Camden News High School Football Preview

By PATRIC FLANNIGAN

Sports Writer

The Bearden Bears (4-6, 3-3) will have a week of rest to get ready for the playoffs, but Camden Fairview (6-3, 4-2) and Harmony Grove (4-6, 3-3) will travel Friday night.

The Cardinals will face the undefeated Little Rock Parkview Patriots (9-0, 6-0) at War Memorial and the Hornets will take on the Barton Bears (5-4, 2-2) in West Helena.

The story lines couldn't get much more intriguing for each contest given the recent history between the teams.

For the Hornets, its and opportunity to get even. Last year, Barton defeated the Hornets 42-40 at home and spoiled their senior night.

One might say it would be reasonable to favor the Hornets given Barton's recent loss to Rison, but Barton also took Fordyce - a team the Hornets only beat by one point - to overtime.

Under head coach Ernie Horstkamp, the Hornets have always trended upwards when its playoff time. Dating back to 2017, HG varsity football has been 17-4 in the month of November.

As for the Cardinals, its' an opportunity to right the ship. Last year, the Cardinals were undefeated in conference play before host Parkview and losing 35-7 in a game in which the Cardinals got into the red zone 5 times but only scored once. There were also a couple of major touchdowns on turnovers that ultimately doomed the Cardinals. All in all, CF had done more to beat itself than the Patriots did.

This year is similar but the Cardinals have been inconsistent. At times, they look like a team that can compete on the state level like when it had no problem blowing out an undefeated Arkansas High or winning on the road against 4A contender Arkadelphia. Then other times, they have been underwhelming such as the conference opener against Lakeside and last week's game against a talented Hot Springs.

CF head coach Nick Vaughn is heading to the playoffs again in his second year at the helm of the Cardinals' program. While a win against Parkview wouldn't do much to change the playoff's standings for the Cardinals, it would be nice to get a win over the team he came to Camden from.

CF does have a couple of injuries to overcome, specifically in the backfield, but the secondary will look to be back at full strength on Friday night.