MCGEE: Pea Ridge ranked No. 4 in MaxPreps Poll
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.
2. Prairie Grove
4. Pea Ridge
7. Shiloh Christian (Springdale)
10. Southside (Batesville) 5-0 5-0
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13. Riverview (Searcy)
25. Heber Springs
26. Fountain Lake
(Hot Springs National Park)
30. Star City
31. Westside (Jonesboro)
38. Highland (Hardy)
41. Central Arkansas Christian (North Little Rock)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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