BRYANT, Ark. (THV11) - In 2016 the Hornets came just one game short of reaching the 7-A Championship with a loss to North Little Rock. A night they haven’t forgotten.

“It was tough to end the season that way but that knew that it was going to give us something that we needed to get to be able to beat a team like that” says senior Brooks Ellis.

Head coach Buck James adds “you know our goal was to try and close the gap on the success that they’ve had and just to see how they did it.” By the looks of it that gap is closing by the day, Quarterback Ren Hefley posted a 7-2 record as a starter last year tossing for over 17-hundred yards and 12 touchdowns.

Threw him to the fire last year as a sophomore and he responded well but this is a new year and a new time. “From what I’ve seen he looks great and we go against him everyday and I think he’s gotten even better.”

No time like the present to find out, Hefley and the Hornets don’t want to be the team that drops the streak. Bryant has not lost in the Salt Bowl against Benton in over a decade.

“Well they live next door to each other and they’re neighbors and we take the approach that we want to go 1-0 that week.” With the game being on Saturday night at War Memorial. The Salt Bowl is the only show in town.

“it’s not like any other game except for what I think a state championship game would look like. It’s exciting and it’ll be packed but at the end of the day it’s another way to open the season.”