Class 6A Week 0 Rankings, Notes & Picks
Hooten’s Arkansas Football Rankings
Class 6A, Week 0, 2022
Copyright Seventy Seven's Football Publishing, LLC
2. Pulaski Academy
4. Lake Hamilton
5. LR Christian
6. Sylvan Hills
7. El Dorado
10. Mountain Home
11. Van Buren
12. Siloam Springs
14. LR Catholic
15. West Memphis
18. Greene Co. Tech
Class 5A No. 2 Joe T. Robinson at Class 6A No. 2 PULASKI ACADEMY (9)
Joe T. Robinson, the defending Class 4A state champions, has moved up to Class 5A; Pulaski Academy, the defending Class 5A champ, will play in Class 6A this season. The Senators return three starters on each side of the ball but return all-state defensive linemen Micah Pennington, who had 90 tackles, including 34 tackles for losses, and 8 sacks. The Bruins return four offensive starters and three defensive starters. All-state receiver Jaylin McKinney caught 74 passes for 1,379 yards and 15 TDs a year ago for the Bruins. Pulaski Academy won last year’s game, also a season-opening matchup, 60-28 at Robinson.
Hootens.com correctly picked 96 of 107 games (90 percent) involving Class 6A teams.
WEEK 0 PREDICTIONS (favored teams in ALL CAPS followed by the points spread)
6A No. 3 Benton vs. 7A No. 1 BRYANT (14): The annual Salt Bowl returns to Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. It routinely draws the largest crowd of any high school game played in the state. Bryant, the four-time defending Class 7A state champion, has won the past seven meetings since the teams played to a 14-14 tie in 2014. Benton won the 6A-South, then lost to Marion 59-37 in the playoffs’ second round. Bryant has won 42 consecutive games against Arkansas teams, its last loss coming on Oct. 26, 2018, against North LR. Bryant has three players on this year’s Hootens.com Class 7A Super Team: running back Chris Gannaway, linebacker Jaylon Brown and defensive back Malachi Graham. Benton has two players on the Class 6A Super Team: offensive lineman Walker Davis and defensive lineman Hunter Goodwin. Benton played for the Class 6A state title in 2018 and 2019.
SEARCY (10) at Batesville: This is the 23rd consecutive meeting between these teams. Batesville first-year coach Ryan Morrow drilled 60 players in fall camp. Searcy junior RB Dede Johnson (1,974 yards, 21 TDs) and WR Caleb Cunningham (19 receptions, 284 yards) spearhead the Lions offense.
Maumelle at SYLVAN HILLS (4): Former Joe T. Robinson defensive coordinator Brian Maupin takes over at Maumelle with 60 players on the roster. Maupin says senior QB Weston Pierce, senior RB Jordan Chandler, senior TE Amarie Rogers, senior CB Trevon Rawls and sophomore DL Kayden Sherman worked well in the summer. Sylvan Hills ended last season by losing three of its final four games. Senior lineman Braden Crowley played well in the off-season.
7A JONESBORO (14) at West Memphis: The Golden Hurricane moves up to Class 7A after posting a 7-4 record in Class 6A a year ago. Jonesboro returns five starters, including junior left tackle Cole Abernathy, from a team that tied for first in the 6A-East. West Memphis has struggled the past two years but did make the playoffs a year ago. The Blue Devils lost to Lake Hamilton in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. The Blue Devils return 12 starters, including junior DE Marqueze Parker.
7A NORTH LR (7) at LR Catholic (Friday at War Memorial Stadium): North LR (10-3) failed to make the championship game for the first time since 2016, falling to Bryant in the second round of the Class 7A state playoffs. The Charging Wildcats return nine starters, including QB Malachi Gober, who threw for more than 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns. The Rockets drop to Class 6A after decades of being a staple in the state’s largest classification. The Rockets were 3-8 a year ago, falling to Rogers in the first round of the Class 7A state playoffs.
WHITE HALL (7) at Sheridan: These teams play for the Highway 270 trophy. White Hall has won the past two in the series, including 41-0 last season. Former Arkansas Razorback and NFL QB Ryan Mallett succeeds Bobby Bolding as White Hall coach. Sheridan has 12 wins over the past six seasons. Yellowjackets senior QB Jarrett Atchley, WR/CB Brady Ingram and senior WR/LB Owen Myers performed well in the summer.
GREENE CO. TECH (12) at Paragould: This game, traditionally played as the regular-season finale in Week 10, is moved to the opener with GCT's rise to Class 6A. Greene Co. Tech returns five starters on each side of the ball, including senior RB Caleb Gerrish, who ran for 515 yards and 3 TDs a year ago. Greene County beat the Paragould 65-0 in Week 10 last season.
Jacksonville at BEEBE (7): Beebe has beaten Jacksonville the past four meetings (2014, 2015, 2020 and 2021). Jacksonville, moving up from Class 5A, named Eric Allen as its third coach in four months in April. Allen, a former LR Christian assistant, implemented a Spread scheme after the Titans focused on a power running attack the past two years.
Joe T. Robinson at PULASKI ACADEMY (9): See Hootens.com Game of the Week
GREENWOOD (7) at Stillwater, Okla: Greenwood made it back to the Class 6A state title game a year ago but lost to El Dorado 27-17. The 9-4 final record was slightly below standards for the tradition-rich Bulldogs. They return senior QB Hunter Houston, who threw for 3,080 yards and 26 touchdowns, playing in only 11 games. Senior RB Javon Williamson led the Bulldogs in rushing with 676 yards on 110 carries and 8 TDs. Stillwater finished the 2021 season at 9-3 and 6-1 in its conference.
LR CHRISTIAN (21) at LR Central: LR Central went winless for the third time in 14 seasons. The low point of the season might have been a 6-0 loss to LR Southwest. The Tigers return nine starters from a year ago. LR Christian beat Central 41-8 in the season-opener last season. The Warriors move up to Class 6A because of the competitive equity rule. They were 10-3 last year, falling to White Hall in the Class 5A semifinals.
LAKE HAMILTON (21) at Class 5A HS Lakeside: This is the fifth straight meeting between these Garland County rivals since the series resumed (was shelved from 2000-2017). Lake Hamilton has won the past four by a combined 159-79. Lake Hamilton has won 29 games over the past three seasons, while HS Lakeside has 20. Lakeside drilled 61 players in fall camp, when junior TE Skylar Purifoy and senior LB Diego Robledo played well, Coach Jared McBride says.
Class 5A Morrilton at RUSSELLVILLE (4): Russellville has won 12 of the past 16 in the series, including two in a row (42-12 last season). Morrilton went 3-7 last season, but Coach Cody McNabb drilled 55 players in the summer. Senior QB Damarius Mart, RB/WR Terrell Garlington, senior WR Kaleb McCuien, senior OT Noah Tindall and FS Jackson Dixon played well in fall camp.
VAN BUREN (6) at Alma (Tuesday): Alma has won 7 of the past 11 in the “Battle of the Bone.” But Van Buren has four straight victories in the series, including the past two by a combined 46 points. Mo Henry takes over as head coach after serving as defensive coordinator at Van Buren. Henry’s son, Malachi, (1,150 yards, 17 TDs in 2021) could emerge as one of the state's top playmakers. Alma third-year coach Rusty Bush put 49 players through fall camp. Senior QB Joe Trusty, OL Zane Hurlburt and CB Braxton Kilgore played well in summer camps.
Class 5A FARMINGTON (2) at Greenbrier: Greenbrier lost 17 starters off last year’s team that went 12-1 in Class 5A. The Panthers are playing in Class 6A this season. Farmington returns 14 starters, including all-conference quarterback Cameron Vanzant, who passed for 2,330 yards and 32 touchdowns a year ago.
Class 7A ROGERS HERITAGE (6) at Siloam Springs: Rogers Heritage, 0-10 a year ago, has won three games in the past six years. Siloam Springs went 1-9 a year ago, its only victory over Pea Ridge. Heritage returns 11 starters from a year ago, including senior defensive end Briar Goodwin. Siloam Springs returns 12 starters, including senior receiver Jonathon Graves, who caught 33 passes for 380 yards and 4 TDs.
NETTLETON (2) at Mountain Home: Defending 5A East champion Nettleton (60 players on its roster) returns starters at nine positions this fall, including DL Jordan Pigram, LB Blake Brown and RB Ke'Andre Pope played well in the summer, Coach Steven Hampton says. The Raiders have won 7 of the past 8 in the series. Mountain Home has 19 seniors on its roster, including QB Brady Barnett, WR Dillon Drewry and OT Elijah Lagg.
NORTH LR (7) at LR Catholic (Friday at War Memorial Stadium): North LR (10-3) failed to make the championship game for the first time since 2016, falling to Bryant in the second round of the Class 7A state playoffs. The Charging Wildcats return nine starters, including QB Malachi Gober, who threw for more than 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns. The Rockets drop to Class 6A after decades of being a staple in the state’s largest classification. The Rockets were 3-8 a year ago, falling to Rogers in the first round of the Class 7A state playoffs.