Class 7A - Week 1 - 2015

Class 7A - Week 1 - 2015

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Hooten's Arkansas Football Rankings
Class 7A, Week 1, 2015
Copyright Hooten Publishing, Inc.

1. Fayetteville
2. FS Northside
3. Bentonville
4. North LR
5. Cabot
6. FS Southside
7. Har-Ber
8. Conway
9. Bryant
10. Heritage
11. LR Central
12. LR Catholic
13. West Memphis
14. Rogers
15. Springdale
16. Van Buren

HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 6 Fort Smith Southside vs. Class 6A No. 10 Alma
Night two of Hootens.com Kickoff Week begins with Alma and Fort Smith Southside meeting at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1 at Reynolds Razorback Stadium. These teams are familiar with each other, playing junior varsity games and preseason scrimmages over the past few years.
Both teams won their openers a year ago during Hootens.com Kickoff Week. Alma pounded Poteau, Okla. 28-0 inside Mayo-Thompson Stadium in Fort Smith, while Southside edged Warren 29-22 at UAPB’s Golden Lion Stadium.
Alma went 2-3 against Class 7A teams last fall, beating 7A West member Springdale 28-0 Week 2. The Airedales feature a solid backfield with two quarterbacks (senior Alex Beneux and junior Noah Dotson), senior running back Landon Brigance (4.5 speed) and sure-handed senior fullback Alex Key. All-conference senior receiver Heath Friddle caught 36 passes last year for 451 yards and eight touchdowns. Beneux, a two-year starter at safety, Friddle (66 tackles), senior linebacker Thomas Hall (76 stops) and senior tackle Brock Dailey (6-4, 380) lead a veteran defense.
Southside captured a share of the 7A West title in 2014, defeating eventual state champion Bentonville Week 4. The Rebels will rely on senior QB Cooper Johnson and a talented group of linemen. Junior Miguel Hernandez (5-11, 255) anchors the offensive line at center. Junior guard Hunter Moreton (6-2, 275) owns a scholarship offer from Arkansas State. All-state junior defensive end Daevon Johnson (6-2, 230) finished last fall with 14 sacks. “Their defensive line is pretty tough,” Alma coach Doug Loughridge says, “and they have one of the better coached offensive lines in the area.”

LAST SEASON
Hootens.com correctly predicted winners in 99 of 125 games (79.2 percent) involving Class 7A teams.

WEEK 1 PREDICTIONS (favored teams in ALL CAPS followed by point spread)
7A/6A CENTRAL
Alma vs. FS SOUTHSIDE (7): Game of the Week at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1 at Razorback Stadium during Hootens.com Kickoff Week.
Conway at CABOT (6): Conway won this matchup 24-22 last year, but Cabot returns talented junior QB/RB Jarrod Barnes (5-10, 160; 9.4 yards per carry in 2014) and nine defensive starters from last season's 6-5 team. Cabot coach Mike Malham is the third winningest coach in Arkansas history with 274 victories. Conway linemen Zach Mills (5-10, 295; 320-pound power clean) and Austin Norris (6-4, 234; 5.08 speed and 4.2 shuttle) were named to the CHI St. Vincent Super Team in Hooten's Arkansas Football magazine. Conway all-state QB Breylin Smith (6-3, 183) passed for 2,093 yards with 19 TDs and just five interceptions.
BRYANT (3) vs. Benton: Benton tied Bryant 14-14 last year, avoiding a ninth straight loss in the series. The Panthers return seven defensive starters and feature their best offensive line since Coach Scott Neathery took over in 2010. Bryant did not cross the Benton 40-yard line in the second half during last year's Salt Bowl. The Hornets went on to win nine games, including their fourth playoff victory in 12 seasons under Coach Paul Calley.
Springdale at GREENWOOD (14): Springdale has lost 13 straight games. First-year head coach Zak Clark, a former Arkansas Razorback and University of Central Arkansas QB, inherits a deep set of skill position players. Greenwood senior RB Jordan Green rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 13 TDs in 2014, including 157 yards and two scores in a 56-26 win at Springdale.
LR Catholic at NORTH LR (7): Catholic pushed the more talented Charging Wildcats (17-7) last year and look to spoil the opening of North LR's new stadium. Catholic QB Andre Sale (6-3, 215), a D-1 college prospect, passed for 2,002 yards and 19 TDs with nine interceptions as a junior. New North LR coach Jamie Mitchell (163-61 record at Mississippi schools) inherits returning starters at just seven positions, but the Charging Wildcats have been to the playoff semifinals five of the past six seasons. North LR receiver Tobias Enlow, offensive lineman Jacob Roberts and defensive lineman Tre Chism were all named to the CHI St. Vincent Super Team in Hooten's Arkansas Football magazine.
RUSSELLVILLE (8) at Morrilton: Russellville has beaten Morrilton eight of the past nine seasons. The Cyclones enter 2015 with an eight-game losing streak and a new head coach (former Nashville coach Billy Dawson).
White Hall at VAN BUREN (7): Arkansas native Greg Werner (FS Northside class of 1984) takes over at Van Buren after coaching in Oklahoma the past 24 seasons. The Pointers won 10 games over the past four seasons. White Hall auditioned six QBs in summer workouts.
ROGERS (13) at Siloam Springs: Rogers beats Siloam Springs by 17-point average the past three seasons. Siloam returns a dozen starters, including all-conference RB Ricky Hughes (613 yards, 5 TDs in 2014).

7A/6A EAST

LR Catholic at NORTH LR (7): Catholic pushed the more talented Charging Wildcats (17-7) last year and look to spoil the opening of North LR's new stadium. Catholic QB Andre Sale (6-3, 215), a D-1 college prospect, passed for 2,002 yards and 19 TDs with nine interceptions as a junior. New North LR coach Jamie Mitchell (163-61 record at Mississippi schools) inherits returning starters at just seven positions, but the Charging Wildcats have been to the playoff semifinals five of the past six seasons. North LR receiver Tobias Enlow, offensive lineman Jacob Roberts and defensive lineman Tre Chism were all named to the CHI St. Vincent Super Team in Hooten's Arkansas Football magazine.
Conway at CABOT (6): Conway won this matchup 24-22 last year, but Cabot returns talented junior QB/RB Jarrod Barnes (5-10, 160; 9.4 yards per carry in 2014) and nine defensive starters from last season's 6-5 team. Cabot coach Mike Malham is the third winningest coach in Arkansas history with 274 victories. Conway linemen Zach Mills (5-10, 295; 320-pound power clean) and Austin Norris (6-4, 234; 5.08 speed and 4.2 shuttle) were named to the CHI St. Vincent Super Team in Hooten's Arkansas Football magazine. Conway all-state QB Breylin Smith (6-3, 183) passed for 2,093 yards with 19 TDs and just five interceptions.
JONESBORO (24) vs. Valley View: Jonesboro torched the Blazers 51-0 a year ago. The Hurricane won nine games last year for the fourth time in six seasons.
SEARCY (23) at Greene Co. Tech: Searcy gutted Greene County Tech 53-0 last year. First-year coach Mark Kelley inherits seven returning starters on defense, including all-state end Jordan Slaughter.
WYNNE (13) at Marion: Wynne wore out Marion 64-7 last year on its way to a runner-up finish in Class 5A. Marion has won five games over the past three seasons.
HARRISON (18) at Mountain Home: Harrison has beaten Mountain Home by an average of 39 points the past two seasons. Mountain Home has lost 30 games in a row since defeating Harrison 49-34 in 2012.
HS Lakeside at LR CENTRAL (14): Tradition-rich LR Central won 13 games over the past two seasons. Class 5A HS Lakeside has advanced to the playoffs three of the past five seasons. Ram all-purpose 'back Maurice Bradford ran for 224 yards last season, caught 42 passes for 686 yards and four TDs and played some QB.
WEST MEMPHIS (7) at Forrest City: West Memphis beat the Mustangs by one point last season, one of Forrest City's four losses by four points or less. Forrest City senior LB Demetric Howard made 130 tackles a year ago.

7A WEST
Alma vs. FS SOUTHSIDE (7): Game of the Week at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1 at Razorback Stadium during Hootens.com Kickoff Week.
Lawton (Okla.) Eisenhower at FAYETTEVILLE (15): Fayetteville beat the Eagles (4-6 in 2014) by a TD last year in Lawton. Junior quarterback Taylor Powell (2,512 yards and 20 TDs as a sophomore), a D-1 prospect, and Arkansas' top-ranked team make it look easy this time. Eisenhower, neither an Oklahoma Top 50 team nor the top team in town, lost to rival Lawton High 72-27 last fall.
Bentonville at K.C. (MO.) ROCKHURST (10): Bentonville coach Jody Grant succeeds legendary Barry Lunney with just four starters returning on both sides of the ball and a second high school under construction in the town. Tiger QB Kasey Ford (6-6, 255) returns for a third season with more than 3,500 yards passing in varsity play. Ford has a scholarship offer from Louisville coach Bobby Petrino. Bentonville lost to Rockhurst 17-16 last season.
WEBB CITY, MO. (8) at Har-Ber: Defending Missouri state champion Webb City hammered Har-Ber 42-13 in last year's opener. Then the perennial power showed Mo., winning all its playoff games by at least four TDs. Har-Ber head coach and Spread guru Chris Wood welcomes back seven starters on offense and Springdale High QB transfer Fuller Chandler (6-2, 185). Chandler chunked for more than 2,000 yards to earn all-conference honors as a junior.
HERITAGE (4) at Olathe-North, Kansas: Olathe-North (11-1 in 2014) won its first three games by a TD or less, including a 18-13 victory at Heritage. The War Eagles make the 450-mile roundtrip with 17 returning starters from last year's 4-8 team. Heritage won at LR Central in the first-round of the playoffs last November before losing at FS Southside 30-28.
FS NORTHSIDE (1) at Pine Bluff: Northside forced six turnovers in last year's 26-15 win over Pine Bluff. Pine Bluff defends its Class 6A title with 17 returning starters.
Springdale at GREENWOOD (14): Springdale has lost 13 straight games. First-year head coach Zak Clark, a former Arkansas Razorback and University of Central Arkansas QB, inherits a deep set of skill position players. Greenwood senior RB Jordan Green rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 13 Tds in 2014, including 157 yards and two scores in a 56-26 win at Springdale.
ROGERS (13) at Siloam Springs: Rogers beats Siloam Springs by 17-point average the past three seasons. Siloam returns a dozen starters, including all-conference RB Ricky Hughes (613 yards, 5 TDs in 2014).

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