SPRINGDALE -- Harrison Campbell cradled the ball to his chest as he did a backward roll into the end zone.
Campbell's 43-yard touchdown pass from Easton Hughes gave Bentonville High a three-touchdown lead in the first quarter and the Tigers rolled to their sixth straight win 42-7 against Springdale High on Friday at Jarrell Williams Bulldog Stadium.
Bentonville High 42, Springdale High 7
Bentonville 21 14 7 0 — 42
Springdale 0 0 0 7 — 7
Bent — Crawford 7 run (Younger kick), 10:27.
Bent — Crawford 14 run (Younger kick), 4:56.
Bent — Campbell 43 pass from Hughes (Younger kick), 1:44.
Bent — Crawford 10 run (Younger kick), 9:26.
Bent — Lee 27 pass from Hughes (Younger kick), 5:24.
Bent — Beeler 7 pass from Hughes (Younger kick), :07.
Spring — Parchman 1 run (Barroso kick), 5:22.
Bentonville (6-3, 6-0 7A-West) dominated every facet of the game against an injury-depleted Springdale team that was missing most of its offensive firepower. Quarterback Grant Allen was lost for the season last week with a broken leg, and he was joined on the sideline by running back Garrett Vaughan (calf) and wide receiver Brock Pounders. Starting defensive back Jujuan Boyd also did not suit up.
"This is the time of the year when you want to be playing your best football going into Week 10 and the playoffs," Bentonville coach Jody Grant said. "We challenged our kids this week in all phases and I thought they did a good job, but we have a lot of things we still need to clean up. That's the thing that I'm most disappointed in, going backward offensively. That was an emphasis this week. We didn't do as well in that area as I would have liked."
Hughes was almost perfect in the passing game, completing his first 10 passes for 174 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. Besides the 43-yarder that gave the Tigers a 21-0 lead, Hughes also hit Zach Lee on a 27-yarder for a 35-0 lead with 5 minutes, 24 seconds left in the first half, and added a third scoring pass in the second half to finish 18-of-21 for 268 yards.
Bentonville's defense allowed the Bulldogs (6-3, 3-3) just 83 total yards in the first half and sacked Springdale starting quarterback Will Mueller four times for minus-19 yards.
The Tigers scored on their first five possessions with Preston Crawford finding the end zone three times from 7, 14 and 10 yards. Crawford rushed for 80 yards on 10 carries.
Bentonville has won six straight after opening the season with three consecutive nonconference losses. Grant said the team was able to look past the scores of those games at the bigger picture.
"I think we learned a lot from those games," Grant said. "We played a lot of new starters and that's not the case now. They have nine games under their belt. Two of those games we should have won and we really didn't know how to win at that point. Now I think our kids are figuring that out."
The win sets up a winner-take-all game next week at Tiger Stadium when Bentonville hosts Bentonville West for the 7A-West title. Just like last season when the teams met in an epic season finale, the winner will claim the league title. Both teams have already secured first-round byes for the playoffs in two weeks.
"This is a big game because it's for the conference championship, but every game has been big in conference," said Campbell. "We know these guys and we're good friends, but when it gets to this point, we're not really talking to those guys. It's about focusing on the game and bringing home a conference championship again."
Springdale will travel to Van Buren in a huge game for the Bulldogs as far as playoff seeding. Springdale, which has not hosted a playoff game at home in more than a decade, could lock down the No. 4 seed with a win but could fall as low as the No. 6 seed with a loss.
Sports on 10/27/2018
Print Headline: PREP FOOTBALL: Tigers take care of business