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RICK’S PICKS: West Wolverines can jumble league race with home win over undefeated Mounties

by Rick Fires | October 7, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.
Quarterback Jake Casey and his Bentonville West teammates await 5-0 Rogers in a 7A-West Conference game tonight at Wolverines Stadium in Centerton. Rogers won last year's game, 33-28, over West. (Special to the NWA Democrat-Gazette/Brent Soule)

Bentonville West has an opportunity to do to Rogers what Fayetteville did to the Wolverines.

How's that?

Fayetteville opened 7A-West Conference play two weeks ago by beating Bentonville West 42-28 at Harmon Field. Fayetteville then made the trip to Whitey Smith Stadium, where the Bulldogs lost 29-28 to Rogers on a late field goal by J.T. Miller. Now, it's Rogers' turn to hit the road tonight to Wolverines Stadium, where Bentonville West eagerly awaits after pounding Springdale High 41-0 last week.

The biggest uncertainty is how will Rogers respond as the only undefeated team left from the 7A-West after five games this season. That's added pressure for the Mounties (5-0, 2-0), who went from being unranked to No. 5 in the Class 7A poll by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette after beating Fayetteville for the first time in 16 years.

Rogers coach Chad Harbison said the celebration was short-lived and that the focus this week has been entirely on Bentonville West, which beat the Mounties four consecutive years before losing 33-28 in a close game last season at Whitey Smith Stadium.

"Everybody is still in it right now," Harbison said. "We need to have the same energy as we did last week."

Bentonville West (3-2, 1-1) must avoid a repeat of what happened at Fayetteville. The Wolverines fell behind 28-0 while being ravaged by quarterback Drake Lindsey and a talented group of receivers. There were plenty of penalties as well committed by the Wolverines.

If Rogers wins, the Mounties will be 3-0 for the first time since 2006 when they won 12 consecutive before losing 23-22 to Fort Smith Southside in the state finals at Little Rock. But this shapes up to me as a four-team race in the 7A-West with Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, and Bentonville West taking turns beating each other.

RICK'S PICK Bentonville West

(Here are some other games involving teams from our coverage area. The picks are capitalized).

CLASS 7A

Jonesboro at FORT SMITH NORTHSIDE

BENTONVILLE at Rogers Heritage

Fort Smith Southside at FAYETTEVILLE

Springdale at SPRINGDALE HAR-BER

CLASS 6A

Greenbrier at LAKE HAMILTON

Mountain Home at LITTLE ROCK CHRISTIAN

Siloam Springs at PULASKI ACADEMY

Van Buren at RUSSELLVILLE

CLASS 5A

FARMINGTON at Dardanelle

Harrison at SHILOH CHRISTIAN

Pea Ridge at ALMA

PRAIRIE GROVE at Clarksville

CLASS 4A

Berryville at ELKINS

Green Forest at GENTRY

Huntsville at GRAVETTE

Lincoln at OZARK

Warren at DUMAS

CLASS 3A

BOONEVILLE at Greenland

Cedarville at HACKETT

CHARLESTON at Mansfield

LAVACA at West Fork

JESSIEVILLE at Paris

CLASS 2A

BIGELOW at Hector

Decatur at CONWAY CHRISTIAN

MOUNTAINBURG at Magazine

LAST WEEK 18-7 (72%)

OVERALL 97-31 (76%)


Print Headline: Bentonville West gets unbeaten Rogers

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