Class 7A - Week 1 - 2014

Class 7A - Week 1 - 2014

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Hootens.com Rankings
Class 7A, Week 1, 2014
Copyright Hooten Publishing, Inc.

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

 

GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 9 FS Southside at Class 4A No. 1 Warren.
These two meet for the first time on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at UA-Pine Bluff during Hootens.com Kickoff Week. Southside returns eight starters on defense but graduated three-year starting quarterback Isaac Jackson and seven other regulars on offense. Senior running back D'erek Fernandez (5-11, 185; 4.6 speed) earned all-state honors, rushing for more than 1,100 yards last fall. Junior tight end Kevin White (6-4, 245; 4.8 speed), who could develop into a college prospect, leads an inexperienced line. Rebel receiver Andrew Barley accounted for more than 600 yards last season.
"It's hard to tell what their offensive identity will be because they lost a great quarterback (Jackson) last year," Hembree says. "They are a Class 7A school and are supposed to win."
Warren goes for its first victory over a Class 7A school. The talented Lumberjacks have lost to Bryant, Springdale and Fayetteville during Hootens.com Kickoff Week over the past 13 years. The Lumberjacks hung with Fayetteville last season before losing by 14 points. Special teams breakdowns (fumbled the opening kickoff and allowed a punt return for a touchdown) were the difference. Five Lumberjacks were injured in last year's opener.
Only 34 Lumberjacks went through August camp, compared to 95 at Fort Smith Southside. Warren will line up senior Darveon Brown at quarterback and receiver. Brown (51 catches, 837 yards and 11 TDs in 2013) and senior receiver Jaylon Marshall (33 catches, 731 yards and seven TDs) committed to Arkansas State in May. Senior tackle Aaron Church (32 tackles) leads Warren's defense. Watch highlights of FS Southside's win over Warren in the Hootens.com Kickoff Classic at UAPB here.

7A/6A Central
Cabot at CONWAY (6): Cabot won this matchup 23-9 on its way to the state finals last year, but the Panthers graduated eight starters on offense and five on defense. Cabot returns safety Jake Ferguson, a college prospect, but lacks depth on both lines. Cabot was voted to finish third in East by conference coaches. Conway is the coaches' pick to win the Central conference and opens the season ranked No. 4 in Class 7A. It's the Wampus Cats highest preseason ranking in the Coach Clint Ashcraft era. Conway returns nine regulars on a offense that scored 31.6 points per Friday a year ago. The Wampus Cats lost in the semis at Bentonville 21-14 last November. Watch highlights of Conway's win over Cabot in Week 1 here.
Benton vs. BRYANT (11): Benton chases its first winning season this fall in nine years. First-year defensive coordinator Brad Harris inherits seven returning starters, including senior safety Stone Paul (80 tackles in 2013), senior linebacker Tim Dezort (90 tackles) and senior end Garrett Taylor (35 tackles). Bryant beat Benton 42-28 in last year's annual Salt Bowl. The Hornets held six of their last seven opponents to six points per game. Coach Paul Calley expects this year's defense to be just as good, if not better.
GREENWOOD (14) at Springdale: Greenwood has won 50 of its past 51 games. Three offensive linemen return from last year's 12-1 squad, including a pair of three-year starters in senior center Colton Sims (5-11, 255) and senior guard Korban Waldemar (6-0, 280). Springdale features a veteran offensive line, led by senior guards Kaleb Wade (6-1, 280) and Adam Thompson (5-11, 250). Senior center Daniel Salas (5-11, 245) emerged this spring as a leader.
NORTH LR (14) vs. LR Catholic: It's the first of six regular-season games at War Memorial Stadium for North LR. The Charging Wildcats await a new stadium next year. Third-ranked North LR welcomes back K.J. Hill, the state's most electrifying player. D.J. Brown, who rushed for 1,017 yards at Catholic in 2013, transferred to North LR on the Monday after spring break in March.
Van Buren at WHITE HALL (2): The addition of speedy skill players over the summer and transfer tackle Nick Houston (6-6, 320), a two-year starter and college prospect from Greenwood, makes Van Buren better. White Hall has won at least eight games four of the past five seasons. Bulldog senior QB Kirk Baugh generated more than 2,700 yards last season. Van Buren has won six games over the past three seasons.

7A/6A East
NORTH LR vs. LR Catholic: It's the first of six regular-season games at War Memorial Stadium for North LR. The Charging Wildcats await a new stadium next year. Third-ranked North LR welcomes back K.J. Hill, the state's most electrifying player. D.J. Brown, who rushed for 1,017 yards at Catholic in 2013, transferred to North LR on the Monday after spring break in March.
LR CENTRAL (7) at Dallas James Madison: Madison (enrollment 451) tries to take down Goliath (Central enrollment 2,456). Madison coming off back-to-back losing seasons, including a 3-7 finish a year ago when it was outscored 297-156. Central coach Scooter Register believes his Tigers can go far in 2014 with veteran quarterback Cooper Westbrook (1,688 yards passing last fall), dangerous receivers and excellent special teams. Just two starters return on Central's D.
Forrest City at WEST MEMPHIS (6): Forrest City won seven games last season but missed the playoffs after a one-point loss to Wynne in October. The Mustangs rely on a salty defense line this fall, including senior tackle Kevin Jones (6-1, 306) and junior end/tackle Justin Bailey (5-11, 240). Former Glen Rose and Stuttgart coach Billy Elmore succeeds Lanny Dauksch (116-41-1 record) at West Memphis.

7A West
FS SOUTHSIDE (6) vs. Warren: Game of the Week. Tuesday, Sept. 2 at UA-Pine Bluff.
Kansas City Rockhurst, Mo. at BENTONVILLE (7): Bentonville won this matchup the past two years by a combined 48-28. Bentonville has played in the past four state championship games and won twice. This could be the best Bentonville team in school history with up to eight D-1 college prospects. Junior QB Kasey Ford (6-6, 257) has an offer from Louisville coach Bobby Petrino. Watch highlights of Bentonville's loss to Rockhurst in Week 1 here.
FAYETTEVILLE (31) at Lawton (Okla.) Eisenhower: After opening the past two seasons in the hootens.com Kickoff Week, Fayetteville found a cupcake. Eisenhower, mythical national champions in 1990, struggles with 10 wins over the past three seasons. Ike's Eagles lost openers to crosstown rival Lawton High by a combined 113-16 the past two seasons. Daryl Patton looks to coach the Purple Dogs to their fourth state title game appearance in five years. Patton has a 93-38-2 record with three state championships at Fayetteville.
GREENWOOD (14) at Springdale: Greenwood has won 50 of its past 51 games. Three offensive linemen return from last year's 12-1 squad, including a pair of three-year starters in senior center Colton Sims (5-11, 255) and senior guard Korban Waldemar (6-0, 280). Springdale features a veteran offensive line, led by senior guards Kaleb Wade (6-1, 280) and Adam Thompson (5-11, 250). Senior center Daniel Salas (5-11, 245) emerged this spring as a leader.
Siloam Springs at ROGERS (9): Siloam Springs won two of its past three games last year, including its first playoff victory since 2008. Rogers has beaten Siloam Springs by an average of 19 points the past two seasons.
Pine Bluff at FS NORTHSIDE (8): Pine Bluff has reached the Class 6A state title game the past two years. The Zebras feature a talented junior class, including dual-threat QB Ladarrius Skelton, tailback Romar Reades, defensive end John Tate and safety David Beasley. Northside won three games last year after a 31-31 tie with Pine Bluff in the opener. The Grizzlies return starters at 19 positions, including senior end and Hog commit Daytrieon Dean and senior noseguard Kylin Washington, who holds a scholarship offer from Arkansas State. Watch highlights of FS Northside's win over Pine Bluff in Week 1 here.
Har-Ber at WEBB CITY, MO. (1): Har-Ber ended Webb City's 46-game win streak a year ago. Webb City's starting quarterback (shoulder surgery in May) will not be 100 percent and its starting running back is questionable after a preseason scrimmage injury. The Cardinals open against Kansas City Rockhurst before playing host to Har-Ber. Har-Ber coach Chris Wood welcomes back six starters on defense, including intense senior tackle Rickey Dobbins (6-3, 330; 360-pound bench). Dobbins has scholarship offers from Arkansas State, Eastern Illinois and Tulsa.
Olathe-North, Kan. at ROGERS HERITAGE (2): Heritage coach Perry Escalante will rely on line play early. Three-year starting quarterback Josh Qualls and most other skill players graduated in May. Heritage has won 17 games over the past four seasons. Olathe-North finished 8-4 last season in a basketball state. James Naismith, inventor of the game in 1891, founded the University of Kansas basketball program.

 

 

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