Big games on tap in Week 9; Benton, Glen Rose win title
Week 8 had extreme fireworks with Benton defeating the twotime reigning 6A champion Greenwood on a sloppy night in Saline County.
The victory propelled the Panthers into the driver’s seat the rest of the regular season as they now control their own destiny.
Bryant and Glen Rose also were victorious while Bauxite and Harmony Grove slipped in the 7-4A.
Nonetheless, Week 9 should be full of more heroics as the regular season winds down.
Here are my picks for Week 9:
Bryant (8-0, 5-0) vs. North Little Rock (5-3,
At the end of last season, this game was probably one of the most anticipated of 2019. However, these teams are two total opposites from a year ago.
Bryant is close to being a top-10 squad in the nation while clearly being the No. 1 team in Arkansas — by far.
North Little Rock has battled a number of plaguing issues, from injuries to suspensions.
Bryant has not played a non-mercy rule contest this season and I don’t think that changes this week, unfortunately.
I wrote an opinion piece last week on how this year’s Hornets are “boring” to watch because they are so good.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to see this team lose at all — plus, that is not going to happen this year.
I am simply stating that this team is extremely good. Possibly best ever to suit up in Saline County.
Bryant will have its way with NLR on Friday. I think it is also another blowout. Take Big Blue.
Hornets win 49-14.
Benton (5-3, 5-0) at Lake Hamilton (8-0, 5-0)
This is the game of the week and of the season for Benton.
The Panthers made me eat crow last week — which with the right sauce, wasn’t too bad.
I am proud of this team in the fight it has showed through early issues and injuries.
Now is the time, however, the Panthers have to be on their A-game.
Lake Hamilton has surged this year, all the way to the top of the 6A West standings. This week will likely decide the conference cham
pion, something Benton has longed for.
Look for a balanced attack from the Panthers with D’anthony Harper having a strong night on the ground. This kid is the real deal.
Also, the passing game should be strong, but turnovers have to be at a minimum.
Benton’s defense will have to shutdown the Wolves and control the clock as the home team has proved it can score with the best of them.
Even on the road, I like this motivated Benton team.
Bet on the Panthers in Week 9.
Benton wins 38-32.
Bauxite (6-2, 4-1) vs. Arkadelphia (7-1, 4-1) The Bauxite Miners suffered a loss in Week 7, losing on the road at Robinson. This week — and next — is no easier as the defending 4A state champions come to town.
Arkadelphia is strong, fast, powerful, etc. Bauxite is good on defense, but its offense is a clock-controlling effort for the most part as the passing game has all but been eliminated the past several weeks.
If the Miners can control the clock, limit turnovers and get points on the board more times than not, this could be an upset in the making.
But Arkadelphia is going to be extremely tough to
I think it is a close call, but I like the Badgers 34-24.
Harmony Grove (3-5, 1-4) vs. Fountain Lake
The Harmony Grove Cardinals have cooled off the past few weeks, but have played good football, for the most part.
Week 9 sets them up with a crucial and very winnable game against Fountain Lake.
The Cobras have had struggles since early summer.
This team is just not very good, but the numbers are so low it would be hard to be competitive.
Take the Cardinals in this one.
Harmony Grove 24, Fountain Lake 18.
Glen Rose (6-2, 5-0) at
Atkins (7-1, 5-0)
I should pick a co-game of the week as Glen Rose and Atkins will engage in a fierce battle that will decide the 4-3A champion.
Both are undefeated in league play. Both have
powerful offenses and good defenses and both are hungry for home-field advantage in the playoffs.
Atkins may have the early advantage as the game is at its place, but the Beavers play well on the road and the fans travel strong.
I look for a back-and-forth affair, but I still like Glen Rose in this one, if the big play is eliminated.
Beavers win narrowly, 33-30.