Class 7A - Week 1

Hooten.com Rankings
Class 7A, Week 1, 2013
Copyright Hooten Publishing, Inc.

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

HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 13 Fort Smith Northside at Class 6A No. 1 Pine Bluff
Pine Bluff popped Northside 53-27 in last season's opener. Northside won three of its final four games in 2012. First-year coach Mike Falleur's talented Grizzlies should ride that momentum this fall. Falleur coached in Georgia the past 21 years, winning 66 percent of his games. Eight starters return on defense, including all-state end/linebacker Daiquon Jackson (4.6 speed) and veteran LB Josh Kinnard.
Pine Bluff sophomore Ladarrius Skelton emerged as the starting quarterback and sophomore tailback Romar Reades shined in a mid-August scrimmage. Success this season relies on how the Zebras play up front, Coach Bobby Bolding says. Pine Bluff's offensive linemen average 268 pounds. Sophomore sensation John Tate (6-5, 250) headlines the front four on defense.

HOOTEN'S TV SHOW
Hooten's Arkansas Football TV show airs 10::30 a.m. Saturdays this fall on KATV 7 (ABC-Little Rock) and KXNW (Ch. 34 Fort Smith/Fayetteville) starting Sept. 7. The show features the state's top recruiting prospects. Week 1 Fayetteville will be featured as the Verizon Wireless/Nokia Siemens Network Football Town of the Week.

LAST SEASON
Hootens.com correctly predicted the winner of 105 out of 130 games (81 percent) involving Class 7A schools.

WEEK 1 PREDICTIONS (favored team in ALL CAPS followed by point spread)
7A/6A CENTRAL
Rogers Heritage at FS SOUTHSIDE (7): Heritage eked out a 20-19 upset of the Rebels last year in Rogers. Heritage should be improved with three-year starting quarterback Josh Qualls ranks No. 13 among the state's top college prospects by hootens.com. Southside should be a legit state title contender this fall with three-year starting quarterback Isaac Jackson leading 34 seniors. Hootens.com ranks Jackson as the state's No. 6 recruiting prospect. Southside sophomore safety Jace McCrea (6-0, 175) could be one of the state's top newcomers.
Bryant at CONWAY (14): Conway has won two league titles in four seasons under Coach Clint Ashcraft and are favored by Central conference coaches to win another this fall. Conway will dress 35 seniors and 34 juniors, including returning starters at 16 positons. Bryant kicked a field goal in the final seconds at Conway to earn a share of the 2011 league. The Wampus Cats won last year's non-conference opener at Bryant 21-3.
LR CENTRAL (7) at LR Catholic: LR Central won this opener 24-10 last year. LR Catholic new coach John Fogleman guided Malvern to the state finals in 2011.
FS Northside at PINE BLUFF (3): See Game of the Week

7A/6A EAST
Lake Hamilton at NORTH LR (21): North LR ran away from Class 6A Lake Hamilton 42-7 last year and opens 2013 ranked No. 1. Arkansas Razorback running back commit Juan Day (6-1, 205, 4.54) headlines talented North LR. Junior slot Fabian Lewis is one to watch and Payton Holmes' move from quarterback to safety has worked well, Coach Brad Bolding says. North LR will dress 105 against Class 6A Lake Hamilton, including 32 seniors. Nine seniors are set to start on defense and seven on offense at North LR. Lake Hamilton senior QB Nathan Sawrie led the Wolves to the Shootout of the South 7-on-7 championship in June. Lake Hamilton defeated Allen, Texas, two-time defending Class 7A champ Fayetteville and Heritage Hall (Oklahoma City, Okla.).
WEST MEMPHIS (17) vs. Ashdown: Ashdown led West Memphis twice and trailed by four points at halftime last year before losing by 24 points. Ashdown averaged five turnovers per game last season. West Memphis failed to win a league title last year for the first time since 2003.
West Memphis will dress 77 players, including 20 seniors, against the Class 4A Panthers. Ashdown will dress 48 players, including 19 seniors. Seven seniors start on offense at West Memphis, including standout fullback Jarvis Cooper (6-2, 255). Cooper, ranked No. 5 in the state's 2013 recruiting class by hootens.com, also returns for a third year on defense at linebacker/tackle. West Memphis coach Lanny Dauksch says offensive lineman Matt Reed (6-1, 280) is one to watch and senior receiver Harrsion Cole should shine in his first year to play football.
LR CENTRAL (7) at LR Catholic: LR Central won this opener 24-10 last year. LR Catholic new coach John Fogleman guided Malvern to the state finals in 2011.
Jacksonville at CABOT (21): Class 5A Jacksonville hasn't beaten its rival since 2005 and the long-time series ends after this game.

7A/6A SOUTH
Bryant at CONWAY (14): Conway has won two league titles in four seasons under Coach Clint Ashcraft and are favored by Central conference coaches to win another this fall. Conway will dress 35 seniors and 34 juniors, including returning starters at 16 positions. Bryant kicked a field goal in the final seconds at Conway to earn a share of the 2011 league. The Wampus Cats won last year's non-conference opener at Bryant 21-3.

7A/6A WEST
Warren vs. FAYETTEVILLE (18): Two-time defending 7A champ Fayetteville will dress 100 players more than Class 4A Warren. Fayetteville dresses 29 seniors and 16 will start, including all-state receiver Jordan Dennis (6-2, 185. Warren boasts a handful of college prospects on its 38-man roster.
Webb City, Mo. SPRINGDALE HAR-BER (1): Har-Ber dresses 92 opening night, including 44 seniors and Coach Chris Wood expects to start 10 seniors on offense and nine on defense. Webb City led 21-0 at halftime and held off Har-Ber 30-15 last season. Webb City totaled 418 yards, including 291 rushing on Har-Ber. Missouri schools start their season a week earlier than Arkansas.
ALMA (7) at Van Buren: Class 5A Alma has won eight of the past 10 in the series, including 47-21 last year. Van Buren holds the overall edge in the series 35-25-1. First-year Alma coach Doug Loughridge overhauled the program in the spring and summer with a game plan that relies on running the ball and playing stout defense. Coach Brooks Coatney enters his third season at Van Buren. The Pointers beat LR Fair and Siloam Springs.
BENTONVILLE (7) at Kansas City Rockhurst: Bentonville, winners of six straight West titles, has played in four of the past five Class 7A title games. Bentonville beat Rockhurst 24-7 in heavy rain last year. Bentonville boasts big, experienced linemen, including Arkansas Razorback tight end commit Jack Kraus (6-6, 250).
Rogers Heritage at FS SOUTHSIDE (7): Heritage eked out a 20-19 upset of the Rebels last year in Rogers. Heritage should be improved with three-year starting quarterback Josh Qualls ranked No. 13 among the state's top college prospects by hootens.com. State title contender Southside welcomes back 34 seniors, including three-year starting quarterback Isaac Jackson. Hootens.com ranks Jackson as the state's No. 6 recruiting prospect. Southside sophomore safety Jace McCrea (6-0, 175) could be one of the state's top newcomers.
SPRINGDALE (10) at Batesville: Springdale dresses just 83 players for its opener but 36 are seniors and 14 of those seniors should start. Unheralded Bulldog seniors Austin Jarrett (6-2, 230) and Quiency Patton (5-11, 180) should surprise. Patton runs clean routes at receiver while tight end/defensive lineman Jarrett added more than 20 pounds in the offseason. Batesville finished as state runner-up last season despite losing at Class 7A Springdale by 35 points in the opener. The Pioneers shift to a 3-4 defense this season with senior tackle Bret Bell (120 tackles, 16 sacks) and linebacker Joey Rodriguez (140 tackles).
Mountain Home at ROGERS (21): Rogers rolled at Class 6A Mountain Home 37-13 a year ago and went on to its first winning season since 2007. Rogers defensive lineman Zane Bush is ranked No. 28 among top recruits in Arkansas by hootens.com. Mountain Home has lost 15 of its past 17 games. Mountain Home senior QB Drake Walker generated 2,197 yards and 19 TDs in 2012. Walker will work behind an offensive line that Coach Benji Mahan calls his best group yet.


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