Baux­ite falls; Beavers move on in 3A

The Saline Courier - - SPORTS - By Josh Briggs [email protected]­ton­

Through­out the last decade, Saline County has been blessed with great high school foot­ball.

With five state fi­nals ap­pear­ances and a ti­tle since 2012, lo­cal tal­ent has not dis­ap­pointed. Not to men­tion the many col­lege sign­ings over the years.

Well, 2019 is no dif­fer­ent. With dozens slated to play at the next level next fall, cur­rently, the play­offs are in full swing and 4 of 5 teams will be vy­ing for a ti­tle run.

This week, Baux­ite and Glen Rose take the field while Bryant and Ben­ton en­joy byes as both own No. 1 seeds in their re­spec­tive classes.

Here are my picks for Round 1:

Baux­ite (6-4, 4-3) at Dar­danelle (9-1, 6-1) This matchup is a tale of two to­tally dif­fer­ent teams. Baux­ite plays in one of the best pound-for-pound con

fer­ences in the state. The last three games of the reg­u­lar sea­son were pos­si­bly the tough­est of any team in the state as well.

But Dar­danelle is no slouch in the 4-4A, fin­ish­ing with an over­all 9-1 record and 6-1 in league ac­tion.

The Sand Lizards are also on a high, win­ning their last four games of the reg­u­lar sea­son. Baux­ite dropped all three of their fi­nal con­tests.

This is a tough one to pick be­cause of the strength of sched­ules, but Dar­danelle does not give up many points and pos­sesses a strong de­fense that can likely slow Baux­ite’s run-only ap­proach.

As much as I like the Min­ers, I have to go with No. 2 Dar­danelle in Round 1.

Lizards win 38-22.

Glen Rose (8-2, 7-0) vs. Wal­nut Ridge (6-4, 3-4)

The Glen Rose Beavers have to win this game. Plain and sim­ple.

The past two play­off ap­pear­ances have been weak as the Beavers have gone one-and-done.

How­ever, this team is pretty strong and bet­ter than the past two, in my opinion.

With a unique ap­proach at quar­ter­back, the Beavers should look to at­tack on the ground and slow Wal­nut Ridge down early, con­trol­ling the clock and not turn­ing the rock over.

I think the Beavers are well-coached and strong­minded and will come away with the win.

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