Class 6A Week 13 Rankings, Notes & Picks
Class 6A, Week 13, 2016
Copyright Hooten Publishing, Inc.
1. Greenwood (11-0)
2. Russellville (10-1)
Russellville 47, Lk Hamilton 23 highlights
3. Pine Bluff (8-2)
Cabot 28, Pine Bluff 27
4. Benton (8-4)
5. Jonesboro (9-2)
6. El Dorado (6-6)
7. West Memphis (7-5)
8. Searcy (6-6)
9. Lake Hamilton (6-5)
10. Marion (5-6)
11. Mountain Home (4-7)
12. Texarkana (3-8)
13. Siloam Springs (1-9)
14. Sheridan (1-9)
15. Jacksonville (2-8)
16. LR Hall (2-8)
HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 3 Pine Bluff at No. 1 Greenwood
These are the winningest 6A schools since 2009 and one or both of these teams have played for a state title every year since 2008. This week's victor advances again to state finals against the winner of Benton at Russellville. This is their fourth meeting in five years, including state title showdowns in 2012 and 2015. Pine Bluff snapped Greenwood's 50-game winning streak in the 2013 semifinals.
“Some say familiarity breeds contempt. I think it breeds respect,” says Coach Rick Jones (149-22 at Greenwood). “They play good, clean, hard-nosed football. They always have a good plan and execute. We have our hands full every time we play them.”
Greenwood eliminated El Dorado last week 20-3, its 13th straight win at home. Greenwood QB Luke Hales has completed 66 of 103 passes for 891 yards, 10 touchdowns and 2 interceptions but junior Connor Noland is taking more snaps in the playoffs. Noland (133-198 for 1,812 yards, 15 TDs and 2 INTs) has committed to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks. The 6A West champs rush for 220 yards per game and pass for 254. The Bulldog defense allows 13 points an outing.
Pine Bluff slammed Searcy for the second time this year 42-13 last Friday night. Pine Bluff has won 7 consecutive playoff since losing in the 2013 finals to El Dorado. Pine Bluff players on the Farm Bureau Insurance Awards watch list are QB Simeon Blair and LBs Keyshawn Whaley and Demontae Smith. Whaley had two interceptions last week, including a 63-yard return for a score, while Blair totaled 4 TDs.
“We've been blessed these past few years,” says Pine Bluff coach Bobby Bolding. “There will be a lot of pride at stake Friday night.”
THE OTHER SEMIFINAL
Winner advances to the state final against the victor of Pine Bluff at Greenwood. Russellville beat Benton 45-24 in this year's conference opener. “They're a different team now, so you can't put a lot of stock in that result,” says Russellville second-year coach Billy Dawson, whose team has won nine straight at home. Russellville won its second playoff game since 2009 when it downed West Memphis 34-7 last Friday. The Cyclone's stingy defense allows 14.8 points per game. It limited West Memphis to 141 yards, and scored on a 21-yard interception return by Ryan Talley (55 solo stops, 10 assists).
“The last two or three games we didn't play as well as we had hoped on defense, so we used the bye week to get the standard back up there,” says Dawson. Russellville QB Cale Fulsom (193-299 for 2,264 yards, 20 TDs and 7 interceptions), Caleb Stokes (60 catches, 848 yards, 8 TDs), Layton Bicanosvky (76 tackles, 28 for loss and 8 sacks) and Paul Chiolino (72 stops, 18 for loss) are on the Farm Bureau Insurance Awards watch list for Class 7A/6A Players of the Year.
Benton advances to its third straight state semifinal, winning at Jonesboro 56-52 last Friday. The game featured three ties and six lead changes. Benton's Brandon Hunter (3 TDs against Jonesboro), Chandler Clift and Brayden Harris (2 scores last week) are on the Farm Bureau Insurance Awards watch list.
Hootens.com correctly picked three of four winners in 6A. For the season, Hootens.com has correctly predicted 88 of 111 winners (79 percent) in games involving Class 6A teams.
WEEK 13 PREDICTIONS (favored team in CAPS followed by point spread)
Pine Bluff at GREENWOOD (10): Hootens.com Game of the Week.
Benton at RUSSELLVILLE (9): The Other Semifinal