Ford Nabs Second State Title

Bentonville junior quarterback Kasey Ford may not have the amount of scholarship offers that one would think at this point, but he does have two state titles after leading the Tigers to a 24-21 lead over Fayetteville Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.

LITTLE ROCK - To this point, scholarship offers have not come flowing in for Bentonville junior quarterback Kasey Ford, but one has to assume it’s just a matter of time.

Ford (6-5, 240), who only has a football offer to Louisville and a baseball one from Wichita State, led his team to its second straight 7A state title on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.

He was 15-of-23 passing for 145 yards and two touchdowns - including a game-winning one with 26 seconds left - as Bentonville downed 7A-West conference foe Fayetteville 24-21 before 4,861 fans.

“The only problem is that he is so big and he doesn’t run good and there are so many programs today that when they look at quarterbacks are looking for dual threat guys that can run and throw it around,” Bentonville head coach Barry Lunney, Sr., said.

“But he’ll fit somebody and they are going to be very, very glad that got him,” Lunney added. “It will happen.”

It seems the baseball option has a lot of teams scared - much as it did with Lunney’s son - Barry, Jr., a former Arkansas football and baseball star who is now a Razorback assistant football coach and was on hand for Saturday’s game.

“I think there is some of that,” Lunney, Sr., said. “I think there is always a little bit of that hesitation. I am not sure he is not going to play baseball.

“That happened with Barry, even back then,” Lunney added. “A lot of schools backed off of him after they asked me ‘is he was going to play baseball?’ I said ‘yes’ and they would say ‘good luck’ and walked out.

“That’s okay,” Lunney continued. “He has got to do what Kasey wants to do.”

Ford says he is getting some recruiting attention - including from Arkansas - but every one seems to be cautious about the fact that he is also an outstanding pitcher.

“I get these letters in the mail, but other than that, no one is really talking to me,” Ford said. “I think a lot of people think I just want to go baseball. I am not really sure what I want to do yet. It is definitely an option.”

He is excited about what he saw from the Razorbacks this season.

“I think it is incredible the improvement since last season,” Ford said. “Every game that I watched - even the losses - they run the ball so well. They throw the ball well. I think Brandon Allen is completely under-rated and is a good quarterback. I think he has really picked it up.”

Ford was thrilled with how his team handled itself coming back from an 0-4 start to the season to win the last nine games of the season beginning with a win over Fort Smith Northside.

The game-winning drive was an 11-play, 68-yard effort that took just 2:34 off the clock.

“One thing that I keep thinking about during that is how we started off 0-4 and just the determination of these guys to keep moving forward and not looking back after that Northside win,” Ford said. “It is unreal to be here again. I thank God for all the blessings and keeping us healthy. It was just amazing.”

It was certainly a different game than the 45-2 win that Bentonville had over Fayetteville in the regular season.

Fayetteville sophomore quarterback Taylor Powell had a subpar night in the first game, but was 22-of-28 passing for 305 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in Saturday’s game.

Arkansas had a pair of commits playing in the game in Fayetteville’s Dre Greenlaw (13 tackles, interception, 2 catches for 52 yards) and tight end C.J. O’Grady (5 catches, 91 yards).

Powell had led his team on a nine-play, 87-yard drive - capped by a 32-yard pass to Garland Allison - to give the Purple Bulldogs a 21-17 lead with 3:05 left in the game.

“That guy - he is young and he is good and I think he is going to go somewhere if he keeps working hard like I know he will,” Ford said. “I told him before the game ‘ I hope you have a good game, but not good enough to win. Just messing with him. We talk and we are pretty good friends. I am glad he had a good game and I am happy for him.”

Ford was quick to credit Cody Scroggins, who was named the MVP after catching six passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns and also picking off a Powell pass deep in Bentonville territory.

“That guy involves MVP of this year, not just this game,” Ford said. That guy has been our go-to guy for the last two years. He is incredible, he is amazing, he is unreal to watch what he can do when he has the ball in his hands.”

Taylor Powell

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