Briggs makes semis picks

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - JOSH BRIGGS

Benton and Bryant are the lone two teams re­main­ing in their re­spec­tive state ti­tle chases.

Having played for a ti­tle last year, both teams have a chance to go back-to-back, end­ing their sea­sons at War Me­mo­rial Sta­dium once again.

Here are my picks for this week:

Bryant (11-0) vs. Ben­tonville West (7-4)

The Bryant Hor­nets dom­i­nated last week — in the se­cond half.

Af­ter a slow 7-7 start to the game, the Hor­nets fi­nally re­turned to form to down Fayet­teville for a se­cond time this season.

Bryant will be faced with an­other foe it has al­ready dom­i­nated this year with Ben­tonville West com­ing back to town. The Hor­nets made easy work of the Wolver­ines in non­con­fer­ence play and will look to do the same again Fri­day.

Bryant has to start strong and fin­ish the same way. Turnovers have to be nonex­is­tent for the Hor­nets of­fense if they plan on play­ing for a se­cond straight ti­tle.

I look for Bryant to be ready to play and well bal­anced.

Tak­ing Big Blue.

Hor­nets win 42-12.

Benton (8-3) vs. West Mem­phis (7-4)

Benton is just plain good. That’s all there is to it. Its de­fense is stel­lar all the way around and its of­fense has im­proved week af­ter week.

This team could quite pos­si­bly bring home the school’s first ti­tle since 1977.

But Fri­day will be tough with a semi­fi­nal re­match against West Mem­phis.

The Pan­thers took last year’s tilt on the road and will be play­ing at the friendly con­fines of Sa­line County this time around.

If Benton can con­trol the tempo, take away the big play on de­fense and not have to rely on the one-play scores from 60-plus.

Long, drawn out drives will help Benton get back to the prom­ise land.

I like the Pan­thers in this one.

Benton win 34-28.

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