Friday came with six area teams still playing football after Mayflower and Conway Christian’s season’s ended with the regular season.
Two more teams saw their seasons close this past weekend as Vilonia was bounced out of the 5A State Playoffs by Little Rock Christian and Hendrix laid the wood against Sewanee to close out the regular season on a two-game winning streak.
Greenbrier snuck by Maumelle at home, Quitman won easily against Foreman, Conway awaits Rogers and UCA played its penultimate game.
Coming off the emotionally-charged loss to Greenbrier in Greenbrier, playing for the 5A West championship, the Vilonia Eagles just couldn’t get anything going against Little Rock Christian.
Early, it looked as though the two teams would be in a dog fight, but the Warriors couldn’t be stopped Friday.
At times, it seemed like a re-enactment of the Greenbrier game in which the Panthers handled Vilonia with relative ease.
That’s not to take away from this Eagles team. They had a great season and everyone of those kids should hold their head high for what they accomplished.
Sure, they fell short of their goals, but this Vilonia team, especially its group of seniors, set a foundation for future Eagles teams.
Unfortunately, they ran into a private school that will likely move up to Class 6A next year with the new conference alignment that will take place for next fall.
Though not as explosive as other games, Greenbrier came out with a 31-28 win over Maumelle in the opening round of the 5A playoffs.
The Panthers found themselves in a 14-point hole at two different occasions throughout the contest, but a 29-yard field goal by kicker Bradley Turnage with 1:23 left pushed Greenbrier to the next round.
The Panthers were a little more grounded this week as the offense struggled at times.
Quarterback Cooper Wilcox seemingly gave as much as his body could handle as well as he came up limping throughout the game.
Greenbrier hosts Wynne this Friday after Wynne beat Lakeside, 47-34.
Along with the other 5A West’s playoff teams performance against 5A Central teams, a few on the Fearless Friday forums pointed to the 5A West not being as good as advertised this year as three West teams lost to three Central teams and Greenbrier barely beat Maumelle.
But, again, Vilonia was playing a private school that will likely move on to 6A, Harrison played Pulaski Academy closely and PA will move up to 6A.
Then, Farmington played a good White Hall team.
Quitman had a favorable matchup against lowly Foreman, but this week is likely to get a lot tougher as East Poinsett County is on the docket once again for the 2A playoffs.
EPC knocked Quitman out of the playoffs in the second round last year, beating the Bulldogs 56-29.
EPC went on to lose the next week to Gurdon.
We’ll see Friday which team comes out on top.
Hendrix allowed just 10 points to Sewanee to end the Warriors’ season on a two-game winning streak.
Hendrix scored 56 en route to the second victory this fall over the Tigers after beating them 49-27 on Sept. 25 in Conway.
The Warriors tallied nearly 600 yards of total offense in the win.
Finally, UCA had a difficult game against SFA.
There are two things that have replayed in my mind since Saturday night about that game that I can’t shake.
Again, it’s easy to second guess decisions after a game has happened, but I was thoroughly confused on why Darius Hale didn’t get more carries in the second and third quarter after rushing for 57 yards on eight carries in the first.
Hale ended with 18 carries on the night, but he was running quite well in the first, and with the passing game not getting going, Hale deserved more carries, but it’s over with now.
I also am confused on using nearly 11 minutes of the clock in the fourth quarter when UCA was down by 13 points in a winnable game.
The Bears took the ball over at its 32 with 12:14 left.
Certainly you don’t want to give SFA too much time on the clock to go and score again, but some of that is relying on the defense to get a stop.
Instead, UCA ate clock and didn’t get points on the board.
Two touchdowns were needed, so not getting anything on that drive essentially put the game away and it did even with three timeouts.
The Bears can’t get that one back, though.
On to Tarleton State.