Class 7A, Week 4, 2009
Copyright Hooten Publishing, Inc.
1. Har-Ber (3-0)
2. Bentonville (3-0)
3. Cabot (3-0)
4. LR Catholic (3-0)
5. North LR (2-1)
6. FS Southside (2-1)
7. FS Northside (2-1)
8. Fayetteville (1-1-1)
9. Russellville (2-0-1)
10. Bryant (3-0)
11. Springdale (2-1)
12. Rogers Heritage (3-0)
13. Conway (1-2)
14. Rogers (2-1)
15. Van Buren (0-2-1)
16. LR Central (0-3)HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 10 Bryant at No. 4 LR Catholic
Both are undefeated but Catholic beat better non-conference opponents, including 7A West members FS Northside 32-30 and FS Southside 21-10. Bryant is untested, outscoring its three 6A South opponents 117-9 the first three quarters. Bryant standout running back Chris Rycraw compliments senior quarterback Jimi Easterling, who has completed 24 of 35 passes for 300 yards with five touchdowns and one interception while playing primarily in the first half of blowout wins. "Jimi makes us better, more versatile on offense than last year," Bryant coach Paul Calley says. Coaches voted Catholic to finish fifth in the 7A Central, but it has played like a state champ so far. The Rockets score 32 points per Friday, attacking with Sonic Super Team quarterback Taylor Bartlett and University of Arkansas tight end recruit Garrett Uekman. Bryant beat Texarkana for the first time in Saline County last week, but Texarkana star QB Kierra Harris was out with strep throat. "We'd like to have seen him to get better prepared for Bartlett," Calley says. "He and Uekman are playmakers." Comparing scores: Catholic won at Benton 43-13 a week after Bryant blasted Benton 38-7. Key match-up: Bryant running back Rycraw against Catholic's three-man front.
ANOTHER 7A CENTRAL SHOWDOWN
No. 9 Russellville at No. 5 North LR
Russellville looks to win with special teams. Senior Zach Hocher kicked three field goals in the first half last week, including a 52-yarder, in a 26-26 tie at Fayetteville. He might have kicked a game-winning, 58-yarder with one second left after Cyclone receiver Jeff Van Ohlen stepped out of bounds with a pass at the Fayetteville 41. But after a midfield discussion officials ruled time had expired. Hocher has placed 19 of 20 kick offs in or out of the end zone. Athletic Russellville defensive back Jon Olson vomited at halftime before blocking a Fayetteville field goal in the fourth quarter.
North LR speedy return man/running back Tim Johnson took a direct snap 81 yards in a 19-18 loss to Class 6A No. 1 El Dorado. "You can do everything right against North LR and just miss one tackle and they're gone," Holt says. "They got so much speed." North LR tackles De'Arius Hudson (6-0, 330) and Colt Schaller (6-2, 230) are formidable. Schaller, a three-year starter with great technique and high energy, wowed Holt on film. "He's their best player on defense," the coach says. North LR sophomore QB Kalen Cooper made his first varsity start last week but must hold off senior Isaac Kelley in practice this week. "We're making that a competition," says North LR coach Brad Bolding.TV SHOW
Hooten's Arkansas Football airs statewide 11 a.m. Saturdays on CBS (Today's THV 11 and KFSM TV 5). Games scheduled to be featured this week include Fayetteville at Bentonville, FS Southside at Rogers, Har-Ber at Springdale, Van Buren at LR Central, Russellville at North LR, Conway at Cabot and LR Catholic at Bryant.LAST WEEK
Hootens.com was 12-0-1 (96 percent) picking Fayetteville by 1 over Russellville, but the game ended 26-26. For the season, hootens.com is 31-5-2 (84 percent).WEEK 4 PREDICTIONS (favored team in ALL CAPS followed by point spread)
Russellville at NORTH LR (4): Russellville used special teams and its Rabbit's foot to rally for a tie last week at Fayetteville, but four Cyclones missed school Monday with flu-like symptoms. North LR starts conference play unsettled at QB.
Conway at CABOT (18): Cabot is untested while Conway took two beatings from 7A West members before welcoming Benton last Friday. Conway totaled 417 yards offense on Benton, including Jemarkus Harmon's 136 yards rushing and three TDs.
LR CATHOLIC (7) at Bryant: Game of the Week. Unproved Bryant faces battle-tested Catholic.
Van Buren at LR CENTRAL (1): If LR Central doesn't win this Friday, its losing streak is headed for 21 straight.7A WEST
Fayetteville at BENTONVILLE (14): Bentonville dominates an improved Fayetteville defensive line. Fayetteville lacks linemen and its secondary appears vulnerable, but special teams have cost it. A blocked extra point and missed fourth-quarter field goal in last week's 26-26 tie with Russellville followed a missed field goal, missed extra point and blocked field goal in a two-point loss two weeks ago to Jeff City, Mo.
FS SOUTHSIDE (4) at Rogers: If it's a high-scoring shootout, Rogers may win. Southside's defense has changed from an odd to an even front and its gargantuan run stoppers appear overrated.
HAR-BER (9) at Springdale: Springdale mercy ruled Alma a week after Alma led Har-Ber by 13 in the second half. This week's winner claims Springdale city championship.
Heritage at FS NORTHSIDE (7): Expect lots of offense. Grizzlies licking wounds from last week's two-point loss at LR Catholic, but Heritage's non-conference opponents were less formidable than a year ago when it started 3-0 and lost its final seven.(c) 1993-2009 Hooten Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this site may be retransmitted without the express written consent of Hooten Publishing, Inc.