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Sunday, April 14, 2024

WCFL Programs Continue To Shine On The Gridiron

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Header Picture by Brian Mott: Magazine vs Mountainburg

The programs of the West Central Football League were back at it on the gridiron this past Saturday. With teams starting to get back into the groove of things, it showed. Unfortunately, the Magazine 3rd and 4th Grade were unable to get enough players to make a team so they had to bow out of the season. Although they didn’t have the numbers to play regular football, the WCFL is currently working with programs outside the league to set up some seven on seven games for the young Rattlers. With Magazine being out, other programs’ 3rd and 4th Grade teams have the option of finding replacement games for them.

Mountainburg was able to replace Magazine with Northwest Arkansas’s perineal powerhouse, Shiloh Christian for their 3rd and 4th Grade game. RJ Young blistered the Saints defense when he scored the first touchdown on a 60-yard run. Jeremiah Powell tacked on the two-point conversion which would wind up being curtailed at the end of the game. Shiloh Christian jumped right back at the Dragons when they scored twice, but the Saints failed to convert extra points after both touchdowns. With the game set at 12-8 in Shiloh’s favor, it was again RJ Young who punched the ball in from 12 yards out for a touchdown on fourth down to take the lead. The Saints drove into the Red Zone but time expired before they could hit paydirt giving the Dragons an exciting 14-12 win. Brody Guenther had a big day on defense as he brought the Saint’s ball carriers down with over ten tackles in the game.

Photo by Brian Mott: Magazine vs Mountainburg

The Dragons 5th and 6th Grade traveled to the Snake Pit in Magazine for their game where they upset the defending WCFL Champs 32-6. It was the ground and pound power run game of the Dragons that stepped on the Rattlers tails throughout the game. Fisher Bowen crossed the end zone three times in the game while Ethan Manus got as a score of his own. Easton Overby, Sidney Winters, and Dallas Turner gave the Dragons a two-point conversion for each touchdown. Magazine was able to gain some yards throughout the game to put some points on the scoreboard, but the Rattlers defense couldn’t keep up with Mountainburg’s offense. “Mountainburg’s #11 (Bowen) was a beast. He scored early, he scored late, and he scored often. We had no answers for him. He’s a great athlete” said Magazine WCFL Representative Josh Scott.

The Hackett Hornets saw the West Fork Tigers travel south for the first matchup between the two programs in Little League history. The games were well worth the wait though as each program walked away with one win apiece. Hackett’s 3rd and 4th Grade jumped on West Fork early and never let up in route to a 20-0 victory over the Tigers. The Hornets defense was all over West Forks offense as yellow jerseys swarmed any Tiger who dared to carry the ball. Offensively, Hackett was on target all game with Noah Rogers leading the team in touchdowns scoring twice and driving in a two-point conversion to grow on. Landry Foote gave West Fork quite the sting also as he jumped into the mix for a touchdown of his own. With Magazine bowing out of the season last week, defeating the Tigers gave the 3rd and 4th Grade Hornets their first game and win of the season.

Photo by Kelsey Pyles: Mansfield vs Cedarville

West Fork didn’t travel an hour south to walk away empty-handed though. The 5th and 6th Grade Tigers sharpened their claws and slashed through the Hornets’ nest to edge out Hackett to win 18-14. Close games are always the best to watch and this one was no different. With every punch the Tigers threw, the Hornets matched it. With every score Hackett made, West Fork one-upped it. From big plays to runs for three yards and a cloud of dust, both programs proved they were not going to back down to anyone this season. With the game’s final, both the West Fork Tigers and Hackett Hornets will go into their next game as even in their record at 1-1 as they were on the field. “Bryce Barnett #4 had a big night for 5/6 Hornets. He had at least 1 TD and over 75 yards rushing,” stated the Hornets coach.

The Mansfield Tigers hosted the Cedarville Pirates and left the home crowd full of smiles. The Tigers 3rd and 4th Grade has won back to back WCFL Championships and showed why against the Pirates with a 28-8 victory. Speed is the name of the game and Mansfield burnt the planks off of Cedarville’s defense at each turn. Cedarville was able to plow their way for a touchdown in the game, but their sails ran out of wind as Mansfield’s defense sunk almost every Pirates chance at closing the gap on the scoreboard. The Tigers, Colton Nelson, had 150 yards rushing and 3 TDs in the win against Cedarville.

Photo by Becky Goff: Mansfield vs Cedarville

In the same book but a new chapter, the Tigers 5th and 6th Grade dropped the anchor on Cedarville by shutting them out 20-0. With every Pirate possession, the Tigers pounced and bit down hard on the ball carriers. Mansfield’s offense was a balance of speed and power that kept Cedarville in a whirlpool of confusion. This was Cedarville’s first game of the WCFL season after not being able to play Lavaca last week. But the game was just what the Pirates needed to judge what works and what needs working on. Mansfield’s, Gunner Williams, had 175 yards rushing and 3 tackles, touchdowns in this win against Cedarville. #20 Billy Bell for Cedarville earned 12 tackles in the game with Mansfield.

With Lavaca able to play this week, they hit the road to Coal Hill to face off against a JC Westside program that doesn’t know the definition of quit. The Rebels 3rd and 4th Grade proved this as they fell to Mountainburg last week but regrouped to overcome the Golden Arrows shots to win a defensive thriller 8-6. The big hits, chase downs, and battles in the trenches was the decision-maker in the game. The Rebels took better aim than Lavaca on their two-point conversion to even their record at 1-1 on the season. Lavaca responded in the 5th and 6th Grade game though sending the Rebels retreating 38-0.  The Golden Arrows played a near-perfect game on both sides of the ball. Like a blaze of glory, Lavaca’s offense left burn marks on the field with their big plays. If JC Westside stopped the Golden Arrows on a play, the Lavaca players would learn and fix the issue the very next play. Lavaca’s defense stood tall and made an impenetrable wall against the Rebel’s attempts to put points on the scoreboard. Being the 5th and 6th Grade Golden Arrows’ first game of the season, they have already shown that they are aiming for the WCFL Title.

Photo by Brian Mott
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