Big Games Loom in 4A-1 This Week

Two weeks into the 4A-1 Conference race and there are three teams that are standing at the top of the league standings.

Prairie Grove, winners of 16 consecutive conference games, rolled over Gravette on Friday to move to 2-0.

Pea Ridge crushed Lincoln 42-14 to remain undefeated at 5-0, and 2-0 in the conference.

And Shiloh Christian registered its second straight mercy-rule win to also move to 2-0.

None of that should surprise anyone. Prairie Grove has ruled this conference for the past three years and the Tigers show no signs of letting the league trophy get away anytime soon.

But Shiloh Christian, which spent two seasons in the 5A-West, has recovered from a brutal nonconference slate and is certainly in the conversation when discussing potential league winners.

The two teams square off this Friday in Champions Stadium in what promises to be a terrific game. It’ll be Shiloh’s wide-open, no-huddle offense against Prairie Grove’s old school grind-em-up, spit-em-out Wing-T offense and swarming defense.

While Shiloh and Prairie Grove will have everyone’s attention, there will also be a pretty big game going on over in Benton County as Gravette hosts Pea Ridge.

Gravette fell behind 19-7 at halftime to Prairie Grove on Friday and could not overcome the early deficit in a 39-27 loss. The Lions have a terrific running game, led by senior RB Cedric Duarte, who is close to 1,000 yards already at the season’s halfway point.

Pea Ridge tumbled last season, had to forfeit a couple of games and finished 1-9. But this year the Blackhawks are back and are off to a 5-0 start led by senior RB Shane Ivy and senior QB Seth Brumley.

A Pea Ridge win this week certainly moves the needle for the Blackhawks in the discussion for league titles with games remaining against both Shiloh Christian and Prairie Grove.

While most everyone will be watching and waiting on the outcome in Springdale, the game in Gravette looms just as important.

Chip Souza

Chip Souza

Sports Editor at NWA Media
Chip Souza is the sports editor of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. His primary beat is Benton County schools. He is a native of East Texas with more than 30 years of sports writing experience in Texas and Arkansas. He has earned numerous writing awards in both states.
Chip Souza

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