Hornets hit road after long layoff

Bryant senior quarterback Ren Hefley looks to pass in the Salt Bowl on Saturday, Aug. 25, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. The Hornets travel to Centerton today to take on the Bentonville West Wolverines at 7 p.m. RICK NATION/Special to The Saline Courier
Tony Lenahan
Sports Editor

With roughly two weeks off since topping the Benton Panthers 28-14 in just over a half of the Salt Bowl at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, the Bryant Hornets will take to the road once again today. The Hornets travel to Centerville to take on the Bentonville West Wolverines at First National Bank of NWA Field at 7 p.m.
“We’re ready to play,” Bryant Coach Buck James said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been in a situation where we talked about the dead period and how we were in a hurry. Now, we’ve practiced five, six weeks and hadn’t played but a half of football. I think our kids are ready to get out there and hit somebody else, play a game and get back into that routine again.”
Picked to win the 7A West Conference, the Wolverines are off to a tough start to the season. Bentonville West won its first nine games in 2017 before falling in the regular-season finale to rival Bentonville Tigers and then losing in the quarterfinals to Conway in the state tourney. The Wolverines have made it four straight losses falling to Owasso, Oklahoma, 56-40 in this season’s opener, after leading 34-17, and losing 44-31 to Fort Smith Southside last week.
“They were picked by their conference coaches to win their league, so they’re a talented team,” James said. “They’re 0-2 and they definitely don’t to start out 0-3 with such high expectations. I have a feeling they’ll have a very good game plan and their kids will execute to the best of their ability.”
Though West has had trouble stopping the opponents’ offense giving up 50 points per game to start, they have had no trouble scoring the ball averaging 35.5 points per game.
The Wolverines will be led by senior running back Tyrese Smallwood, who has run for 215 yards and two touchdowns in the two games, and has also caught seven passes for 139 yards and two TDs.
“They’ve got a great running back, got a good quarterback, got a great receiver,” James said. “They’ve got two linebackers that are big-time football players.”
The Hornets and Wolverines kick off at 7 p.m.
Read the rest in Friday's The Saline Courier.