Class 7A Week 1 Rankings, Notes & Picks
Hooten’s Arkansas Football Rankings
Class 7A, Week 1, 2020
Copyright Hooten Publishing, Inc.
1. Bryant (1-0)
2. Conway (1-0)
3. Bentonville (0-0)
4. North Little Rock (0-0)
5. Bentonville West (0-1)
6. LR Central (0-1)
7. Cabot (1-0)
8. Fayetteville (0-1)
9. FS Northside (1-0)
10. Har-Ber (0-1)
11. Springdale (0-1)
12. Rogers (1-0)
13. LR Catholic (0-1)
14. FS Southside (0-1)
15. LR Southwest (0-1)
16. Heritage (0-1)
HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 3 Bentonville at No. 2 Conway
Conway trailed Fayetteville 14-0 in the first quarter last week but scored 38 unanswered points over the next two quarters for a 38-21 win. Facing 3rd-and-11 at midfield in the second quarter, Conway senior quarterback Ben Weese (5-8, 147) fired across the middle to Micah Mosby for a touchdown to spark the rally. Conway rushed for 134 yards and Weese finished 21-of-40 passing for 291 yards and two scores. Senior receiver Bryce Bohanan caught seven passes for 136 yards. The Wampus Cats intercepted four Fayetteville passes. This is the season opener for Bentonville, winners of four straight and 12 of the past 13 West conference titles. Bentonville’s strong offensive line and linebackers could lead the Tigers on a deep playoff run this fall. The offensive line returns all-state performer Ethan Fitzgerald (6-1, 235), D-1 recruit Josh Street (6-6, 285) and all-conference standouts Jackson Caylor (6-1, 230) and Ryan Garrett (6-3, 285). Coach Jody Grant calls Cole Joyce (6-0, 200; 34-inch vertical jump) and Keegan Stinespring (5-11, 205) “the best pair of linebackers in the state.” Bentonville beat Conway 17-10 last season at Tiger Stadium.
hootens.com correctly predicted 10 of 12 winners in games involving Class 7A teams.
WEEK 1 PREDICTIONS (favored team in ALL CAPS)
Bentonville at CONWAY (1): See Game of the Week.
BRYANT (35) at Marion: Two-time defending state champion Bryant has won 18 straight, led rival Benton 42-0 at halftime last Saturday. Coach Buck James' Bryant teams win 84.6 percent of the time. Marion trailed Class 5A Wynne 21-10 last week at halftime of a 35-19 loss. Two-time all-state QB Daedrick Cail ran 30 yards for a TD at Wynne. Marion senior receiver Markel Wynn is out indefinitely with a leg injury, while Cail is questionable.
Har-Ber at NORTH LR (8): North LR handled El Dorado in a scrimmage last Friday while Har-Ber lost its season opener at Jenks, Okla. 31-15. Har-Ber intercepted two passes and rushed for both of its TDs. Har-Ber rushed for 161 yards while junior QB Drue McClendon completed 16 of 33 passes for 206 yards but had five interceptions. North LR, which has advanced to the state finals the past four seasons, doubled Har-Ber 42-21 in the second round of the playoffs last November. North LR’s new coach J.R. Eldridge guided Arkadelphia to 35 wins and two state titles the past three seasons.
CABOT (7) at Jonesboro: Cabot threw three interceptions to trail Searcy 12-7 at halftime last week before rallying to win 35-18. Cabot used 11 ball different carriers to finish with 308 yards rushing. Jonesboro outlasted Cabot's 7A Central rival Little Rock Catholic 28-24 last week in a game featuring four fourth-quarter lead changes. Jonesboro senior QB Cross Jumper connected with receiver Will Barre for three TDs in the fourth quarter. Barre caught the game-winning 15-yard TD with 15 seconds left in regulation.
Sylvan Hills at LR CATHOLIC (3): Class 6A Jonesboro rallied to beat Catholic 28-24 last week in a game that featured four, fourth-quarter lead changes. Catholic senior Brandon Bisceglia scored two TDs and Paul Owens booted a 38-yard field goal against Jonesboro. Sylvan Hills trailed Class 5A Maumelle 27-7 in the third quarter last week but scored the final 14 points in a 27-21 loss. Emil McCoy, Matthew Spencer and Keenan Hunter scored TDs for Sylvan Hills.
LR CENTRAL (31) at LR Hall: LR Central led LR Christian in the fourth quarter last week before giving up a barrage of TDs. Senior QB Lawson Gunn passed for 211 yards and three TDs and ran for 85 yards and another TD. LR Hall's 7-0 win last week over Hope was its first against a team outside of Pulaski County since 2011. Warrior senior Kavionne Rucker ran 35 yards for the winning TD in the third quarter.
LR PARKVIEW (1) at LR Southwest: First game at the new Little Rock Southwest High. Southwest led 16-6 in the third quarter last week at West Memphis before sucumbing 36-16. Gryphon QB Markel Cartwright's 125 yards and two TDs in the first half Parkview beat Class 5A Jacksonville 28-0 last week in one half of a scrimmage. Parkview senior QB Landon Rogers and tight end Erin Outley commited during the off-season to Arkansas.
FS Northside is open, plays host next Friday to Class 6A Greenwood.
Bentonville at CONWAY (1): See Game of the Week.
OWASSO, OKLA. (22) at Fayetteville: Fayetteville has lost 7 of its past 12 games, including 38-21 last Friday at Conway when the Purple Dogs allowed 291 yards passing and threw four interceptions. Owasso, coached by former Fayetteville High state championship coach Bill Blankenship, won its opener 48-21. Fayetteville lost at Owasso 51-19 last season.
Har-Ber at NORTH LR (8) North LR handled El Dorado in a scrimmage last Friday while Har-Ber lost its season opener at Jenks, Okla. 31-15. Har-Ber intercepted two passes and rushed for both of its TDs. Har-Ber rushed for 161 yards while junior QB Drue McClendon completed 16 of 33 passes for 206 yards but had five interceptions. North LR, which has advanced to the state finals the past four seasons, doubled Har-Ber 42-21 in the second round of the playoffs last November. North LR’s new coach J.R. Eldridge guided Arkadelphia to 35 wins and two state titles the past three seasons.
Stillwell, Okla. at ROGERS (15): Rogers outscored Class 6A Siloam Springs 52-42 last Friday. Rogers senior Matt Couts returned an interception 17 yards for a TD, giving the Mounties 41-35 lead in the fourth quarter. Stillwell has lost 28 straight.
Springfield Central, (Mo.), at HERITAGE (1): These teams have combined to lose 94 of their past 96 games. Heritage has lost 53 of its past 55 games, including last week at Class 5A Farmington 24-6. Springfield Central has lost 41 in a row, including its opener 54-14 last week.
FS Southside at GREENWOOD (21): FS Southside lost the “Battle of Rogers Avenue” to rival FS Northside 35-7 last Friday. The Mavericks allowed a 95-yard drive in the third quarter and gave up a 90-yard scoop-and-score on the first play of the fourth quarter. Greenwood has won eight straight in this series, including 44-14 last season. Four Greenwood QBs took snaps during the off-season, when Luke Brewer emerged as a playmaker at receiver. Senior linebacker Jordan Hanna impressed many this off-season after moving from defensive line to linebacker.
Muskogee, Okla. at BENTONVILLE WEST (2): West trailed Oklahoma power Broken Arrow by just six points in the third quarter last week before surrendering 21 unanswered in a 50-23 road loss. Muskogee (8-3 in 2019) dropped its opener at Bishop (Okla.) McGuinness 20-13.
OKC CHOCTAW (6) at Springdale: Season opener for Choctaw (90-man roster) where covid-related quarantine at Choctaw High might move the game to Saturday. Springdale opened last week with a 48-28 loss to Class 6A Van Buren.