Class 3A Week 1 Rankings, Notes & Picks

Class 3A Week 1 Rankings, Notes & Picks

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Hootens.com Rankings
Class 3A, Week 1, 2018
Copyright Hooten Publishing, Inc.


1. Booneville (1-0)
2. McGehee (0-1)
3. Clinton (0-0)
4. Prescott (1-0)
5. Charleston (1-0)
6. Glen Rose (0-0)
7. Mayflower (0-0)
8. Newport (0-0)
9. C. Harmony Grove (0-1)
10. Harding Academy (0-0)
11. Osceola (0-0)
12. Danville (0-0)
13. Rison (0-0)
14. Atkins (1-0)
15. Hoxie (1-0)
16. Melbourne (0-1)
17. Smackover (1-0)
18. Harrisburg (0-0)
19. Lamar (0-0)
20. Barton (0-0)
21. Fouke (1-0)
22. Walnut Ridge (0-0)
23. Centerpoint (0-1)
24. Palestine-Wheatley (0-0)
25. Piggott (0-0)
26. Perryville (1-0)
27. Greenland (0-0)
28. Mansfield (1-0)
29. Horatio (0-0)
30. Drew Central (0-1)
31. Yellville-Summit (0-0)
32. Jessieville (0-0)
33. Dollarway (0-1)
34. Cedarville (1-0) 
35. Paris (0-1) 
36. Mountain View (0-1)
37. Bismarck (1-0)
38. Cedar Ridge (0-0)
39. Lake Village (0-0)
40. Rose Bud (0-0)
41. Genoa Central (0-0)
42. West Fork (0-0)
43. Marshall (0-0)
44. Baptist Prep (0-0)
45. Manila (0-0)
46. Corning (0-0)
47. Two Rivers (0-0)

HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 19 Lamar at No. 12 Danville

Lamar coach Josh Jones's 2010 Magazine team beat Danville 48-20 for the Class 2A state title. Lamar won three of four meetings as 4-3A rivals between 2012-2015. Participation at Lamar is up as 50 Warriors went through spring drills, 30 of whom power clean 230 pounds or more. Danville moves back to Class 3A after winning two leagues titles and advancing to the quarterfinals twice in Class 2A 2016-2017. The Little Johns return starters at 20 positions, with seven two-way, three-year starters. Danville's Trent Cathey and J.T. Tatum likely miss the season with knee injuries.

TV LAND
Hooten's Arkansas Football airs 10:30 a.m. Saturdays on KATV (ABC Little Rock) Channel 7, covering the Razorbacks, high school teams and players to watch. Atkins senior Austin Hamm will be featured as the Arkansas Air Guard Scholar Athlete of the Week.

LAST WEEK
Hootens.com correctly predicted 13 of 15 winners (87 percent) of games involving Class 3A schools.

WEEK 1 PREDICTIONS (favored team in CAPS followed by point spread)
1-3A
Lamar at DANVILLE (3
): See Game of the Week.
BERRYVILLE (7) at West Fork: West Fork welcomes Justin Smith as its third coach in three years. Smith arrived in July and revamped the program's weight room philosophy and saw dramatic improvements in functional strength and mobility. Wayne Boyd and Pearson Andrews split snaps through the summer at QB. The Tigers, losers of 16 consecutive games, seek development up front.
Waldron at MANSFIELD (6): Walron has won two straight over Mansfield. Waldron first-year coach Jonathan Bates inherits just five returning starters. Mansfield manhandled Class 5A DeQueen in a preseason scrimmage.
BOONEVILLE (7) at Ozark: Booneville's 30-0 Zero Week victory over Class 5A Clarksville was dampened by a knee injury suffered by senior QB Brandon Ulmer. Ulmer may undergo an MRI this week. Junior Evan Schlinker likely starts for Ulmer if he misses time. Schlinker entered last week's game in the first quarter and directed the Bearcats to 23 points. Booneville's defense recorded 14 tackles for loss last week against Class 5A Clarksville.
CEDARVILLE (7) at Mountainburg: Mountainburg has won three straight in the series after Cedarville won three straight from 2012-2014. Cedarville last week recorded its second straight shutout (44-0 over Two Rivers Week 10 last season). The Pirates racked up 453 yards of offense, 364 in the first half. Sophomore Kelin Mitchell darted for 117 yards on four carries and three TDs, while senior Isaiah Lawson went for 108 yards on three carries. Senior all-league fullback Tate LaRue scored twice and rambled for 79 yards. Cedarville may be more physical than Mountainburg but the Dragons likely have more team speed.
Dardanelle at CHARLESTON (7): Charleston has won two straight non-conference meetings against Class 4A Dardanelle. Charleston shook a slow start last week against Class 3A rival Melbourne to roll 37-14. The Tigers took their first lead late in the first half and took a 30-8 lead after halftime. Senior QB and Landers Super Teamer Brayden Caudle completed 26 of 38 passes for 362 yards and four TDs (to four receivers). Charleston's physical defense got a fumble recovery from junior end Shane Turner.
CLARKSVILLE (1) at Paris: Schools were members of the same conference from 1991-2001. Class 5A Clarksville has lost 10 straight games and was shut out last week for the first time since 2016 in a 30-0 loss to Booneville. Paris drilled 28 players this summer for first-year coach Tyler Clark, who arrived in June. Paris last week forced two turnovers in a 27-19 loss to Perryville.
ELKINS (6) at Greenland: Greenland has won six of the past eight meetings, but Class 4A Elkins has won two straight, including 50-21 last season. Greenland seeks its first postseason appearance since 2016 with starters back at 16 positions. The Pirates are deep at the skill positions, but return only left tackle Luke Osburn on the offensive line.

2-3A
HARDING ACADEMY (13) at Bald Knob
: Class 4A Bald Knob has won two straight in this series, including 14-13 a year ago. Harding Academy has high expectations this fall with all-state QB Davis Morgan returning and a deep, talented defensive line. The Wildcats likely start gifted freshman Braden Oliver in the secondary this season.
JESSIEVILLE (1) at Cedar Ridge: Cedar Ridge owns 19 wins over the past three seasons but former coach Danny Brustrom departed in the spring for Cave City. Gary Moody succeeds Brustrom after previous stints at McCrory and Gosnell. Jessieville likely starts freshman Carson Rains at QB this fall after the graduation of two-year starter Adam Saveall in May.
Heber Springs at CLINTON (10): Clinton has won the Battle for the Little Red three of the past five meetings, including two straight. The 1988 Clinton football team will serve as honorary captains for this game to celebrate the school's conference title that season. Clinton seeks its third straight league title this season and 16 seniors return in that quest.
YELLVILLE-SUMMIT (5) at Green Forest: Green Forest has won four of five meetings but Yellville-Summit won 44-21 a year ago. Yellville-Summit suffered through several drops early this summer in team camps but worked hard to sharpen before the start of school. Senior newcomer J.T. Frazier impressed at tight end and defensive end in the summer. The Panthers seek chemistry on the offensive line but return stalworts Caleb Sasser and Brendon Thomas.
Marshall at HECTOR (12): Marshall has lost 18 straight games and welcome new coach Joseph Morse, a former Danville assistant, to succeed Deryk Hibbard.
MELBOURNE (28) at Midland: Midland continues to battle low numbers in its fifth varsity season but the Mustangs recorded a program-best two wins last year following a forfeit win over Earle. Melbourne competed well last week against perennial power Charleston in a 37-14 loss. The Bearkatz led 8-0 most of the first half following a TD pass from junior QB Gabe Lawrence to junior Alex Bray but a turnover late in the first half gave the Tigers momentum entering halftime. Lawrence would hit senior Andrew Pitts for a score in the second half. Melbourne all-state senior two-way lineman Michael Masson left that game in the second half and his status this week is in question.
Mountain View at SALEM (2): Teams have split their past six meetings with Class 2A Salem winning 40-18 in 2017. Mountain View has lost five of six non-conference games. Class 2A Magnet Cove mauled Mountain View 28-18 last week, when the Yellowjackets got a TD run from Tim Curran. Class 2A Salem looks to run the ball and control the clock behind 1,800-yard rusher Jordan Turner and a stout offensive line.
QUITMAN (2) at Rose Bud: Schools are separated by less than 10 miles and have split three of the past six meetings. Scotty Starkey succeeds Chris Norton at Rose Bud, which last year tied the school record with four wins. The Ramblers have never advanced to the playoffs.

3-3A
Brinkley at CORNING (2
): Corning drags a 32-game losing streak into this contest and has not won a home game since downing Walnut Ridge Week 1 2014. Over the summer, the Bobcats were "focused and practicing on a different level," second-year coach Joey Moseley says. Class 2A Brinkley owns the edge in team speed but Corning is an improved tackling team and takes good pursuit angles.
HARRISBURG (6) at Cross County: Class 2A Cross County has won four of five meetings but Harrisburg won last season 12-6 at Jonesboro High School. Senior QB Jett Jackson drives Harrisburg's offense but the team is looking for receivers to emerge. Harrisburg's secondary is the strength of its defense but Cross County likely runs the ball to control the clock. Cross County competed well last week in a 26-20 loss to defending 6-2A champion Hazen, while this is Harrisburg's season opener, so the Hornets may not be as sharp.
Manila at E. POINSETT COUNTY (11): East Poinsett County mauled Manila in 2012 and 2013 by a combined score of 100-6. Lorin Morgan succeeds Jerry Castor at Manila. Castor guided the Lions to the school's only two playoff appearances in 2015 and 2016. The Manila secondary returns three starters, including both cornerbacks.
Trumann at HOXIE (3): Trumann has won three straight in this series, including 34-0 in 2016. Hoxie last week looked explosive on offense in a 42-17 win over Class 4A Cave City. Senior QB Chandler Spradlin bolted 20 yards for a TD and Keifer Wilson darted 45 yards for a score in the win.
JONESBORO WESTSIDE (10) at Piggott: Piggott beefs up its non-conference schedule in the midst of its most prosperous run in the modern era (22 wins since 2015). Class 4A Jonesboro Westside lost a 53-52 decision last week to Greene County Tech. David Fowler zipped for four scores in the loss and Logan McPherson ran for a 62-yard score. Piggott runs the ball by committee this fall, led by senior all-league performer Gunner Shaw. Senior Trey Gossett likely starts his third season at QB.
Marked Tree at WALNUT RIDGE (3): Walnut Ridge's three wins last year were its fewest since 2014. The Bobcats boast quick skill players and three-year starting lineman Nick Foster (550-pound deadlift). Walnut Ridge deploys playmaker Cade Burris at QB, running back and receiver and promising sophomore Cole Manning impressed coaches last year in limited varsity reps (213 rushing yards and four TDs).
NEWPORT (1) at Pottsville: Newport charges into 2018 with five three-year starters. The Greyhounds have advanced to the playoffs 29 of the past 30 years (missed in 2015), but have not won a state title since 1991. "We had great participation and competed well at team camps," Newport coach Mark Hindlsey says. "Our defense is coming along as we integrate new players and players at new positions." Newport senior all-conference running back Joe Broadus likely misses most of the season with a knee injury. The Greyhounds have a plethora of team speed.
Osceola at BLYTHEVILLE (1): Class 5A Blytheville has won four straight in this Mississippi County rivalry by a combined 121 points. The Seminoles don't leave the county lines until an October 5 trip to Manila. Defending 5A East champion Nettleton downed Osceola 13-12 in a scrimmage two weeks ago. Marlon Vance passed for 83 yards and ran for a TD and senior Jariq Scales added 51 yards from scrimmage with another score.

4-3A
Lamar at DANVILLE (3)
:See Game of the Week.
Dover at ATKINS (3): Atkins is not normally known for its defense but last week at Class 2A Hector, the Red Devils' starting defense surrendered just six points through three quarters. Atkins ran for 269 yards (10.3 yards per carry) at Hector with four players scoring on the ground and junior QB Eli Roberson  completed 10 passes to five receivers. Atkins senior Austin Hamm will be featured as the Arkansas Air Guard Scholar Athlete of the Week at 10:30 a.m. Saturday on KATV Channel during Hooten's Arkansas Football TV show.
BISMARCK (1) at Baptist Prep: Bismarck last week led Class 2A Cutter Morning Star 20-0 at halftime and settled for a 28-22 victory. Senior playmaker Dylan Clayton caught TD passes from 41 and 20 yards and zipped 89 yards for a score. Baptist Prep competed well in its scrimmage last week against Class 2A England. "Our guys worked hard and committed to the process this summer," first-year coach Zach Welchman says. "More than half the team missed no workouts or missed only one." Neither team has much depth but Bismarck having a scrimmage and a varsity game under belt gives it the slightest edge.
PERRYVILLE (3) at Bigelow: Home team has won the past six meetings. Perryville junior Reid Standridge started last week's 27-19 victory at Paris and completed 12 of 19 passes for 210 yards and a TD. His top target was junior James Tindall, who caught five passes for 137 yards. Tindall doubled as the leading tackler with nine stops.
CAC at MAYFLOWER (1): Teams have split the past two meetings with Mayflower winning last year 50-15 en route to a school-record 11 wins. Rookie coach Austin Emerson inherits plethora of playmakers, including explosive twins Deon and Keon Simmons, Drake Wilkerson and Jordan Robinson. All-state defender Dylan Burnett (85 tackles last year) anchors a defense that allowed three TDs or fewer nine times a year ago. Mayflower returns two all-league honorees on the offensive line but has question marks elsewhere.
Malvern at GLEN ROSE (10): Glen Rose has won two straight in this series, including 47-34 a year ago. Glen Rose could start four sophomores in the offensive line early this fall following top lineman Nicholas Prichard suffering a knee injury during the summer and there's no timetable for his return. Twenty-nine Beavers drilled in this summer.
JESSIEVILLE (1) at Cedar Ridge: Cedar Ridge owns 19 wins over the past three seasons but former coach Danny Brustrom departed in the spring for Cave City. Gary Moody succeeds Brustrom after previous stints at McCrory and Gosnell. Jessieville likely starts freshman Carson Rains at QB this fall after the graduation of two-year starter Adam Saveall in May.
W. YELL COUNTY (1) at Two Rivers: New coaches mark this matchup. Western Yell welcomes former Lavaca assistant Chris Morphis. Former England coach and offensive coordinator Matt Garrett succeeds Josh Harrison at Two Rivers, which has lost 26 straight games. Opponents shut out Two Rivers last year seven times.

5-3A
Bearden at C. HARMONY GROVE (7)
: Harmony Grove has won three straight in this battle for the Bill Manning trophy, and Bearden has not won at the Grove since 2013. Bearden transitioning to the ShowGun offense with senior QB Cohen Word reading the option and junior FB Robert Miller running well for first-year HC Trey Outlaw. Camden Harmony Grove features three of the more dynamic playmakers in Class 3A with senior QB Gannon Bearden, junior slotback Xaylon Falls and senior receiver Kentrell Hill. Falls and Hill own the skills and speed few opponents can match, particularly one-on-one. Falls ran for 84 yards and a TD, caught a TD pass and returned kicks for 75- and 95-yard TDs last week at Junction City.
BISMARCK (1) at Baptist Prep: Bismarck last week led Class 2A Cutter Morning Star 20-0 at halftime and settled for a 28-22 victory. Senior playmaker Dylan Clayton caught TD passes from 41 and 20 yards and zipped 89 yards for a score. Baptist Prep competed well in its scrimmage last week against Class 2A England. "Our guys worked hard and committed to the process this summer," first-year coach Zach Welchman says. "More than half the team missed no workouts or missed only one." Neither team has much depth but Bismarck having a scrimmage and a varsity game under belt gives it the slightest edge.
CENTERPOINT (1) at Murfreesboro: Centerpoint last week surrendered 323 rushing yards (5.6 YPC) and four TDs to Class 4A Harmony Grove Haskell. Centerpoint has not been sharp early this season, losing 32-0 at Class 2A No. 1 Foreman in a scrimmage and 38-20 last week. Centerpoint sophomore offensive lineman Kaden Bryant will likely miss the remainder of the season.
Dierks at HORATIO (6): Teams have split the last two meetings with Horatio winning last year 21-8. Class 2A Dierks welcomes its fourth coach (promoted assistant Jarrod Fannin) in four years after winning its fewest games last year since 2010. Senior Trey Pickett succeeds four-year starting QB Zach Izzo and may be a more polished passer than Izzo. Senior running backs Kelton Turner and Hunter Griffin pound away at defenses inside and outside, respectively. Horatio returns two starters on the offensive line but the Lions likely start sophomores at the other three positions. Horatio continues to get comfortable in second-year coach Robert Collum's Flexbone and may have more team speed.
Genoa Central at GURDON (3): Genoa Central chases its first playoff appearance in school history this fall under former Foreman coach Buddy Ray. The Dragons displayed a deep, experienced backfield in the spring, but maybe not as much breakaway speed. Genoa could be improved on the offensive line this year with senior Chase Cook returning at left tackle after missing 2017 with a shoulder injury. Junior guard Matthew Presnell is the strongest Dragon, boasting a 510-pound squat. Gurdon shifts to Class 2A after winning seven games in Class 3A the past two years. The Go-Devils shift to the Wishbone from the Spread. Gurdon dresses 40 players for this game.
Mena at PRESCOTT (6): Prescott last week recorded its fourth shutout in its past 10 games in a 41-0 rout over Class 2A Lafayette County. The Curley Wolves surrendered 10 points or fewer two other times in that stretch. Class 4A Mena should be better on the offensive line, led by senior three-year starter at left guard Noah Swall, but Prescott owns a noted advantage in team speed. The Curley Wolves have won 20 straight home games, dating back to 2015.
JUNCTION CITY (12) at Smackover: Class 2A Junction City's Jakiron Cook and Dhante Gibson topped 114 yards rushing last week against Camden Harmony Grove and sophomore QB Gabe Richard passed for 182 yards and two scores in his first varsity start. Junction City smacked Smackover the past two seasons when each were members of the 6-3A.
Fouke is open.

6-3A
BARTON (28) at Marvell
: This Phillips County rivalry has been dominated by Barton, which has won four straight by a combined 206-34 (51.5-8.5 annually). Barton finished second last year in the 2-3A but has not won a league title since 2003. The Bears return just three starters on offense after an all-league wingback transferred in the spring.
HAMPTON (13) at Drew Central: Drew Central has lost eight straight games following last week's 55-20 loss at Class 2A Poyen. The Pirates' 20 points were the school's most since a 42-24 loss Week 4 last year against Lake Village.
Fordyce at RISON (10): Teams meet Friday night for the 67th consecutive season with Class 2A Fordyce leading the series 35-26-2. Rison won last year's meeting 23-6. Rison bumps back to Class 3A this season after finishing 51-21 from 2006-2011 in that classification. The Wildcats were 55-18 from 2012-2017 in Class 2A. Rison has won 10 games or more 23 times in school history.
PALESTINE-WHEATLEY (2) at Clarendon: Palestine-Wheatley topped Class 2A Clarendon the past three seasons when schools were members of the 6-2A. PW's win totals have improved each of the past four seasons. The Patriots likely lean on their seasoned defense (eight returning starters) this year as they get comfortable on offense.
McGehee, Lake Village and Dollarway are open.

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