The Pointers hit the road, while the rest return home as conference play begins.

Last week Van Buren was the only game in Crawford County, while everyone else had road trips.

It reverses this week.

Van Buren heads to Bentonville for the first of two games at Tiger Stadium. This week’s contest is against brand new Bentonville West, while the Pointers take on the Tigers on Sept. 30.

Alma, Cedarville and Mountainburg will host conference opponents.

Van Buren at Bentonville West

The Pointers take on the newest member of the conference, who have opened the season with three consecutive losses.

“Bentonville West is young, and they want to win,” said coach Greg Werner. “(The Wolverines) will be fired up and ready to play.”

Last week, Walter Green had 11 carries for 122 yards and two touchdowns as the Pointers won their first game of the 2016 season, 25-18.

The game started late (8:50 p.m.) due to lightning. The coach credit the players for staying focused in preparation for the game.

“I have to give the kids credit for staying focused,” Werner said. “We fed them peanut butter sandwiches, but the kids did well in keeping their focus.”

After a slow third quarter, Siloam Springs took the 18-10 lead on a one-yard quarterback keeper by Luke Lampton and the subsequent two-point conversion.

The Pointers answered right back with a 32-yard touchdown run by Walter Green, who also added the conversion to tie it up with 9:21 remaining in the game.

Van Buren finished with 283 yards on the ground and with 321 yards total. The Pointers limited Siloam Springs to 10 first downs with 238 yards of offense.

Josh Aden had 73 yards on 17 carries and Salisbury added 15 totes on 63 yards and one touchdown.

A bad snap allowed Siloam Springs to get started first and goal from the Pointer 5, but the defense made a solid stand. The Panthers got away with just three points and led 10-3. Van Buren would come back to tie up the game before halftime.

“That was a huge turning point for us. I thought the defense played even better after that,” Werner said. “We didn’t play a great game against Siloam, but we’ll play better against Bentonville West.”

Vilonia at Alma

Alma returns home to open 5A West play against Vilonia (3-0).

The Eagles edged Class 3A Booneville 24-20 in Week 3 after beating Pottsville (Class 4A) and Greene County Tech (Class 5A).

“Vilonia returns an experienced quarterback and several quality skill guys,” said coach Doug Lougridge. “Vilonia is big and physical up front and (the Eagles) will try to wear you down. We are going to have to put together four full quarters of football.”

Alma had a late start at Greenwood with the game not starting until about 9:30 p.m. The game concluded close to midnight.

Greenwood piled up 433 yards of offense while Alma had 305. Noah Dotson had 14 carries with 45 yards. Dathan Hillian, Garrison Jensen and Dillon Crims also contributed to the running game. Dotson also completed 11 of 24 passes for 167 yards with one interception.

“I expect our guys to bounce back from the last couple of weeks. WE had great effort the last two games… we just need to clean up the mistakes and keep growing as a team,” Loughridge said. “Our guys are excited to be starting our conference season and returning to the 5A West.”

The last time the Airedales saw Vilonia was back in 2013 when Alma won its last conference championship in the 5A West. Alma advanced to the hybrid 6A/7A Central for the next two seasons. The Airedales defeated the Eagles 40-7 and have won nine of the last 11 meetings.

The preseason coaches’ poll have Alma winning the conference and the team is ranked No. 4 by Hootens.com in the 5A Conference.

Charleston at Cedarville

Cedarville and Charleston begin conference play at Glen Wisely Field.

Last week Charleston defeated Ozark 30-7 to begin the season 3-0.

“Charleston is obviously a great football program with a lot of tradition,” said coach Max Washausen. “I want my guys to see how their effort was at Pocola and how it resulted in a win. If we play hard, good things will happen.”

The Pirates (1-2) also grabbed their first win of the season after defeating Pocola 28-14 last week. Caleb Stockton had 23 carries for 158 yards and two touchdowns and Damian Adams had 12 carries for 91 yards and two more scores. Andrew Hernandez chipped in 64 yards on eight totes.

Decatur at Mountainburg

The Dragons are finally back home after two weeks on the road when it hosts the Bulldogs of Decatur.

“We are going to keep trying to improve,” said coach Tom Harrell. “We need to eliminate bad plays offensively.”

Last week the Bulldogs were idle after a 0-2 start. Decatur opened the season with a 59-6 loss and fell to Gentry 45-0 in Week 2.

The Dragons dropped to 0-2 in 2A-4 Conference play after back-to-back losses to Danville (3-0) and Hackett (2-0).

Moutainburg was able to get its game started on time last week, but had to call the game in the fourth after lightning rolled through Yell County. Danville led 42-12 when the game was canceled.

Jaden Carver scored on a 12-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. Shane Rye added a six-yard TD run in the second quarter.

Quency Pixley completed 5 of 16 passes for 91 yards with a touchdown and an interception.