Tomorrow afternoon, the Arkadelphia Badgers’ football team will play in its first state championship game since they won the competition under former Badger head coach John Outlaw in 1987.

Tomorrow afternoon, the Arkadelphia Badgers’ football team will play in its first state championship game since they won the competition under former Badger head coach John Outlaw in 1987.
The Badgers have dominated their way through the regular season and the playoffs and have shifted their focus on the state championship game.
Arkadelphia won 10 of their 13 games by more than 25 points and lost only one game against Joe T. Robinson by a 21-17 final score. The Badgers lead Class 4A both in points scored and points allowed.
Despite all of its success this season, the 2017 Badger team still has one more game left to solidify its place as one of the best teams in school history.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity to be at War Memorial Stadium,” Arkadelphia Coach J.R. Eldridge said. “For the past seven years, we’ve been talking about playing a 15-week season. We’ve made it to this 15th week. I’m so excited about it. I’m proud of our coaches, our football team and our community.”
The Badgers will face the Warren Lumberjacks, a team which won the Class 4A state championship last season and has appeared in three of their last four games.
Warren lost its first game of the season to Little Rock Christian, but has won every game since then. They defeated Joe T. Robinson 35-28 in overtime last week to move on the state championship game.
Warren is led by multi-purpose star Treylon Burks. The 6’3” junior lines up at quarterback, running back and receiver and is rated as a five-star recruit by ESPN.
Despite the fact that Burks has been terrorizing opposing defenses all season, Arkadelphia’s stout defense feels they are up for the task.
The Badgers have shut four opponents out this season and have held five more to only one touchdown scored.
“I like the opportunity to go against a top-notch receiver,” said Dillion Scott, Arkadelphia’s senior defensive back. “He’s number one in Arkansas, so it’s a good experience.”
Scott has 20 tackles and three interceptions for the Badgers this season. Alongside junior cornerback Victor Tademy, who has 41 tackles and six interceptions, the Badgers have one of the best pass defenses in the state.
The Badgers’ stellar pass defense aids their run defense, which held Pea Ridge to just 130 yards last week. The Badgers’ run defense is led by the linebacking trio of Josh Wallace, Kyron Harrison and Josh Burnham. Wallace has 77 tackles this year. Harrison has accumulated 73 stops, while Burnham has completed 65 tackles.
The Badger defense fuels an impressive offense for the Badgers. They score an average of 46 points a game, which is the best in the state.
The Badger offense is spearheaded by a strong rushing game. Junior running back Zion Hatley is the Badgers’ leading rusher with 1679 yards and 34 touchdowns. Hatley averages 8.2 yards per carry and scores an average 2.6 touchdowns each game. Last week against Pea Ridge, Hatley rushed for 169 yards and five touchdowns.
Sophomore quarterback Cannon Turner mans the other end of the Badger attack. Turner has rushed for 1004 yards this season and thrown for 1071. He has been responsible for 22 total touchdowns.
While the Badgers are going to be a facing a formidable opponent this week in Warren, they are going to be up for the task. Fans traveling to Little Rock can expect a hard-fought game between the two best teams in class 4A.
Kick-off is scheduled 12 p.m. Tickets will be available at the gate for $7.