending champion Arkadelphia travel to Stuttgart and Nashville heads up to Shiloh Christian. Five of the six No. 1 seeds remain and three teams from the loaded 4A-7 are all alive.
- Path Open For Booneville? – The Bearcats were staring at a road trip to Glen Rose, that is until Camden Harmony Grove rolled the Beavers 47-28. Now the road to Little Rock runs through Booneville. The other quarterfinal on the right side of the bracket is Prescott and McGehee, but a Bearcat win means another home game in the semifinals.
- 2A Bracket Has Intriguing Matchups – Even with the lack of local teams (Mountainburg was crushed by Junction City while Magazine fought in an unexpectedly close loss to Foreman), the 2A playoffs are great. Defending champion Foreman hosts high powered Earle. Junction City meets Des Arc. Mount Ida takes on Conway Christian while Hazen gets Hampton. Based on talent relative to classification, I’d vote this as the deepest field.
- Predictions – I’ll give you my big school picks since there are just two weeks left in the 7A, 6A & 5A playoffs. Based on what has transpired so far, I’ll take Bentonville West to win its first state title over Bryant. No one is talking about the Wolverines and that is a good thing. Greenwood should roll to another 6A title, while the winner of Pulaski Academy/Harrison should meet Little Rock Christian in the 5A final. I’ll go with the Warriors.