Class 2A Hooten's Arkansas Football Rankings, Picks and Notes, Week 1, 2023

Class 2A Hooten's Arkansas Football Rankings, Picks and Notes, Week 1, 2023

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Hooten’s Arkansas Football Rankings
Class 2A, Week 1, 2023
Copyright Seventy Seven’s Publishing
1. Hazen (1-0)
2. Mineral Springs (1-0)
3. E. Poinsett County (0-0)
4. Cross County (1-0)
5. Mount Ida (0-0)
6. Bigelow (1-0)
7. Des Arc (0-0)
8. Conway Christian (1-0)
9. Marked Tree (1-0)
10. England (1-0)
11. Carlisle (1-0)
12. Earle (0-1)
13. Dierks (0-1)
14. Hector (0-1)
15. LR Episcopal (0-0)
16. Clarendon (1-0)
17. Poyen (0-1)
18. Hampton (0-0)
19. Murfreesboro (0-0)
20. Magazine (0-1)
21. McCrory (0-0)
22. Mountainburg (0-0)
23. Bearden (0-1)
24. Baptist Prep (0-1)
25. JC Westside (0-1)
26. Lafayette County (0-1)
27. Forman (0-1)
28. Marianna (0-1)


NO. 1 HAZEN (1-0) at No. 7 Des Arc (0-0)
Defending state champion Hazen (2-2A) opened with a 60-0 win over Marianna. New QB Josh Dawson completed 13 of 17 passes for 163 yards and 3 TDs. Braylan Anderson rushed for 103 yards on 4 carries, including a 60 yard TD on the opening play of the game. Des Arc (4-2A) opens its season led by senior QB Cache Flanagan, who rushed for 556 yards and 13 TDs last season. Des Arc coach Brandon Barbaree and the Eagles return 17 starters including all 5 offensive linemen from a team that struggled early last year in non conference but finished as the 2-2A conference champions. The Eagles struggled offensively in 2022 running the Double Wing in the first two weeks and changed to the Flexbone in Week 3 and the wins followed. The Eagles are looking for revenge from last years 52-0 loss in the Battle of the Prairie and Hazen is ready to defend their title. 

LAST WEEK correctly predicted 16 of 17 (94 percent) of games involving teams in Class 2A.

England (1-0) at BIGELOW (1-0): England QB Nick Brown passed for 84 yards and a TD and ran for another score in the Lions’ 50-8 win over Two Rivers. Bigelow’s Carter Alexander (138 rushing yards; 10 tackles) and Nathan Bracket (4 tackles, sack, INT., and 2 QB hurries) played prominent roles in the Panthers’ 16-12 win over Atkins.

Baptist Prep (0-1) at
CONWAY CHRISTIAN (1-0): Baptist Prep QB Malachi Jones passed for 170 yards and a TD in the Eagles’ 44-20 loss to Yellville-Summit. Conway Christian DB Bryce Keathley had 3 INTs, including 1 returned for a TD, in his team’s 20-13 win over Quitman. Conway Christian coach Justin Kramer said his defense was the key to last weeks win "Keathley's interception came at a critical time in the game and sealed the win for us. Im so proud of our defense and the way they played. Both Quitman touchdowns came while we were on offense, a scoop and score fumble return for a touchdown and when we had poor punt and gave them the ball inside the 10 yard line." 

MOUNT IDA (0-0) at
McCrory (0-0): Both teams were idle last week. Mount Ida lost 11 players from last year’s 9-3 team to graduation. The top returning player is defender Ben Woodfield, who had 55 tackles as a cornerback last year. He is set to play LB this season. McCrory went 2-8 a year ago after winning the 2021 Class 2A state title. Former Jaguars QB Cade Campell, son of McCrory baseball coach Glen Campbell, takes over as head coach.

Hampton (0-0) at
POYEN (0-1): Hampton, coached by former Poyen assistant Chris Morphis, was idle last week. Poyen sophomore QB Colt Barrett threw a TD pass for the Indians' only score in last week’s 43-8 loss at Class 3A Magnet Cove.

England (1-0) at
BIGELOW (1-0): England QB Nick Brown passed for 84 yards and a TD and ran for another in the Lions; 50-8 win over Two Rivers. Bigelow’s Carter Alexander rushed for 138 yards and had 10 tackles in the Panthers’ 16-12 win over Atkins. Nathan Bracket had 4 tackles, a sack, an interception and 2 QB hurries.

at Bearden (0-1): Murfreesboro was idle last week after going 4-6 a year ago. The Rattlers are led by QB Laytan Witcher and RB Noah Cox. Bearden QB Hudson Young passed for 107 yards in a 28-14 season-opening loss to Drew Central.

at Marianna (0-1): Lafayette County’s Jaden Stewart accounted for 233 all-purpose yards and 3 TDs in the Cougars’ 40-32 loss to Gurdon. Linebackers Zakarian Lawson and RJ Wimbley each had 10 tackles to lead the defense. Marianna fell to defending state champion Hazen 60-0.

Hector (0-1) at 3A QUITMAN (0-1): Hector QB Jackson Taylor passed for 153 yards and a TD in the Wildcats’ 34-27 loss to Marked Tree. Brent Casto rushed for 160 yards on 32 carries. Quitman took a season-opening loss last week at class 2A Conway Christian 20-13. Conway Christian scored the first two possessions of the game, but some quick adjustments by Quitman helped slow down the Conway Christian offense. Oakley Smith has 7 receptions for 110 yards, while Kyler Like had 15 tackles.

Class 3A DANVILLE (0-0)
at Mountainburg (0-0): Mountainburg was idle last week. The Dragons’ offense is counting on QB Ryan Allen, RB Levi Pense and WR Shay Pixley; Bobby Dean, Garrett Jones and Kessler Olson are expected to be top contenders. Danville plays its first game since last September when the Little Johns canceled the remainder of the season because of low numbers and injuries.

Magazine (0-1) at
3A LAVACA (0-0): Magazine struggled in a 56-0 loss to Mansfield. Alan Downs forced a fumble, and Kolton McCubbin had an INT. Lavaca Coach Mark Headley says he is excited for his team’s opener after a productive summer when slot receiver and safety Andrew Johnson and junior QB Cutler Winters stood out. Senior RB/LB Michael Barwick also looked good with meaningful production.

at J.C. Westside (0-1): Yellville-Summit rushed for 465 yards in its 24-point opening win over Baptist Prep. Johnson County Westside was forced to forfeit to Dover last week after several players were reportedly sick because of heat-related illnesses. Westside is set to play this Friday.

3A Manila (0-1) at
EAST POINSETT COUNTY (0-0) EPC was idle last week. The Warriors are led by running back Dennis Gaines, who rushed for 3,232 yards and 44 TDs a year ago. Manila opened with a 40-point home loss to Rivercrest. Manila Coach Ben Fisher, says his team has to do better at the point of attack, and it needs key players Nate Parrish and Jacob Baugher to lead the way.

Clarendon (1-0) at
3A BARTON (0-1): Clarendon QB Greyson Miller passed for 125 yards and 3 TDs and rushed for 77 yards and another TD in the Lions 24-20 win over Class 4A Helena. Daniel Brown also rushed for 131 yards and a TD. He had 5.5 tackles. Barton opened with a 42-29 home loss to DeWitt, and Coach Steve Sextron says the Bears are preparing for a challenging game against an athletic Clarendon team. Jakobie Lewis (42-yard TD reception; 9 tackles) and Dequincy Wilson (9-54 rushing; 8 tackles) led Barton in its opener.

Carlisle (1-0) at
3A JUNCTION CITY (0-1): Carlisle beat Palestine-Wheatley 42-0. RB Kayleb Elliott (12-170 rushing) and QB Holden Jones (145 passing) led the Bison. Junction City opened with a 34-28 loss to Camden Harmony Grove last Friday night. Sophomore DT Dalton Baker accounted for 5 tackles, including 2 TFL and 1 sack. This game will tell us a lot about where these programs are, was Junction City's close game vs a talented Camden Harmony Grove team a sign they are back and can Carlisle make another run to the 2A title game.

Foreman (0-1) at
3A GURDON (1-0): Gurdon opened with a 40-32 road win at 2A Lafayette County. The Go-Devis were led by Jamari Williams (10-77 rushing, 3 TDs), Jake Rowan (3 TFL, 1 forced fumble)h and Xavier Laster (75-yard kickoff returns. Go-Devils Coach Kyle Jackson must commit fewer penalties and turnovers on offense and provide better tackles on the defensive end. Foreman’s DJ Anderson scored the Gators’ lone TD in a 35-6 loss to Horatio.

Episcopal (0-0) at
3A SMACKOVER (0-1): Smackover, which lost its opener 40-8 at Class 4A Mayflower, plays host to Class 2A Episcopal. Smackover won 8-6 last year at Episcopal.
The Wildcats open their season after making the playoffs last year when moving back to 11-man football. WR Elijan Mason, who caught 29 passes for 469 yards and 6 TDs in 2022, leads the Wildcats’ offense.

3A Horatio (1-0) at
DIERKS (1-0): Horatio picked up a 35-6 win on the road at class 2A Foreman last Friday night as Riley Williamson completed 6 of 7 total passes on 115 yards. Williamson accounted for 4 TDs overall. Drake Angel rushed for 95 yards and a TD.

3A Fouke (1-0) at
MINERAL SPRINGS (0-1) Fouke won its opener 40-28 on the road at Dierks. The Panthers have won the last 2 matchups against Mineral Springs, which opened with a 20-6 win over Jessieville. The Hornets were led by Rahmaij Ware (21 tackles, interception, forced fumble) KT Thomas’ 2 rushing TDs.

4A WEST HELENA (0-1) at Earle (0-1) Helena sophomore DL Deminio Patterson had 7 tackles, 2 sacks and forced 1 fumble in last week's 38-20 loss to Clarendon. Earle trailed Salem 42-0 in the second quarter last week before losing 48-8.
IDLE Cross County and Marked Tree


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