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STATE CHAMPIONSHIP NOTEBOOK | Title game weather was frightful

After snow and ice delayed the Class 7A state championship game and the rest of the high school playoffs, the hope was the weather would be a little nicer.

It wasn’t.

Kickoff temperature was 39 degrees with a wind chill of 33 and a steady drizzle.

Th drizzle never turned into ice though as temperatures stayed above freezing.

It was weather more fit for duck hunting but the game went on and didn’t appear to impact either team that much.

Cabot’s run-based attack, led by Zach Launius, had no trouble with the seven- and eight- man defensive fronts that Bentonville had crafted.

Cabot quarterback Kason Kimbrell was nearly perfect passing with only one incompletion, while Bentonville passer Kasey Ford also didn’t seem to have any trouble either.

“Kasey did a great job tonight in this weather,” Bentonville offensive coordinator Aaron Danenhauer told The Benton County Daily Record. “He took care of the football and showed the progress he’s made since then start of the season.”

Attendance low

While the weather didn’t seem to bother the players, it did have an impact of the crowd.

The Class 7A game’s attendance of 4,232 was the lowest of the three games played last week as Pine Bluff- El Dorado in 6A drew 7,916, while Morrilton-Batesville in 5A had 5,661 in the stands for the Saturday afternoon and night games.

It was pretty clear that the weather played a role in Friday’s lower attendance.

Bentonville had cancelled its band and spirit buses that Friday morning because of the freezing ice forecast in northwest Arkansas and the majority of the crowd was made up of Cabot folks.

Forecast more delightful

The Class 4A game between Booneville and Warren will be played this Friday and the high that day is expected to be 73 with some rain.

The Class 3A and 2A games on Saturday and on the Solstice, the first official day of winter. No wintry weather in sight though.

The high that day is forecast at 65.

No good in red

The Cabot Panthers are now 0-3 while wearing red jerseys as the home team in state title games.

Cabot lost to Fort Smith Southside in 1997, Little Rock Fair in 1998 and now Bentonville in 2013 as the home team.

Cabot’s two state titles came as the visiting team wearing white. The Panthers beat Rivercrest to win the Class AAA title in 1983 and Southside to win the Class AAAAA title in 2000.

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