The 7A-West's lone unbeaten team at the moment happens to be its freshest face.
Bentonville West improved to 6-0 Friday night with a 45-29 win at Springdale High. The win moved the program over the .500 mark (9-8) for the first time and, coupled with Springdale Har-Ber's loss at Bentonville, to the top of the conference standings at 3-0.
"It means a lot to our program," West coach Bryan Pratt said of his team's start. "... But our goal wasn't to be 6-0. No one really cares about that; they want to know who's going to be playing in November and December.
"I guarantee you after what happened tonight, Har-Ber will have itself ready to go, and it'll be a tough place to walk into next Friday night," he added. "But we're really proud of where we're at as a program, and we're not finished."
Friday's win for West also turned into a showcase for junior receiver Jadon Jackson. Jackson finished the night with nine catches for 249 yards and three touchdowns, including a 44-yard score with less than five minutes to play to set the final score.
"He's a great player, man, and we're going to try to get him the ball as much as possible," Pratt said of Jackson. "He's almost in my head half the time as we're calling plays, and he knows exactly what we're wanting to accomplish."
Jackson began his monster night with a 55-yard touchdown catch on West's second play from scrimmage to help the Wolverines jump out to a 10-0 lead. He later added a 12-yard scoring grab early in the second quarter, and also had an 88-yard kickoff return for a score called back by penalty.
"It actually feels good," Jackson said. "I tried to go out, have a big game, help the team out and get a dub. We're pretty excited about (being 6-0) because last year we were the underdogs. We came in as underdogs this year, and now we're on top."
West quarterback Will Jarrett threw for 404 yards and three touchdowns, and running back Tyreese Smallwood rushed for 145 yards and three touchdowns for the Wolverines as well.
For Springdale, quarterback Layne Hutchins threw three touchdown passes in the loss. He found Kamond Robinson for a 16-yard score in the first quarter before hitting Jaden Cornelius over the middle for a 29-yard touchdown, and Mason Hutchins from one yard out before halftime.
Red'Dogs sophomore running back Darrell Parchman had the most productive night of his young career Friday, rushing for a 14-yard touchdown and catching three Hutchins passes for 49 yards.
"He really played hard; he's hard to tackle," Springdale coach Zak Clark said of Parchman. "He played outstanding. ... And I know nobody likes to lose, but I'm proud of the kids. The scoreboard may not show it, but I t... Click here to read full article
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette