Class 7A Week 13 Rankings, Notes & Picks

Class 7A Week 13 Rankings, Notes & Picks

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Class 7A, Week 13, 2016
Copyright Hooten Publishing, Inc.

1. North LR (11-0)
North LR 49, Cabot 19 highlights
2. Fayetteville (10-1)
Fayetteville 43, Bryant 10
3. Bentonville (10-2)
4. Bryant (9-3)

North LR 38, Bryant 7
5. Springdale Har-Ber (8-3)
6. FS Northside (7-3)
7. Cabot (7-5)
8. Conway (4-8)
9. Bentonville West (3-8)
10. Rogers (6-5)
11. Springdale (4-7)
12. LR Catholic (3-8)
13. FS Southside (3-7)
14. LR Central (3-7)
15. Van Buren (2-8)
16. Rogers Heritage (1-9)

No. 3 Bentonville at No. 2 Fayetteville.
Winner returns to Little Rock. Both advanced to the state finals five of the past six seasons. This is their seventh playoff meeting since 2007, including the third semifinal matchup. Fayetteville holds a 4-2 postseason advantage, beating Bentonville 31-21 in last season's semifinals and 24-17 in the 2007 semis.
Bentonville beat Fayetteville 24-21 Week 4 this fall. Fayetteville led by a TD at halftime and tallied 60 yards more offense, but the Tigers sacked Fayetteville QB Taylor Powell five times in the first meeting.
Bentonville won last week despite leading rusher Jacob Clark (1,193 yards, 7.1 yards per carry) missing the final three quarters with a strained neck. Clark likely returns this week. Two-time, all-conference safety Aaron Estrada leads the Tigers with 103 tackles while three-year starting outside linebacker Dustin Adkins (92 tackles) looks like the team's top player. Junior go-to receiver Kam'Ron Mays-Hunt (6-2, 170) has been lining up on defense to stop opponent's top receivers.
“We played really well last week, especially on defense,” says Bentonville's second-year coach Jody Grant. “We didn't play that great in the first round (38-31 win) but looked better last week. Fayetteville really hasn't been challenged since they played us the first time. Everyone talks about (Fayetteville QB) Powell and (defensive tackle Akial) Byers, but their running back (Terrance Rock) is a great player. It's hard to beat a team twice in the same season, but we've done it before. We just gotta go play and play well.”

Rock totaled 150 yards offense, including two TD catches last week while Fayetteville’s formidable defensive front helped hold Conway to 168 yards in a 35-0 second-round win. Byers (6-4, 275), a University of Alabama commit, and Powell (6-2, 202), a Wake Forest commit, are on the watch list for the Farm Bureau Insurance Awards Class 7A/6A Players of the Year. Powell completed 13 of 21 for 226 yards and four TDs with no interceptions last Friday.
Watch extended highlights of Fayetteville's Week 2 win at Bryant.

No. 4 Bryant at No. 1 North LR.

North LR took the top spot in rankings Week 5 and looks to play for its first state title in the modern playoff era. The undefeated Charging Wildcats are less talented than recent seasons with no players owning Division I scholarship offers (six have D-2 offers). As predicted, North LR had less trouble with Cabot a week ago (extended highlights here) than it did in the regular-season finale. The focused Charging Wildcats dispatched Cabot by 30 points after getting by the Panthers 28-27 Week 10. North LR's Alex Day looked healthy and better than ever running through and past Cabot for 190 yards.
North LR mercy-ruled Bryant 38-7 four weeks ago (extended highlights here), limiting the Hornets to just three first downs in the first half. Bryant QB Ren Hefley was constantly under pressure and sacked five times as the Hornets finished with minus 2 yards rushing in the first meeting. Since then, Bryant has beaten Conway, Springdale and Springdale Har-Ber. The Hornets held a 20-2 halftime lead last Friday at Har-Ber. Coach Buck James has guided Bryant to its first semifinal appearance in his first season at the school with a sharp-tackling defense. The Hornets intercepted three passes, forced three fumbles and three turnovers on downs at Har-Ber. Bryant senior Hayden Ray kicked field goals from 25, 44 and 49 yards while sophomore DB Andrew Hayes recovered two fumbles last week and sophomore DT Kajuan Robinson (6-2, 290), also a basketball player, looks like a D-1 college recruit. Robinson blocked a Har-Ber field goal and returned an interception to set up at score last week.

Hooten's Arkansas Football correctly predicted 2 of 4 winners in Class 7A. For the season, is 79-25 (76 percent) predicting winners of games involving Class 7A teams.

WEEK 13 PREDICTIONS (favored team in CAPS followed by point spread)

Bentonville at FAYETTEVILLE (4): See Game of the Week
Bryant at NORTH LR (15): See The Other Semifinal

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