The Camden Fairview Cardinals (5-2; 3-1 in 5A South Conference play) have three conference foes standing in the way of their second conference title in three seasons.
First up are the Hope Bobcats (2-5; 1-3), who the Cardinals will face on the road this Friday night.
While the Bobcats may not appear to be a team to fear, the Cardinals will have to watch for Hope's potential. The last time the Cardinals visited the Bobcats, they had a chance to clinch a conference title in the second to last week of the season in 2021.
The Bobcats gave the Cardinals' defense trouble in the first half that year. The game was tied 21-21 by halftime before Camden Fairview outscored Hope 21-6 in the second half.
Last season, the Cardinals dominated the Bobcats 49-0 at home. The Cardinals' defense allowed only 47 total yards of offense from the Bobcats. Offensively, the Cardinals accumulated 460 total yards, with 207 coming from the rushing game. The Cardinals found multiple ways to spread the ball through the passing game. Slot receiver Trent Haygood, a sophomore and in his first year at Camden Fairview, caught three receptions for 61 yards.
The Cardinals' offense should have no problem accomplishing this same task this season. Haygood is one of the most dynamic and explosive playmakers in the state. He has combined for 933 yards and eight touchdowns as a receiver and a flex running back.
Senior wide receiver Jaylen Goodwin has caught 31 receptions for 449 yards and three touchdowns. And last week in the Cardinals' 40-0 road win over the De Queen Leopards, senior Jabauree Lockhart, a starter on the defensive side of the ball, caught five receptions for 90 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cardinals accounted for their first shutout performance of the season last week. They have a chance to do it again this Friday night against the Bobcats. Last season, Hope was one of four opponents that Camden Fairview shut out. Camden Fairview will go on the road to face Hope this Friday night at 7 p.m.