2022 FFN Game of the Week preview: Nettleton at Batesville

Football Friday Night airs at 10:15pm on KAIT.
Football Friday Night airs at 10:15pm on KAIT.(Source: KAIT)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 11:56 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2022 at 7:31 PM CDT
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BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - After a bye week for both teams, conference play begins in the 5A East as Nettleton will go on the road once more to face Batesville. Kickoff is Friday at 7:00pm at Pioneer Stadium.

Last Nettleton win: 2021 (26-7 at Nettleton)

Last Batesville win: 2020 (38-6 at Batesville)

Batesville Pioneers (2-1 overall, 0-0 5A East)

Batesville bounced back from a week two loss in a big way.

The Pioneers took it to overtime against Harrison and won on a 2-point conversion, 25-24. Batesville looking to continue that momentum this week in their 5A East opener.

They’re really good,” head coach Ryan Morrow said. “They’ve got a physical front. They’ve got good linebackers there. There are people in the secondary, they’re really athletic and can fly around offensively. They can score points really quick, so we’re gonna play our very absolute best to win this game on Friday.”

Morrow’s crew says they used the bye week to focus on themselves, cleaning up little mistakes.

“We took that time just to focus on ourselves, work on our craft and get ready for this game coming up this Friday,” senior running back and defensive lineman Holden Hutching said.

“I think running the ball and blocking would be our biggest keys and our d-line going after it and our offensive line just mashing ‘em,” senior lineman Allen Nguyen added. “We worked hard even though it was a bye week I mean, you got to go after it.”

Nettleton Raiders (3-0 overall, 0-0 5A East)

The Raiders have been road warriors, to say the least, three of their first four matchups this season have been on the road.

And now, to start off 5A East play, they’ll head to Pioneer Stadium against Batesville.

“We had to go to Osceola, then Mountain Home and Pocahontas, so, hopefully, those experiences have helped us prepare for this road game,” head coach Steven Hampton said. “We had a lot of young kids and it was their first time going on the road like that and they’ve all, they’ve handled it well so far, been mature, been business-like, and so I don’t expect anything different.”

The Raiders, fresh off the bye week, won their home opener 30-25 against Blytheville.

“We’ve been able to persevere, it doesn’t really faze us, opponent crowd doesn’t faze us,” senior linebacker Blake Brown said. “I mean, we play home or away, it don’t matter. Winning on Friday starts on Monday. You got to be locked in Monday through Friday. And we’ve been executing and it shows on Friday. "

The two teams have traded wins over the past two seasons, with the Raiders taking last year’s battle. Nettleton hopes to make it two in a row over the Pioneers.

Curtez Smith: “The traveling is hard, but we get it done as a team,” senior wide receiver and quarterback Curtez Smith said.