Class 2A Week 0 Rankings, Notes & Picks

Class 2A Week 0 Rankings, Notes & Picks

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Hootens.com Rankings
Class 2A, Week 0, 2020
Copyright Hooten Publishing, Inc.
1. Fordyce
2. Junction City
3. Gurdon
4. Foreman
5. Magnet Cove
6. McCrory
7. Des Arc
8. Earle
9. Magazine
10. Clarendon
11. Poyen
12. Mountainburg
13. E. Poinsett County
14. Murfreesboro
15. Dierks
16. Hector
17. Hazen
18. Mineral Springs
19. Carlisle
20. Cross County
21. Parkers Chapel
22. Hampton
23. Mount Ida
24. Cutter M. Star
25. Marked Tree
26. Quitman
27. Bearden
28. Conway Christian
29. Yellville-Summit
30. England
31. Cedar Ridge
32. Lafayette County
33. Strong
34. Marvell
35. J.C. Westside
36. Bigelow

HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK
C. Harmony Grove at No. 2 Junction City
No. 2 Junction City played for three state titles in a row (won one in 2018), while Class 3A No. 10 Camden Harmony Grove reached the state semifinals three of the past four years. Harmony Grove senior RB Mecca Arnold, QB/CB Jeremie Edwards, TE Houston Bryant and C Brandon Harris are primed for all-star senior seasons. Sophomore Lane Davis must develop quickly at linebacker.
For Junction City, senior Gabe Richards opens at quarterback for the first time since starting three games as a sophomore in 2018. Steve Landers Auto Group Class 2A Super Team linebacker Tanner Barnette and DB Devontay Gilbert pace a JC defense that returns six starters from a unit that held nine of 13 opponents last year to 14 points or less.
Harmony Grove and JC expect to dress 34 and 32 players, respectively.

LAST YEAR
Hootens.com correctly picked 233 of 279 (84 percent) games involving Class 2A teams.

WEEK 0 PREDICTIONS (favored team in CAPS followed by point spread)
3-2A
MCCRORY (16) at Hazen: Rebuilding time at Hazen after the Hornets racked up 32 wins and two league titles over the past three years. No. 6 McCrory trending up with a junior-dominated squad expected to capture its first league title since 2015. All-league junior tackle Buck Neal (6-2, 300) moves like he's 265 pounds. After an industrious off-season and summer, receiver Brayden Davis has positioned himself for a special senior season.
POTTSVILLE (14) at E. Ponsett County: This was originally scheduled at Class 4A Pottsville, but the installment of new turf at John Needham Stadium is not complete. EPC, a 3-2A title contender, returns all-state performers in QB Preston Rains (4.0 GPA) and WR Deuce Moore. Promising sophomore linemen Ethan Tucker and Emery Constant promote off a 6-1-1 junior high squad.
HARRISBURG (13) at Cross County: First-year HC Cody Goulart tries to restore pride in Cherry Valley where CC (1-9) slipped to an 18-year low in 2019. The Beale brothers, senior QB Jamaille and junior WR A.J. Beale, fuel the more physical Thunderbirds.
Cedar Ridge at BAPTIST PREP (7): Cedar Ridge drops from Class 3A after consecutive one-win seasons. Senior Cagen Easley anchors both lines. Class 3A Baptist Prep varsity roster almost cut in half compared to 31 players two years ago.
EARLE is open.
MARKED TREE is open.

4-2A
MANSFIELD (6) at Magazine: League coaches pick Magazine to repeat as 4-2A champion with the return of all-state FB/LB Kobe Faughn and all-league QB Tatum Scott. While defenses key on those two, junior slotback Ashton Droemer should deliver big plays after developing in the weight and film rooms. Class 3A Mansfield rebuilds after graduating 28 key players over the past two springs.  
Dover at HECTOR (11): First-year head coach Will Cox (interim HC in 2019 at Heber Springs) takes over at Class 4A No. 46 (out of 47) Dover where opponents outscored the winless Pirates last year by an average of 40 points per game. Hector (4-6 in 2019) tries to bounce back from its worst season since 2011 with starters back at nine spots on defense, including Steve Landers Auto Group Class 2A Super Team DB Harrison Taylor. 
Two Rivers at QUITMAN (13): Quitman shifts from the 5-2A to the 4-2A with senior Austin Haynes (6-3, 250) emerging over the summer as a solid left tackle. Class 3A Two Rivers (33 on roster) has posted one win over the past four seasons.
Bigelow at BEARDEN (2): After winning five games over the pst two years, 7-2A member Bearden expects more in 2020, dressing 20 players for the opener. All-conference senior RB Kendrick Juniel could reach 1,000 yards after topping 800 yards last year. Senior guard Matthew Pierce has emerged up front over the summer and fall camp.
YELLVILLE-SUMMIT is open.
JC WESTSIDE is open.
CONWAY CHRISTIAN is open.
MOUNTAINBURG is open.

5-2A
Murfreesboro at MAGNET COVE (20): Murfreeesboro sophomore QB Sloan Perrin (2,754 yards, 33 TDs), all-state as a freshman, will test Magnet Cove’s new defensive ends and re-tooled secondary. No. 5 Magnet Cove counters with all-state RB Landon Stone (2,757 yards, 30 TDs) running behind a bigger and stronger line. MC topped 34 points nine times last year while winning 11 games and reaching the playoff quarterfinals.
POYEN (17) at Genoa Central: Poyen jumped Class 3A Jessieville 32-14 at halftime in last week’s scrimmage. All-state RB Brandon Sanchez lined up at receiver more often and caught three TD passes from senior QB Jaxson Carter. Coaches in the 5-3A picked Jessieville to finish third and Genoa Central sixth in the league.
CUTTER M STAR (2) at Bismarck: Former Lake Hamilton DC Matt Kinsinger inherits exciting possibilities at Cutter Morning Star in all-league QB Sam Moore, WR Kaden Prather and WR Landon Watson. Bismarck fields six seniors and starts sophomore QB Ian Smith, who quarterbacked Bismarck's 5-4 junior high team last year.
MOUNT IDA is open.
GURDON is open.

6-2A
Palestine-Wheatley at DES ARC (14): No. 7 Des Arc defends its 6-2A title with a 27-man roster, including all-league QB Luke Morton, OG Chance Eldridge and S Ryan Holloway. Junior newcomer Seth Lisko, who attended Subiaco Academy the past two years, has developed at defensive end. A year ago, P-W endured its first winless season since relaunching football in 1996.
MINERAL SPRINGS (8) at England: No. 18 Mineral Springs should dress 20 at England where new head coach Josh Anderson inherits large, veteran linemen. Mineral Springs, a darkhorse in the 7-2A race, returns senior OT/DT Javen Johnson and WR/FS Dontre Walton who emerged during the summer and preseason camp.
MCCRORY (16) at Hazen: Rebuilding time at Hazen after the Hornets racked up 32 wins and two league titles over the past three years. McCrory trending up with a junior-dominated squad expected to capture its first league title since 2015. All-league junior tackle Buck Neal (6-2, 300) moves like he's 265 pounds. After an industrious off-season and summer, receiver Brayden Davis has positioned himself for a special senior season.
Carlisle at LONOKE (8): Class 4A No. 10 Lonoke won three straight in the series until last year when Carlisle rolled the 'Rabbits 38-13. Carlisle plans to dress 20 this week, including emerging two-way lineman Fletcher Stivers, junior QB Mikey Freebie, and all-conference senior RB/S Collin Jinks.
CLARENDON is open.
MARVELL is open.

7-2A
Idabel, Okla. at FOREMAN (5): Season opener for both teams. Idabel features dual-threat QB Jalen Ellis (6-4, 215) and athletic skill players. No. 4 Foreman, which has won consecutive 7-2A titles, returns the nucleus of a defense that held nine opponents last season to 14 points or less. Foreman junior center Peyton Snider and sophomore QB Hunter Fowler developed well over the summer and during preseason camp.
MINERAL SPRINGS (8) at England: No. 18 Mineral Springs should dress 20 at England where new head coach Josh Anderson inherits large, veteran linemen. Mineral Springs, a darkhorse pick in the 7-2A, returns senior OT/DT Javen Johnson and WR/FS Dontre Walton, who emerged over the summer and preseason camp.
PRESCOTT (38) at Lafayette County: LC plans to dress 25, including junior slotback Robert Bailey and sophomore sensations K.J. Haynes and Zalin Parrish as wideouts. Class 3A No. 3 Prescott features all-state tackle Justin Wilson, a dominating four-year starter.
Murfreesboro at MAGNET COVE (20): Murfreeesboro sophomore QB Sloan Perrin (2,754 yards, 33 TDs), all-state as a freshman, will test Magnet Cove‚Äôs new defensive ends and re-tooled secondary. No. 5 Magnet Cove counters with all-state RB Landon Stone (2,757 yards, 30 TDs) running behind a bigger and stronger line. MC topped 34 points nine times last year while winning 11 games and reaching the playoff quarterfinals.  
DIERKS is open.

8-2A
C. Harmony Grove at JUNCTION CITY (5): See Game of the Week.
FORDYCE (8) at Rison: Top-ranked Fordyce expects to dress 28 players against rival and Class 3A No. 5 Rison. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. These teams split the past four meetings with Fordyce winning a defensive gem last year, 14-8. Fordyce held Rison to 133 rushing yards. Five Redbugs dot the Steve Landers Auto Group Class 2A Super Team, including senior QB Jaheim Brown, WT Ja'Quez Cross, DE Tristan Thrower, DE Gary Lewis and LB Josh Harrington. Senior WB/S Mantrel Neal and OT/LB Colton Musgrove improved greatly over the summer and preseason camp.
PARKERS CHAPEL (4) vs. Minden (La.) Glenbrook Acadmey (Sat.): PC won this matchup 63-42 a year ago, but Farm Bureau Insurance Awards Class 2A Offensive Player of the Year Caleb Jacobs has departed for UA-Monticello and his successor, sophomore Chris Greer, earns his first varsity start  at QB. Glenbrook defeated Jackson (Miss.) Hillcrest Christian last week.  
Bigelow at BEARDEN (2): After winning five games over the pst two years, 7-2A member Bearden expects more in 2020, dressing 20 players for the opener. All-conference senior RB Kendrick Juniel could reach 1,000 yards after topping 800 yards last year. Senior guard Matthew Pierce has emerged up front over the summer and fall camp.
CENTERPOINT (13) at Hampton: Hampton was originally scheduled to play Mountain Pine, which dropped one week ago to 8-man club football. Hampton returns top skill players in senior All-8-2A FB Cymeon McRae and TB Jamarion Strong. Senior lineman Garrett Clontz, all-league as a sophomore, returns from a knee injury that sidelined him most of last year. Class 3A No. 13 Centerpoint returns two all-league performers on the offensive line in junior center Garrett Alexander and guard James Mitchell.
STRONG is open.

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