Plenty of teams take the week off before the start of conference play, but not Bentonville.
Bentonville has another big-time opponent to take down.
One week after beating Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst, the Tigers are on the move again to challenge Shawnee (Kan.) Mill Valley. Forget for a moment Mill Valley sounds like the next town over in Little House on the Prairie. The Jaguars are a powerful program from the Kansas City, Mo., metropolitan area and the defending state champions in Kansas' Class 5A.
Mill Valley is 2-0 and beat Wichita North 40-31 last season to claim its third state title since 2015. Bentonville is respectful but certainly not intimated by Mill Valley after the Tigers beat Rockhurst and Conway to start the season.
Mill Valley quarterback Cooper Marsh has completed 21 of 24 passes with eight completions apiece to wide receivers Kendrick Jones and Jacob Hartman. Running back Quin Wittenauer adds balance to the offense with five touchdowns in two games. That's a lot of talent spread across the field and Bentonville will attempt to counter with a stout defense led by the "Bash Bros", linebackers Cole Joyce and Keegan Stinespring. The Tigers produced enough offense to beat Rockhurst 21-17 last week and they'll likely need even more points against the Jaguars tonight on their home field.
It's unfair to ask Bentonville to keep carrying the banner for the state of Arkansas against top teams from neighboring states. But if any team can do it, it's those Tigers from Bentonville High.
RICK'S PICK Bentonville
Other games involving teams from Northwest Arkansas (selections are capitalized).
FORT SMITH NORTHSIDE at Moore, Okla.
ALMA at Rogers Heritage
BENTONVILLE at Shawnee (Kan.) Mill Valley
ROGERS at Springfield (Mo.) Central
Choctaw, Okla. at GREENWOOD
Clarksville at POTTSVILLE
GREENLAND at Berryville
Mena at BOONEVILLE
LAMAR at Carlisle
OZARK at Charleston
SHILOH CHRISTIAN at Sand Springs, Okla.
PRAIRIE GROVE at Stilwell, Okla.
ATKINS at Waldron
Mountainburg at HACKETT
LAVACA at Johnson County Westside
Magazine at Cutter Morning Star
LAST WEEK 12-6 (66 percent)
OVERALL 40-13 (75 percent)
Rick Fires can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NWARick.