After no game last week, the Bearcats are well rested for their first conference matchup of the Ozark. This Friday, September 27, Mena (3-0) will be hosting the reigning 4-4A Champions, the Ozark Hillbillies (2-1).
"We had a good bye week," said Head Bearcat Craig Bentley. "We used it to get physically healed up after 3 physical non-conference games, and to focus on ourselves while preparing for our conference opener."
Coming into Friday, the Hillbillies showcase a 2-1 record, with wins against Booneville (28-6) and Charleston (27-7). Ozark's lone loss came in their second game of the season to Clarksville 15-12.
Hootens.com currently ranks Mena at #6 in the 4A, while the Hillbillies hold the #8 spot. However, Hooten's picks Ozark as a three-point favorite over the Bearcats on Friday.
"I think Mena is always the underdog and we relish that role," said Bentley. "I think when we do play with that chip on our shoulder, it does give us a little extra motivation."
The Hillbillies defeated Mena 20-0 last year and went on to win the 4-4A. This season, Bentley's Bearcats made it a goal on day one to win a Conference Championship.
"We can take a huge first step towards that goal on Friday night," Bentley stated.
The first-year Bearcat coach made note that this Friday's contest is a 'huge' game for his team.
"It's going to be a great one, and I know our fans will come out in droves."