Tigers Not Tak­ing Wolves Lightly

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - SPORTS WEEK - By Mark Humphrey

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.

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