Class 7A, Week 13, 2010
Copyright Hooten Publishing, Inc.
1. Bentonville (11-0)
2. Springdale Har-Ber (10-2)
3. FS Southside (8-3)
4. Fayetteville (9-3)
5. Conway (9-2)
6. Cabot (9-3)
7. Bryant (9-3)
8. West Memphis (9-2)
9. Springdale (7-4)
10. North LR (5-6)
11. Rogers Heritage (4-7)
12. LR Catholic (2-8)
13. FS Northside (2-8)
14. LR Central (2-9)
15. LR Hall (1-9)
16. Rogers (0-10)
HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 2 Har-Ber at No. 1 Bentonville.
These two have won the past two state championships and this year haven't budged from their No. 1 and No. 2 ranking since Hooten's Arkansas Football hits newsstands in June. Bentonville beat Har-Ber 55-41 Week 10 at Springdale with cornerback Dakota Baggett returning an interception 58 yards for a touchdown. Bentonville, winners of four straight 7A West titles, outscores opponents 46.6 to 17.5 in 2010. After a first-round bye, the Tigers belted 7A Central tri-champ Bryant 38-7 last week. Bentonville allowed Bryant just 106 yards (38 yards on a trick pass play) before applying the sportsmanship rule with a 38-0 lead late in the third quarter. It held Bryant to minus-2 yards and a turnover on its first three possessions.
Har-Ber scores 45.1 points weekly with senior quarterback Ryan Luther, the 2009 state title game MVP, accounting for 301 yards weekly (260 passing). In the first meeting against Bentonville, Luther completed a season-high 26 of 37 passes for 514 yards and four touchdowns but had three interceptions. He also threw three picks last week bringing his season total to just 10. The balanced Wildcats gain 274 yards passing and 248 yards rushing per Friday. Senior Gordon Welch (5.75 yards per carry) has 1,040 yards rushing after carrying 22 times for 121 yards in last week's 37-27 win at Conway.
Bentonville won four of its final five regular-season games on the road, including at Har-Ber. Bentonville defense is peaking and it hasn't lost at home since the second round last season, but it's hard to beat a quality opponent twice in the same season. "We'll give them a better game this time," says Har-Ber coach Chris Wood.
Other Semifinal Game
No. 4 Fayetteville at No. 3 FS Southside.
FS Southside looks to earn its fourth trip to the finals in five years and the Rebs have always won state titles after beating Cabot in the playoffs. Southside stymied Cabot's Dead T attack (66 yards in the first half) last week, using six linebackers and little respect for the Panther's passing game with only two safeties in the secondary. Meanwhile, Southside totaled 300 yards (only 84 yards passing) to win 28-7. Southside's cool senior quarterback Hunter Whorton completes 55 percent of passes in 2010 with 1,916 yards and 15 touchdowns while running back Julius Jones has 1,409 yards rushing and 20 TDs. The Rebs are 14-4 at home since 2008 after eliminating Cabot in its first trip to Southside Stadium. Fayetteville, one of the few wide-open teams left in Class 7A, passed for 412 yards and five touchdowns to win last week at West Memphis 34-20. Arkansas Razorback commit Brandon Allen attempted a season-high 40 passes last week. He holds the state's big school record with 9,525 yards passing. Fayetteville's defense made key stops last Friday and has caused four, fourth-quarter turnovers in the playoffs. West Memphis coach Lanny Dauksch said early last week he was discouraged seeing how improved Fayetteville's defense was on film. The Purple Dogs held West Memphis to 22 yards in the second half. FS Southside won Week 3 at West Memphis 35-20 and Week 7 at Fayetteville 48-45.
"You know going in you've got to score points to win because their quarterback is the best player in the state," says Southside coach Jeff Williams. "Their defense is flying to the ball and creating a lot of turnovers. I think they have a crazy plus-17 turnover margin."
FS Southside beat Bentonville twice a year ago and Har-Ber twice in 2008 to make it to the finals.
The Rebels last won a state title in 2006. Fayetteville won its only championship in school history in 2007.
Hooten's Arkansas Football aired for the final time in 2010 last Saturday. Archives of the season can be watched on hootens.com.
Hootens.com correctly predicted all four winners involving Class 7A members. For the season, Hootens.com has correctly predicted 91 of 104 games (88 percent).
WEEK 13 PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS (favored team in ALL CAPS followed by point spread).
Click to watch game highlights from 7A
Har-Ber at BENTONVILLE (4)
Fayetteville at FS SOUTHSIDE (7)
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