Ford Leads Bentonville to No. 2 Seed

Bentonville quarterback Kasey Ford did not have a spectacular stat line, but his third-down run early in the game sparked the Tigers to a 45-2 win over rival Fayetteville, which gave them a share of the 7A-West conference championship and the No. 2 seed in the playoffs.

Bentonville’s Kasey Ford used his legs to spark the Tigers to victory Friday night.

The four-star quarterback is not one to run usually, but with Bentonville facing a third down in the red zone, he took off, hurdling a Fayetteville defender en route to a 12-yard run and first down.

It gave the Tigers a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line and set up a touchdown run by a running back on the next play.

“Every time I run the ball, those guys try to cut my legs, so I thought I’d try to jump over the guy,” Ford said. “I thought I was in (the end zone), but I just wanted to get the first down.”

Although his final stat line was not spectacular – 5 of 11 for 93 yards – Ford played well enough to lead his team to a dominating 45-2 win in a game that most predicted to be a close matchup.

He started the game with three incomplete passes before settling in and finishing 5 of 8.

“I think my adrenaline was a little too high,” Ford said. “I was so excited for this game to start. As we played, I kind of calmed down a little bit and threw the ball around.”

The win gives Bentonville a share of the 7A-West conference championship and a No. 2 seed in the playoffs, which means it gets a first-round bye.

Considering how the season started – the Tigers lost all three of their non-conference games, including their first shutout since 2004, as well as their first conference game, to start 0-4 – head coach Barry Lunney was pleased with the progress his team and Ford showed.

“Kasey has continued to improve,” Lunney said. “He played with a lot of poise tonight. You see how bad he wanted it when he took off and ran, which is not his forte. He keeps getting better and that helps us become a much better football team.”

The game also gave Ford an opportunity to go head-to-head against Fayetteville’s Dre Greenlaw, a safety that is committed to Arkansas.

“That guy is fast,” Ford said. “He covers the field really good. We tried throwing it away from him, but it seems like every time I threw the ball, he was over there somewhere. He’s a really good player.”

So far, Ford’s only offer is from former Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino and Louisville, but being only a junior, he has another year to draw attention from college coaches.

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