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Battle of Highway 62

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On Tuesday, August 29th, many people asked their boss to get off work a little earlier than usual to go to the largest rivalry in Northwest Arkansas of the 4-A conference; Prairie Grove vs Farmington. Better known as the Battle of Highway 62, it is an annual showdown between the two towns that is highly popular and attended by people from all over, some from Oklahoma and Texas.

As the sun begins to start it’s way to the horizon, cars begin to fill the surrounding parking lots by the Farmington Stadium. An hour before the game, 6:00, the main parking lots were filled completely with vehicles from all around Arkansas. Cars filled the highway on both the left and right side, most turning in to head to the field to get a good seat.

With the scoreboard counting down the time until gametime, stands on Farmington’s side were filled with red shirts, including their student section, to support their home team. On Prairie Grove’s side, the bleachers were filled with fans dressed out in black to match the player’s black jerseys. A black out theme for the Raging Tiger Squad, the Prairie Grove student section, has been tradition for as long as I can remember.

As the first quarter was underway, the stands were as loud as a concert it seemed, both sides of the field excited for the most important game of the year to commence. Farmington was first to kick off and when they did, the atmosphere revolving around the stadium was electric. Prairie Grove received the kick and set themselves up with good field position. After the first drive of the game, Prairie Grove striked first with a touchdown pass from JD Elder to Colin Bryant, putting themselves up 6-0. The touchdown was a silencer for both the Farmington fanbase, especially the Birdcage, Farmington’s student section, leading the Raging Tiger Squad to chant from across the field “we can’t hear you”. However, Farmington punched back, marching down the field and earning themselves a touchdown and a successful field goal, putting them up over Prairie Grove 7-6. By the end of the first quarter, Prairie Grove redeemed themselves, finishing the quarter with a 13-7 lead.

With the clock reset to twelve minutes, the second quarter was beginning to start. Both fanbases were still loud as the game remained close. Or so it seemed. On Prairie Grove’s first posession of the quarter, another touchdown was scored by a pass from JD Elder to Demarkus Cooper. It was capped off with a successful two-point conversion, putting Prairie Grove up 20-7. Farmington was stopped on all of their drives, but Prairie Grove scored once more by Anthony Johnson running it in, ending the quarter with a 24-7 lead.

However, in the third quarter, both teams held each other back, leaving the quarter scoreless, leaving the score at 24-7.

Not even 3 minutes into the quarter, on Farmington’s first drive, a pass was thrown and was intercepted by Colin Bryant who took it down the other end to obtain a pick-six. The Prairie Grove stands erupted in cheer and the student section was shaking because of everyone in the area jumping around in excitement as Prairie Grove was up comfortably 31-7. That seemed to be the nail in the coffin as the Farmington fans were quiet for the rest of the game. It was the complete opposite for Prairie Grove fans who knew that they were once again owners of Highway 62 for a second year straight. The quarter ended with Farmington gaining one more touchdown by run, but Ben Beason lessened the damage with a field goal, ending the game with the score 36-13 in favor of Prairie Grove. The series is now tied with 29 wins on both sides.

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Battle of Highway 62