The race for the 5A South Conference title is coming down to the wire. Four teams, including the Camden Fairview Cardinals (6-2; 4-1 in conference play), are in contention for the title.
The final two weeks of the season are set up to be a mini-tournament for the conference title. The Cardinals will host the Hot Springs Trojans (7-1; 4-1), a team they've beaten 14 of the last 16 times, this Friday night. The Little Rock-Parkview Patriots (8-0; 5-0) are set to go on the road to face the Lakeside Rams (6-2; 4-1) at the same time.
Next Friday, the Rams will travel to take on the Trojans, while the Cardinals travel to Little Rock to take on the Patriots. It's the first time the former Patriots defensive coordinator, now Cardinals head coach Nick Vaughn, will face his former team in the regular season.
The final week of the season could bring even more questions than answers if the Patriots lose to the Rams. And the Cardinals beating the Trojans and Patriots wouldn't guarantee them the conference title. Camden Fairview lost to Lakeside 34-20 on September 21.
The Rams found themselves upset a week after they defeated the Cardinals, following their 28-21 road loss to the Magnolia Panthers one week later. The Trojans began their conference play on September 21 with a brutal 54-7 road loss to the Patriots. Parkview hasn't lost a game since September 16, of last year when the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats beat them 28-27 in overtime.
The Cardinals are going into this Friday's matchup at home against the Trojans as underdogs, according to Hootens. Media outlets in Little Rock have reported that that the Trojans' high-powered passing game can take down the Cardinals.
Last year, the Cardinals held the Trojans to only 147 yards and a completion percentage of 42.8% in the passing game. The Cardinals' defense also accounted for 21 quarterback hurries. The Cardinals beat the Trojans 34-7 last year.
The Trojans are looking to rebound from last year's disappointing matchup with the same style of offense. Camden Fairview's defense is just as efficient, if not more, this season behind an experienced secondary.
Camden Fairview can take care of business in their final home game of the season this Friday night against Hot Springs before taking on Parkview in the final week of the regular season.