MCGEE: Pea Ridge ranked No. 4 in MaxPreps Poll

The Times (Northeast Benton County) - - SPORTS -

4. Gen­try

5. Gravette

6. Lincoln

7. Huntsville

8. Ber­ryville

4A games across the state

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Sev­eral games went as ex­pected with a bunch of them turn­ing out com­pletely dif­fer­ent with re­gards to fore­casts and prog­nos­ti­ca­tions.

Highly ranked Arkadel­phia from the 7-4A was al­most com­pletely shut down by the Robin­son Sen­a­tors with the Badgers ab­sorb­ing a 21-17 de­feat. The game was not as close as the score in­di­cates, though the Badgers did have a shot at win­ning as they did have a lead in the fourth quar­ter for a lit­tle while.

Robin­son turned the ball over five times to Arkadel­phia, with the turnovers giv­ing the Badgers all their points. Three Se­na­tor fum­bles in­side their own 5-yard line led to two Bad­ger touch­downs and a field goal. The fum­bles stymied the Robin­son of­fense through­out the game un­til the fi­nal quar­ter when the un­der­dogs scored the win­ning touch­down. Robin­son has had a pen­chant for suf­fer­ing lots of fum­bles over the past few years, lead­ing to a lot of early ex­its from the play­offs.

Arkadel­phia looked al­most un­stop­pable un­til last week. The Badgers ac­cu­mu­lated less than 100 yards to­tal of­fense, even with the gift of five turnovers. Robin­son’s de­fense looks pretty for­mi­da­ble at this point in the sea­son.

In another 7-4A game, the MaxPreps No. 1 team Ash­down had dif­fi­culty putting down the low­est ranked team in their district in Baux­ite. Ash­down over­came Baux­ite 21-7 in a hotly con­tested game. From top to bot­tom, there are no weak teams in the 7-4A with the Baux­ite Min­ers step­ping up their game.

So far this sea­son, Nashville, then Arkadel­phia, and then Ash­down have been ranked as the 7-4A’s best team. Ru­mors are out that Ash­down suf­fered some ma­jor in­juries in last week’s vic­tory, which may open the door for a fourth team, Robin­son, to as­sume the rat­ing as the league’s best team. Suf­fice it say, the 7-4A will send five good teams into the play­offs in 2017.

Booneville took another step to­ward the 4-4A cham­pi­onship by whip­ping ri­val Ozark 21-7. They will host Dar­danelle in three weeks for what will likely be the game to de­cide the league chamion­ship.

Across the state, the Cin­derella Batesville South­side South­ern­ers re­main un­de­feated in the 2-4A af­ter de­feat­ing pre­vi­ously un­de­feated Riverview 14-10. South­side had a com­pos­ite league record of 8-39 in the district af­ter start­ing foot­ball 11 years ago. Last year was their first year to even have a win­ning record so the fans are rid­ing high in Batesville.

Over in the 3-4A, Tru­mann is look­ing to sup­plant Poc­a­hon­tas as the league leader. Tru­mann played at Pea Ridge two sea­sons ago and had a young, as­pir­ing team. They were no match for the 2015 ’Hawks, and prob­a­bly won’t go all that deep into the play­offs if they go ahead and win their district. But they are get­ting bet­ter in a part of the state not known for re­ally good foot­ball.

Lastly, down in the 8-4A, the south­ern most league in the state, War­ren cruised by Star City 35-7. War­ren, the de­fend­ing state cham­pion, is fac­ing the weak­est league op­po­si­tion in many years, and should have no prob­lem se­cur­ing their top seed. Whether it is a bless­ing or a curse to have an easy path to a No. 1 seed re­mains to be seen.

MaxPreps 4A state poll shifts

The ’Hawks’ 48-32 win over Lincoln dropped the lo­cals down a bit in the MaxPreps Poll, with Prairie Grove mov­ing up to take the sec­ond po­si­tion be­hind No. 1 Ash­down.

Ash­down hosts resur­gent Malvern this week in a game that may knock the cur­rent MaxPreps No. 1 off their pedestal. If Malvern can spring the up­set, that might pave the way for Prairie Grove to take the top spot head­ing into the Oct. 13 show­down with the Black­hawks.

An in­ter­est­ing note: the 7-4A’s sev­enth ranked team (Mena) is ranked 21st in the state. Their bot­tom team (Foun­tain Lake) is ranked 26th.

The 1-4A and the 7-4A have six of the top seven ranked teams in the state poll. Only de­fend­ing cham­pion War­ren is from another con­fer­ence.

1. Ash­down

2. Prairie Grove

3. Robin­son

(Lit­tle Rock)

4. Pea Ridge

5. War­ren

6. Arkadel­phia

7. Shiloh Chris­tian (Spring­dale)

8. Booneville

9. Dar­danelle

10. South­side (Batesville) 5-0 5-0

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11. Cen­tral

(West He­lena)

12. Nashville

13. Riverview (Searcy)

14. Ozark

15. Tru­mann

16. Baux­ite

17. Gravette

18. Ham­burg

19. Stuttgart

20. Malvern

21. Mena

22. Pottsville

23. Du­mas

24. Gos­nell

25. He­ber Springs

26. Foun­tain Lake

(Hot Springs Na­tional Park)

27. Mon­ti­cello

28. Dover

29. Poc­a­hon­tas

30. Star City

31. Westside (Jones­boro)

32. Lonoke

33. Gen­try

34. Huntsville

35. Wal­dron

36. DeWitt

37. Brook­land

38. High­land (Hardy)

39. Lincoln

40. Har­ris­burg

41. Cen­tral Arkansas Chris­tian (North Lit­tle Rock)

42. Cros­sett

43. Dol­lar­way

(Pine Bluff)

44. Ber­ryville

45. Bap­tist Prep (Lit­tle Rock)

46. Su­bi­aco Academy (Su­bi­aco)

47. Cave City

48. West Fork

•••

Edi­tor’s note: John McGee is an award-win­ning colum­nist and sports writer. The art teacher at Pea Ridge el­e­men­tary schools, he coaches el­e­men­tary school chil­dren in track and writes a reg­u­lar sports col­umn for The Times. He can be con­tacted through The Times at prt­news@nwadg.com. 5-0 3-2 4-1 3-2 5-0 3-2 2-3 3-2 2-3 2-3 3-2 2-3 3-2 2-3 2-3

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