The matchup between the state's top senior quarterback and state's best junior one was a little lopsided to say the least on Friday night.
But it wasn't because Fort Smith Northside junior standout Kodi Burns didn't live up the hype, but because Springdale quarterback and University of Arkansas commit Mitch Mustain is living the dream with all the weapons at his disposal right now.
Mustain completed 16-of-23 passes for 310 yards while only playing the first half and threw his 30th touchdown pass of the season in Springdale's 52-0 mercy-rule pasting at Northside Friday night before an overflow crowd estimated at around 8,000 at Mayo Thompson Stadium.
"How easy is my job right now?" Mustain asked while laughing after the game. "I've got so many guys I can get the ball too and they all make great plays and they are hard to stop. It's a lot of fun when things happen like that. I threw a couple of passes long and high tonight, but they capitalized on the plays I did make."
Both fellow UA commit Andrew Norman and Florida commit Damian Williams unofficially caught 6 passes for 122 yards each - with Williams hauling in a 42-yard touchdown from Mustain and Norman making a 47-yard catch at the Northside 1 despite being interfered with to set up the Red Bulldogs' first score.
"Those two guys when they get their hands on the ball, they are so dangerous," Mustain said. "We throw a lot of short passes to Andrew and a lot of deep ones to Damian and they really make it happen."
When Williams got into the end zone several Woo Pig Sooie calls went up as Arkansas fans continue to hope that he will change his commitment and join Mustain and Norman and be a Razorback in the end.
"Arkansas has got great fans," Williams said. "They have got great people and great communities. It just shows the love that they have for me and all the players in their state. I am committed to Florida, but I do think about and appreciate how all these fans have been on our side the whole season."
Williams actually lined up at quarterback and Mustain - who has thrown for 2,500 yards despite playing just half of most games - at wideout in the second quarter when Williams scored from two yards out.
"I had a good route ready to run out there at receiver and he could have thrown it up to me," Mustain joked. "But seriously he does a really good job when he lines up there."
Asked if he was still working on Williams and fellow Springdale player and Florida commit Ben Cleveland to flip, Mustain said that was something to worry about later.
"There's plenty of time for that after the next five weeks," Mustain said. "We are just trying to concentrate on winning a championship now."
Burns has thrown for over 1,600 yards this season and rushed for over 800 - combining for 27 touchdowns.
While many have speculated that Mustain's commitment to Arkansas might keep Burns - who has offers from the Razorbacks and Arkansas State already - from doing so as well, the Northside standout said Friday night that was not the case.
"Definitely I am still considering Arkansas," Burns said. "I know Mitch has committed to Arkansas, but that hasn't changed my mind about them. They are still definitely at the top of my list."
It all led to Springdale (9-0, 6-0) clinching the outright AAAAA-West championship and leaving Northside (6-3, 3-3) likely needing a win over Fort Smith Southside next week just to make the playoffs.
"When you go up against the caliber of team like Springdale is - the number four team in the nation with the best quarterback in the nation - you make any mistakes early and you are going to look up and see the scoreboard is 45-0 like we did," Burns said.
Burns, who had some seven passes dropped on the night, showed why he is such a highly thought of prospect on a play that didn't even end up registering in the statbook.
He dropped back, avoided a rush and scrambled some 30 yards leaving defenders in his wake, but a holding penalty wiped that out.
"You could see right there what is so special about that young man on that play, but we ended up blocking in the back or something and it just wiped it out," Northside head coach Darrell Henry said. "We didn't give him any help tonight. I think the rest of them were a little nervous."
Henry couldn't say enough about Springdale.
"That is as good a high school football team as I have ever seen," Henry said.
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