Charleston is a little more than a 4-hour drive from Phillips County along I-40. That will be the next stop for the Barton Bears in the 2017 high school football playoffs.

Advancing to the third round will not be an easy task for the young Bears. The Tigers are fresh off a 38-14 thrashing of the Mountain View Yellowjackets in last Friday night's opening round of the playoffs. The Tigers are undefeated at 11-0.

Charleston is a little more than a 4-hour drive from Phillips County along I-40. That will be the next stop for the Barton Bears in the 2017 high school football playoffs.

Advancing to the third round will not be an easy task for the young Bears. The Tigers are fresh off a 38-14 thrashing of the Mountain View Yellowjackets in last Friday night's opening round of the playoffs. The Tigers are undefeated at 11-0.

Barton continued to surprise even their own fans with a 40-33 victory over the Paris Eagles in round one of the playoffs. The Bears enter the contest with a 10-1 record. The only blemish on their record is a 55-36 loss to the Mayflower Eagles back on Sept. 22 at Mayflower. Mayflower eventually won the 2-3A Conference.

Coach Clark McBridge's charges used plenty of backfield speed to fight off Paris. Devin Olloway raced 90 yards for a score on the Bears' first offensive play of the night. He would later set up another score with an 86-yard run from scrimmage. Wanya Wilkins scored a pair of touchdowns and 2-point conversions. Kevien Davis added two touchdown runs.

The Bears had to dig in at the end to hold off a fierce Paris rally.

Despite winning their 100th playoff game, Barton hasn't experienced post-season success in recent years. Last year, the Bears were unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs by the Rivercrest Colts by an overwhelming 55-20 score in the opening round. Barton fell on hard times in 2015 and failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Like the Barton Bears, there is plenty of winning football tradition at Charleston High School. The Tigers have won conference championships five out of the past six years and 12 times since 2000. Their coach, Greg Kendrick, has a 60-6 record at the school.

The Tigers also have three state championships on their mantle since 2010. Last season, Charleston played for a state title for the fourth time in five years. Prescott defeated the Tigers for the state title a year ago.

Barton is Phillips County's last team standing in the 2017 high school gridiron campaign.

Central fans will never know how far the Cougars would have advanced. An unfortunate accident involving all three of the district's busses transporting students, cheerleaders and players occurred on I-30 near Benton just prior to last week's scheduled game with Arkadelphia.

None of the students were reported seriously injured. However, school officials elected to withdraw from the playoff competition. Arkadelphia (10-1, 6-1 in 7-4A play) will take on Southside Batesville (11-1, 6-1 in the 2-4A). The Southerners are coming off a 42-13 victory over Gentry (5-7, 3-4 in 1-4A competition).

The Bears and Tigers are scheduled to kick-off at 7 p.m.