Heath Neal's Lady Blackhawks had a big Thanksgiving break, winning a pair of lopsided contests, while Trent Loyd's boys won big on Tuesday before losing a barn burner the next day.
The Lady Hawks blasted the Green Forest Tigers 71-32 in a mercy-ruled contest, then buried the Paris Eagles the next evening in a 63-33 runaway. The boys also took the measure of Green Forest, besting them 67-50 on Tuesday, but were not as fortunate the next day. Ozark Catholic of Tontitown nipped the Hawks 58-57. There no stats available for any of the games play.
The boys now have a 5-1 record on the young season, matching the girls who have forged their own 5-1 record.
Kansas city solidifying hold on AFC
The Kansas City Chiefs held off the defending Super Bowl Champion LA Rams by a 26-10 score to maintain their spot atop the AFC overall standings.
The Chiefs, at 9-2, kept ahead of Miami and Buffalo, who have the second best mark in the conference at 8-3. The Dolphins and the Bills are tied for the lead in the AFC East. Kansas City has a healthy three-game lead in the AFC West, leading the second place LA Chargers 9-2 to 6-5, with only five games left in the regular season. Whoever has the best record in each conference at the end of the season will be guaranteed home field advantage throughout the conference playoffs, a big advantage.
The other two divisional leaders in the AFC would be the Tennessee Titans who lead the AFC South with a 7-4 mark. The AFC North leader is currently a tie between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals , both knotted up in first with the same 7-4 mark.
The best mark in all of professional football would be the Philadelphia Eagles 10-1 mark in the NFC East. The Minnesota Vikings lead the NFC North with a 9-2 mark, with the San Francisco 49ers atop the NFC West with a 7-4 standard. Bringing up the rear as divisional leaders are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who lead the NFC South with a losing 5-6 record. The division altogether sports an 18-29 record.
The loaded NFC East has a combined record of 32-12 with the last place New York and Washington teams posting 7-4 marks each.
Recent Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay looks to make it back to the playoffs with possibly a losing record. Divisional champions get in and once a team gets into the playoffs, anything can happen. The 2011 Giants made the Super Bowl despite losing seven regular season games to barely make the playoffs.
Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady may have a little more motivation to really start winning. Brady was one of the victims of the FTX bitcoin Ponzi scheme recently, with the future Hall of Fame quarterback reportedly losing the bulk of his wealth in FTX's collapse. One report put his losses into the hundreds of millions of dollars. FTX reportedly saw several billions of dollars just disappear overnight in what looks like the biggest financial scandal of all time.
It's likely a good thing Brady didn't retire last year.
Razorbacks lose final SEC game, lose by 2 to Mizzou 29-27
By all standards, Razorback coach Sam Pittman has done a good job as the coach of the Arkansas football team. His choice of coaches to run their offense has taken some hits, especially in light of an embarrassing loss to Missouri last week.
The Hogs were favored to win and they did out play Mizzou for the most part. The Hogs got twice the rushing yardage as did their rivals, 226-113, and also outyarded the Tigers through the air 242-212. The Hogs had more yards per play, and while the Tigers had two turnovers, Arkansas had none.
The game turned midway in the fourth quarter when the Hogs were driving and trailed by just 5 three minutes into the fourth quarter. The Hogs had a first down on the Tiger 2-yard line and could not get those 2 yards on some pretty poor play calls. On fourth and two, the Hogs kicked a field goal, but still trailed 29-27.
The Hogs then bore down on defense, forcing Mizzou into a third and 12 deep in Tiger territory. The Hogs stopped the next play as Missouri threw an incomplete pass, and they should have gotten the ball back near midfield, needing but a field goal to win. However, an Arkansas defender away from the play committed a hold, giving Missouri a new set of downs and a seeming reprieve from an approaching loss. And that's how it ended, as the clock was run out and Arkansas absorbed a loss in a game they should have won.
Meanwhile, the Arkansas men's basketball team had a decent week playing a holiday tournament in Hawaii. They beat Louisville in the opener 8-54 but fell to the 10th-ranked Creighton Blue Jays 90-87 in the semifinals. Arkansas claimed third by beating 17th-ranked San Diego State 78-74 in overtime. The Razorbacks were ranked ninth last week but may drop a spot or two after losing to Creighton.
High school football playoffs nearing a conclusion
The 2022 Arkansas high school playoffs are winding down and the northwest is still well represented, at least among the larger schools.
Bentonville fought its way into the 7A Championship game this week, with a 15-13 home game victory over Cabot last week. Over in the 6A, Northwest 6A power Greenwood unsurprisingly overcame Benton 31-24 to get into another of a long line of state title appearances. Bentonville plays Bryant for the 7A crown this week with Greenwood playing new 6A competitor Pulaski for that crown. Shiloh had no trouble rolling over Camden 49-19 to make the 5A state final against Little Rock Parkview.
The 4A representative from the northwest, Elkins, lost out in a classic offensive shootout, 63-62 to newly resurgent Nashville. After being state finalists for years, the Elks crushed the Scrappers in the playoffs in 2016 and they hadn't been back on top until now. Over in the 3A, two northwest teams, Charleston and Booneville, each advanced to the semifinals where they will play each other. Booneville got in with a 35-20 win over Osceola with Charleston advancing with a 48-6 pounding of Newport.
Editor's note: John McGee, an award-winning columnist, sports writer and art teacher at Pea Ridge elementary schools, writes a regular sports column for The TIMES. The opinions expressed are those of the writer. He can be contacted through The TIMES at [email protected]