Tigers Not Taking Wolves Lightly
PRAIRIE GROVE — Prairie Grove has won 19 games in-a-row over Lincoln in football, but the Tigers are not taking the Wolves lightly.
Lincoln’s last victory over Prairie Grove in football at the varsity level occurred on Nov. 4, 1994 in the last week of the regular season when the Wolves prevailed 14-0. The next year (1995) Lincoln achieved its first trip to the playoffs, a feat the Wolves would not accomplish again until 2011 when they did not play Prairie Grove.
“People at Lincoln are always proud of their kids,” said Prairie Grove coach Danny Abshier. “Their facilities are just beautiful over there. They’re lucky to have the new stadium and the new school. Coach (Don) Harrison, he’s sticking with them. They got an idea in mind. They want to improve what they’ve got and I think that’s important that Coach Harrison is sticking with them. They’re trying to hang onto him.”
Harrison has guided the Wolves into the school’s fifth playoff season this year. Regardless of the outcome Friday, Lincoln (7-2, 4-2 4A-1) has earned the right to compete in the postseason as has Prairie Grove. The winner of Friday’s contest will claim the No. 3 seed out of the 4A-1 with the loser going in as No. 4. Pea Ridge (7-2, 6-0 4A-1) and Shiloh Christian (8-1, 6-0 4A-1) battle Friday for the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds.
Two years ago Prairie Grove suffered six turnovers and struggled before pulling out a 33-20 win at Lincoln in the regular season finale. Abshier wants his Tigers to execute the fundamentals of football against Lincoln.
“Yeah, they’ve got good athletes. They always play very hard,” Abshier said. “If we’ll just not turn the ball over. It’s hard to beat anybody if you turn it over six times. So, let’s hang onto the ball. Let’s just do our thing and go out and play a good game.”
Prairie Grove lost starting quarterback Ethan Scates in week two. Senior Ethan Guenther stepped up and played a key role last week scoring a fourth quarter touchdown to put Berryville away, 22-7. According to Abshier, Guenther always wanted to play quarterback. He’s got powerful legs with a good push, a weapon on short yardage situations. Guenther impresses Abshier with his knowledge of the game, versatility and athletic ability.
“I think Ethan probably knows our offense and our defense as well as any kid has ever known it,” Abshier said. “He knows what we’re doing at all positions. He’s the easiest guy to work with on the defense. He’s the defensive end and he’s probably our best. We’re just not playing him there cause you don’t want to bend a finger playing defense when he’s our quarterback.”
Kickoff is 7 p.m. Friday at Lincoln’s Wolfpack Stadium.