Van Buren travels to Rogers Heritage for another key 7A West Conference contest.
Van Buren and Rogers Heritage will be looking for the same thing on Friday night.
The Pointers and War Eagles are wanting four quarters of solid football and looking for their first win of the season to keep alive playoff hopes.
“We’re continuing to do some great things, but we’re not putting a whole game together,” Van Buren head coach Greg Werner said. “Until we do that, we’re going to continue to struggle. We’re not putting things together. One of these days, our kids will believe that we’re not a bad football team.”
It’s pretty much the same for Heritage.
“We played a little better the other night against Rogers,” Heritage head coach Tony Travis said. “We’ve got to get that effort for four quarters against anybody, not just our rivals. We got up and played more consistently against our cross-town rivals, but we have to play like that for four quarters every Friday night.”
Heritage was locked in a tight game against Rogers before losing 43-33.
Van Buren scored on its first possession against Bentonville and drove down the field on its second possession before a turnover on downs as the Tigers rallied for a 38-6 win.
“We had our chances to be in the ball game and then don’t convert,” Werner said. “We did some good things. We kind of did some silly stuff or we’re up 14-0.”
Van Buren won last year’s game against Heritage, 32-14. Pointers’ quarterback Caleb Salisbury threw for a season-high 119 yards and a touchdown on just five completions. Walter Green ran for 140 yards and a score.
“Walter Green, I remember him from last year,” Travis said. “He led the conference in rushing last year. He’s a very good running back. The quarterback, I immediately remember him hitting us with some big passes. He hit us with a long one right before the half and he had several third-down conversions through the air.”
Van Buren has moved the ball all season, but just haven’t cashed in opportunities.
“Offensively, those guys have been moving the ball on everybody they played,” Travis said. “Last week against Bentonville, they went right down the field the first two times they get it. They’re moving the ball on what I know is a good Bentonville so that stands out.”
Heritage has also had its moments, offensively.
Running back Dylan Qualls leads the conference in rushing with 620 yards with two touchdowns.
“We’ve ran the ball early,” Travis said. “Dylan has gotten positive yardage in every game this year. When you start dwindling some on the scoreboard, we get away from what we want to do a lot. That’s been our situation. We get behind and then we get away from him a little bit.”
Qualls had a season-high 22 carries on Friday night, and that’s what Heritage wants to do.
“It was a fairly tight game on Friday so he had more carries than he had in previous games,” Travis said. “It showed. I thought our offensive line looked more physical on Friday night. We had some things going in the running game and we stuck with it more than in previous games.”
Quarterback Trey Kitterman also had season-highs with 14 carries for 128 yards and three touchdowns.
“They ran the ball the other night,” Werner said. “That’s going to be a key for us. Right now, we’re not really worried about who we play each week, we just need to worry about ourselves. We’ve got to start putting things together if we’re going to have a chance.”