Week 6 Picks from Northwest Arkansas

Games involving the schools from Benton, Carroll, Washington and Madison County are put into capsules each week in the Northwest Arkansas Times

Rich's Power System
How to keep your karma safe from loss or theft
In all these years of trying to make Rich's Power System perfect, dozens of ratings have been added and subtracted.
There have been ratings for coaches, for playing at home, for long road trips, for losing a two-year starter at quarterback, for losing all-state players, for winning games that shouldn't have been won, for repeated good and bad performances ... You get the idea.
Next year, though, a new rating is going to get added to RPS: It will be called "The Karma Rating."
Yes, football programs do have karma. Communities have karma. Ever thought about towns like Fayetteville, whose 7th through 10th letters spell out "evil" could possibly have good karma?
Some karma is good. Some karma is bad.
Without getting too involved in Buddhism, the "law of karma" in layman's terms, sounds almost like some kind of law of physics. Maybe Art Hobson can help us out, but one of the physical laws of the universe is Sir Isaac Newton's third law of motion: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."
The law of karma says this: "For every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful."
Unskillful events are represented by craving, resistance or delusions.
Hmmm. For some of us, confusion has officially set in.
All this time, many non-Buddhists have believed that bad karma came about from such things as the Red Sox trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees, cheering for the Chicago Cubs or pulling off your shirt after scoring a World Cup-winning penalty kick. (Now we know why the U.S. women's soccer team lost in the semifinals this past weekend.)
Good karma is hard to find. It can only be obtained out of sincerity and virtue. To search for good karma is to never find it. It is bestowed upon someone or something without their knowing or expecting it.
Yet, while good karma cannot be sought, bad karma can be avoided.
Here are a few ways to go about avoiding bad karma on the football field this weekend:
* Avoid using revenge as a motive.
* Celebrate every touchdown as if it were your last. Appreciate it for the happiness it brings those who believe in your cause, but don't hold it over the opponent's head for the sadness it brings them.
* Officials are never to blame for anyone's undoing. They are simply the agents through which the metaphysical forces of the universe act. They, too, can receive karma - good and bad - by their acts.
* And sportswriters are good people.
Ouch. Gotta quit for now. Stomach cramps.

Last week, RPS posted a record of 81-16. The power system is 413-85-5 (82.9 percent) this season. In its 18th year, RPS is 14,524-3,151 (82.17 percent).

Van Buren at No. 2 Fayetteville

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. at Harmon Field
Records: Van Buren comes into the game 0-5 and 0-2 in the AAAAA-West Conference under Eddie Tipton, who is in his first year as head coach. He is Van Buren's third coach in three seasons. The Fayetteville Bulldogs and their new coach, Daryl Patton, are both 5-0 in 2003. Patton is 39-20 at the high-school level, having spent five years at Bryant.
The series: Van Buren leads the series, 7-5, since joining the AAAAA-West Conference.
Last year: Coming into the game with an 0-2 conference record, Fayetteville  mauled the Pointers, 30-0. The Purple Dogs entered the game a 7-point favorite according to RPS.
Notable stats:
Two things show up for Fayetteville: 1) The Bulldogs have committed four turnovers in each of the first two AAAAA-West games. 2) Fayetteville turned the ball over on three consecutive second-half possessions and gave up zero points to Springdale last week.
Outlook: By winning, Fayetteville will be tied for first place in the conference with only one other team - the Rogers-Fort Smith Southside winner. The goal of the Purple Dogs is to win four conference game before looking ahead to accomplishing such insurmountable tasks as winning (or sharing) a conference championship. It has been 18 years since Fayetteville last won a share of the league title.
Putting a strong headlock on a playoff berth comes first, though, and to do that, the Bulldogs must take down two teams that have had their number over the past decade. The mangy Pointers limp into town with losses to two of the lower-echelon teams in the conference. It can also be said, however, that all five of Van Buren's losses have come against good football teams.
RPS Bottom Line: A 6-point loss to Northside and a 17-point loss to Bentonville are not embarrassing, but remember that those are the only wins of the season by both Northside and Bentonville. If Van Buren is looking for a straw to grasp, it's that the Pointers have won two in a row at Harmon Field. Fayetteville's last victory over Van Buren was a tight 17-13 verdict in 1997 when the Bulldogs won eight in a row. There will be some gasps when FHS faithful see this prediction, but to be No. 2 in the state, you've got to annihilate the winless types ... Fayetteville 42, Van Buren 12
.

No. 3 Springdale at No. 8 Russellville

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. at Cyclone Stadium
Records: Gus Malzahn (21-9) has a 78-11-1 record since 1997, but is 0-2 against Russellville in the regular season. The Springdale Bulldogs are 2-3 this year, 0-2 in the AAAAA-West Conference. Russellville coach Jeff Holt (28-24) has led the Cyclones to a 2-3 start. They are also 0-2 in the league.
The series: Springdale is 23-8 against Russellville since 1973 and has had just two glitches against the Cyclones. One was a three-year losing streak in the 1970s and the other was a spell from 1993-97 when Russellville won three of five against the Bulldogs.
Last year: Springdale ended a two-game losing streak against Russellville when the Bulldogs defeated the Cyclones in the Class AAAAA semifinals, 28-21 at Cyclone Stadium. Russellville won the regular-season meeting, 48-33, at Springdale and defeated the Bulldogs 22-19 in 2001.
Notable stats:
Aaron Davis has had at least one catch in all five Springdale games, but has been a little better against Washington County opponents. Against Shiloh Christian, Davis was credited with five catches for 81 yards. He caught six passes for 82 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season at Fayetteville.
Outlook: Two teams in must-win situations could be fighting for their playoff lives tonight. And who would have thought that Springdale would be one of them?
The Red Dogs, on paper, appeared to be every bit as good as the team that played for the state championship last year and, in some circles, were believed to be even better. Losing to Fort Smith Southside was not unexpected, but a loss to Fayetteville - a sure thing on the Springdale schedule in 21 of 23 previous games - has raised some doubts.
Now the Red Dogs meet a Russellville club which has played the same two conference opponents with even less success. The loser of this one can probably do no better than fourth in the league and must hope for some help along the way to make another playoff appearance.
RPS Bottom Line: Comparing scores in losses to Fayetteville and Southside is probably a good indicator of the difference in these two teams. Fayetteville beat Russellville by 17 and Springdale by 5. Southside beat Russellville by 14 and Springdale by 4 ...
Springdale 32, Russellville 25.

No. 7 Rogers at No. 1 Fort Smith Southside

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. at Southside Stadium
Records: The Rogers Mountaineers (5-0) are led by Ronnie Peacock, who is 8-17 in his third season as the Mounties mentor. Rogers is 2-0 in the AAAAA-West Conference, tied with Southside and Fayetteville. The Rebels (4-1) are coached by Barry Lunney, who is 128-52 at the helm.
The series: It started off close, with the teams splitting the first 10 battles. Southside has torn away to a 26-9 lead, though, in a series that began in 1968 with a 6-0 Southside victory.
Last year: A 22-point favorite at Rogers, Southside needed some big plays from its special teams to pull out a 28-20 victory.
Notable stats:
Not only has Johnny Brewer thrown 18 touchdown passes, but he also leads the Mounties in rushing yardage (181) and has scored six touchdowns on the ground.
Outlook: It's another in a long line of weekly showdowns in the AAAAA-West Conference, this one the most important to date.
Can the defending champion fend off the up-and-coming challenger from high in the hills? The 5-0 record says it all for Rogers, which battled Southside on nearly even terms last year despite being mired in a 15-game conference losing streak.
For Southside, this is the third consecutive week that the Rebels have been dealt a strong opponent. Springdale, obviously, was considered a conference favorite in the league opener and Russellville has been a playoff winner the last three years.
RPS Bottom Line: In Rogers, Southside may have its toughest Arkansas opponent to date. The Mounties have not had to travel as tough a road to this point, though, and will definitely be taking on their hardest challenge of the season ... Southside 31, Rogers 22
.

Fort Smith Northside at No. 31 Bentonville
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium
Records: Northside is 1-4 overall and 1-1 in the AAAAA-West Conference. In his second season at the helm, Darrell Henry has a 6-9-1 record. Bentonville coach Gary Wear (17-10) has led his team to a 1-3 record. The Tigers are also 1-1 in loop play.
The series: Northside leads the series, 8-4, but all four losses suffered by the Grizzlies have come in Bentonville.
Last year: Northside, an 8-point favorite, improved to 7-0 at home against Bentonville by beating the Tigers, 34-20.
Notable stats:
Sophomore Pierre Poquette caught four passes for 158 yards - an average of 39.5 yards per catch - and did not even score a touchdown as the Tigers defeated Van Buren, 24-7, last week.
Outlook: With Springdale and Russellville still searching for their first league conquests, tonight's winner in Benton County can stay one game up on both preseason playoff favorites in the standings and join the Rogers-Southside loser - and possibly even Fayetteville - just a game behind the league leader.
Every game is important in the AAAAA-West Conference and especially when playing a team that is considered an equal. Bentonville and Northside can be considered equals not only by their identical conference records, but because neither is expected to finish among the top four in the conference.
Either team could recover from a loss tonight, but it's not likely. Both teams still have Southside, Fayetteville, Russellville and Springdale to play.
RPS Bottom Line: Bentonville has never been able to overcome the stigma of playing at Mayo-Thompson, but has been a completely different team in its own backyard. When Bentonville moves to a new stadium, don't be surprised to see Northside alums gladly volunteering to drive the moving vans ... Bentonville 17, Northside 12
.

Alma at Siloam Springs

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. at Glenn W. Black Stadium
Records: Alma coach Frank Vines is 241-84-4 during his time with the Airedales, which began in 1976. Alma is 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the AAAA-West Conference. The Siloam Springs Panthers (0-4-1) are coached by Chris McBride, who is 3-11-1 in his second year as head coach.
The series: Alma has won the last 15 meetings dating back to 1989. Siloam Springs' last victory over the Airedales was, ironically, the Panthers' only playoff victory. Siloam Springs defeated Alma, 17-15, in the 1987 playoffs.
Last year: Alma entered the game a 29-point favorite and won its sixth consecutive game en route to a 12-0 start by a 41-14 count over the Panthers.
Notable stats:
Three Siloam Springs ball carriers ran for more than 80 yards and the Panthers defense held Morrilton to minus-20 yards rushing last week ... and Siloam Springs lost the game, 20-17.
Outlook:
Karma aside, if you believe that "what goes around, comes around," then Siloam Springs has probably stored up enough credits on the good luck its due to carry into the 22nd century. But when does the good luck begin?
Siloam Springs ought to be 2-0 in the conference at this point and playing Alma for chance to put the Airedales' backs to the wall. Instead, the Panthers are 0-2 with a pair of hard-fought, close defeats, and they have to turn around and play a pack of wounded Airedales, still stinging perhaps from their conference-opening defeat at Harrison.
Of all the dumb luck.
RPS Bottom Line: Luckless Siloam Springs can atone for one of its two conference losses and climb back into the playoff hunt with a win over Alma. It can be done, too, but the defense has to turn in another great effort and the offense, held to 8.2 points per outing, has to make more visits to the end zone ...
Alma 16, Siloam Springs 7.

Huntsville at Morrilton
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. at Devil Dog Stadium
Records: Huntsville is 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the AAAA-West Conference. The Eagles are coached by Ken Harriman, who is in the second year of his second stint with the team and owns a 72-50-1 record. Morrilton is 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the league. The Devil Dogs are led by second-year coach Chris Hill, who is 6-9 at the helm.
The series: Huntsville won the first meeting of the two teams last year at Eagle Stadium in overtime, 17-14.
Notable stats: While Morrilton could not muster up much yardage on the ground against Siloam Springs, the Devil Dogs did rack up 294 yards through the air on 40 passing attempts.
Outlook: With Huntsville's Bracken Thompson throwing footballs in one direction and Morrilton's Mark Kelley firing them back the other way, plan for a long night and a late arrival back to Madison County from the ballgame. Both teams have adopted the airways as the preferred means of travel. In Huntsville's case, it appears to be a preference. In Morrilton's case, it appears to be the only choice.
The matchup of a 2-0 team against an 0-2 club can be deceiving here. One team has every right to be fat and sassy at this point, coming off a come-from-behind victory to keep them in first place. The other team has barely been given a chance with its first two outings against two of the top three teams in the league.
RPS Bottom Line: Next month when the playoff pairings are set, it's possible that we will look back at this game as the deciding contest in the fourth playoff team. This is a proving-ground game for Huntsville, which might be able to slip under the radar and out of Morrilton with its first league win of the season ...
Morrilton 23, Huntsville 14.

Prairie Grove at No. 26 Berryville
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium
Records: The Prairie Grove Tigers (3-2, 2-0) are ranked 14th in Class AAA and coached by Danny Abshier, who has posted a 65-48-2 as a head coach. Berryville is ranked No. 4 in Class AAA and, under the tutelage of Doug Scheel, has reeled off four wins in a row. Berryville is 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the 1AAA Conference.
The series: Marked by long streaks, the series had seen Prairie Grove win the last six meetings before last year's 22-21 Berryville win at Tiger Stadium. Berryville won 12 meetings in a row from 1984 to 1995.
Last year: Berryville roared out to a 22-point lead and then held on to defeat Prairie Grove, 22-21, last year at Tiger Stadium.
Notable stats:
Prairie Grove had not thrown for more than 100 yards in a game this season, but sophomore quarterback Robbie Abshier threw for 192 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers toppled Shiloh Christian. Kurt Zellner was the target on seven of Abshier's passes. Two of those went for touchdowns and the other five helped Zellner to a 120-yard receiving night.
Outlook: Prairie Grove shot down the theory of playing for third place and stands a reasonable chance of grabbing a share of the conference title even if the Tigers should lose this one. With Shiloh Christian momentarily out of the picture, this game becomes the battle for the 1AAA Conference title.
Berryville is as hot as any team has any 1AAA team has been in more than 10 years. No 1AAA club since Farmington in 1989 has been ranked so high - yes, that includes Shiloh Christian, which only debuted at No. 7 last year before sinking like a rock into the murky middle ground of the 64-team classification.
It seem fitting that Berryville is the team that next emerges as a legitimate state-title contender from the 1AAA. The Bobcats were, after all, the league's last state finalist, advancing to War Memorial Stadium in 1977.
RPS Bottom Line: Ignore that season-opening loss to Cassville, Mo., and this is a much easier game to gauge. The Bobcats are at home and they are catching Prairie Grove at a good time following the Tigers' win over Shiloh Christian ... Berryville 19,
Prairie Grove 12.

Farmington at Lincoln
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. at Wolves Stadium
Records: Farmington is 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the 1AAA Conference under Mike Adams, who is in his first year at the Cardinals' helm. Lincoln is 0-5 at the halfway point and victims of 13 consecutive defeats. Coach Mike Guthrie (1-14) is in his second term with the Wolves.
The series: Farmington has won 18 of the last 21 meetings and the last three in a row over Lincoln.
Last year: The Cardinals knocked off Lincoln, 38-14, en route to a fourth-place finish and third consecutive playoff berth.
Notable stats:
Lincoln had over 200 yards rushing for the second week in a row, but was unable to get the final three necessary yards to force an overtime against defending conference champion Gravette. In the last two games, Corey Lange has 150 yards, Jeremy Boliver has 147 and Travis Lange has 144.
Outlook: Gentry is a likely candidate to need a little cellar space after this week, but the team that comes out on the short end of this battle is going to lose another roommate. Farmington has found its way into the win column this year, beating a winless Paris club. Lincoln had been close on a couple of occasions against teams much better than Paris.
Improvement in the running game shows that Lincoln is not ready to throw in the towel and you know the Wolves, after two good efforts, are sniffing in the right direction.
Farmington has some running punch, too, and that's necessary to provide balance for what will one day be an explosive passing game. The Cardinals have shown signs of breaking out offensively, but the stop troops have struggled, allowing 391.8 yards per game.
RPS Bottom Line: Lincoln has its best chance of the season to dispose of an 18-game conference losing streak. Guthrie's style of football is not ideal for playing catch-up - which the Wolves often have to do - but it can be a death knell for the team that falls behind Lincoln. It will be important for Farmington to strike quickly and put the Wolves back on their heels. If the Cardinals don't put a damper on Lincoln's confidence early, then they will find themselves in a war ...
Farmington 21, Lincoln 20.
Shiloh Christian at Gentry
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. at Pioneer Stadium
Records: Shiloh Christian coach Chris Wood (18-11-1) has led the Saints to a 3-2 record overall and a 1-1 start in the 1AAA Conference. Gentry (1-4, 0-2) is in its first year under Jeff Stewart, who previously coached at England.
The series: Shiloh Christian won the first two meetings, winning 47-19 in 1998 and by a 41-0 count in 1999, before losing at home to the Pioneers, 21-6, last year.
Last year: Following two consecutive conference defeats, Shiloh Christian came into this game needing a victory to get back into the playoff hunt. The 21-6 loss sent the Saints to 0-3 with Gravette and Berryville, the top two finishers in the league, still ahead on the schedule.
Notable stats:
After completing just 11 passes in his first three games, Gentry quarterback Ray Ryan started to find his mark last week with a 15-of-27 performance for 195 yards against Green Forest.
Outlook: Last week's loss to Prairie Grove put Shiloh Christian back on the defensive as the Saints try to find their way into the Class AAA playoffs for the first time in school history. It's a strange realization for Shiloh Christian, which twice ran the 1AAA Conference table in 1998 and 1999 when teams from the Saints league refused to play them.
Now that the Saints have a home where they feel somewhat welcome, they are not making themselves at home. Currently, they are 3-6 all-time as a bona fide 1AAA Conference member.
Gentry, a longtime member, is 6-25 in league games since 1999. The Pioneers find themselves at 0-2 for the fourth consecutive year with some quality opponents still ahead.
RPS Bottom Line: Shiloh Christian will know right away if it will get an honest challenge from Gentry. Games in the 1AAA Conference have either been over quickly for the Saints, or they've been battles to the bitter end. Gentry has not done much in the last four games to indicate this will be anything but a quick and decisive result ... Shiloh Christian 31, Gentry 10
.

Green Forest at Gravette

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. at Bernard McAbee Field
Records: The Green Forest Tigers are 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the league under the dean of 1AAA football coaches, Bill Gotto, who enters the contest with a 96-83-2 record. Gravette is 4-1 and 1-1 in the 1AAA Conference. Coach Charlie Phillips, who had Gotto on his staff when he left Green Forest after the 1985 season, is 63-46 as the head coach of the Lions.
The series: The Lions and Tigers have battled 33 times and Gravette went ahead, 17-16, with last year's victory at Green Forest.
Last year: Gravette blanked Green Forest, 14-0, last year for its first shutout in more than a year. It was also the first of two occasions on which the Red Tigers were shutout in 2002.
Notable stats:
Ryan Holloway was the only effective Gravette ground gainer last week, churning forward for 85 yards on 12 carries. Holloway scored all three Gravette touchdowns in a narrow escape, 21-14, over Lincoln.
Outlook: Keep an eye on the featured backs. Holloway averages 7.9 yards per carry and has gained 440 yards - an average of 88 per game - and has scored seven of the Lions' 13 rushing touchdowns.
Green Forest might have one even better.
T.J. Matthews is capable of big games himself. He had 213 yards on 14 carries last week against Gentry. The scary thing about Matthews isn't just the yardage he has gained, but the fact that he will touch the ball on every offensive snap for the Tigers as their quarterback.
RPS Bottom Line: The playoff race gets hot and heavy with this result being a crucial one. Gravette's 14-1 regular-season record over the past two years is proof that the Lions know how to win. It could mean that the Lions are due for a stumble in the near future and last week's performance against Lincoln was, indeed, a little shaky ... Gravette 24, Green Forest 22.


Ozark at Greenland
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. at Jonathan Ramey Memorial Stadium
Records: Ozark is 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the 4AAA Conference under first-year coach Michael Johnson. Greenland is 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the league under Lee Larkan, who is 19-10 in his third year as the Pirates' skipper.
The series: Ozark won the first and only meeting of the two teams last year, 44-28, at Hillbilly Stadium.
Last year: Coming off a 17-13 win at Booneville, Ozark did not miss a beat in knocking off the Pirates. The Hillbillies went 7-0 in the league and are currently on a 14-game league winning streak.
Notable stats:
Andy Wesoloski can run the football, too. While racking up 885 yards through the air in five games, Wesoloski found favorable footing against Paris last week with six runs for a total of 149 yards and three touchdowns.
Outlook: Ozark, ranked 13th in Class AAA, defeated arch-rival Booneville last week. In the meantime, Greenland has been beaten once in the league by Waldron, which figured to be the third best team in the conference.
On the surface, this game seems pretty easy to figure out.
Go back two weeks to Ozark's opening conference game with West Fork and we may have spotted a flaw, however. The Hillbillies defeated West Fork, 14-0, and have only scored 9.5 points per outing in their last four games. Point production is a problem. Even in last week's victory over Booneville the Hillbillies scored their only touchdown on a fumble return.
RPS Bottom Line: Greenland showed the explosiveness that has been its trademark under Larkan last week at Paris. The Pirates have averaged 37 points in their last two games, but when a potent offense runs into a stout defense, it's usually wiser to stick with the better defensive team ... Ozark 19, Greenland 10.


West Fork at Mansfield
Kickoff:
7:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium
Records: Bryan Dougan is in his first year at West Fork and has the Tigers off to a 2-3 start. West Fork is 0-2 in the 4AAA Conference. The Mansfield Tigers are 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the league under the guidance of John Mackey, who is 13-21 in his fourth year as Tigers coach.
The series: Mansfield leads the series, 3-2. The teams split four meetings that were played from 1981-84. The home team was 4-0 in those four games and the average margin of victory was a little over 13 points.
Last year: Mansfield became the first road team to win in the series when it ravaged West Fork, 39-14, in a trip to Washington County.
Notable stats:
The trend for West Fork this season has to give up more and more rushing yardage each week. Last week, Waldron gained 315 yards on the ground and West Fork's first two 4AAA opponents have garnered 585 yards on the ground.
Outlook: The ever-growing number of rushing yards should slow down this week now that West Fork has one of the most powerful rushing teams, Ozark, and one of the state's best backs, Waldron's Sean Kearney, behind it on the schedule. But don't overlook Mansfield.
Often ignored in a league that is dominated by Booneville and Ozark, the Mansfield Tigers are a pretty fair football team. Wins over Mountainburg and Subiaco Academy were not "quality" victories on the Class AAA level, but both were victories over solid ballclubs.
The game that stands out on Mansfield's schedule to this point is one the Tigers lost. Mansfield kept third-ranked Central Arkansas Christian relatively close in a 27-15 defeat.
RPS Bottom Line: The home team might be only slightly better in this case, but Mansfield does have the upper hand going into this game. In fact, Mansfield is good enough that these Tigers might even find a way to slip past Greenland or Waldron and into the playoffs for the first time this century ... Mansfield 24, West Fork 12.


Lavaca at Elkins
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. at John Bunch Memorial Field
Records: The Lavaca Golden Arrows are 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the 1AA Conference. This is the second year the Golden Arrows have been under the direction of Mark Headley, who is 8-8 at Lavaca. Coach Aaron Clark (19-19) has the Elkins Elks flying to a 4-0 start that includes a league-leading 3-0 record.
The series: Elkins has won both meetings of the two teams, including a 21-20 thriller at Lavaca in 1986.
Last year: Elkins improved to 6-0 with a hard-fought 25-19 double-overtime victory at Lavaca last year. The loss sent Lavaca to 2-4 and forced the Golden Arrows to win three of their final four games to qualify for the 2002 Class AA playoffs.
Notable stats:
While unbeaten, Elkins is not chewing up the yardage like it was last season. Case in point: Josh Finkus had 76 carries for 694 yards and nine touchdowns after four games in 2002. As a junior this year, Finkus has carried the ball 62 times for 356 yards and five touchdowns.
Outlook: Where Elkins has dropped off in its offense this year, the Elks have made up for it on the defensive side of the football. Elkins has allowed a measly 12 points this season - a touchdown each for Pea Ridge and Cedarville and shutouts over Greenland and Mountainburg. On their own scoreboard, the button for the visitors score has not been touched.
Opponents are getting only 2.9 yards per rush against the Elks.
Yet, Lavaca is unlikely to try battering away at a brick wall. Quarterback Jeff Powers, a dangerous runner who had 177 yards and three touchdowns against Cedarville, also passed for 145 yards versus the Pirates.
RPS Bottom Line: None of Elkins' opponents have passed for 100 yards this year. Not even Greenland, which accounted for 10 of the 17 pass completions opponents have had in four games against the Elks, reached the 100-yard mark. Keeping the passing game in check will help the Elks avoid another near-catastrophe like the one they faced at Lavaca in 2002 ...
Elkins 22, Lavaca 14.


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