Class 4A Rankings, Picks and Notes, Week 2, 2023

Class 4A Rankings, Picks and Notes, Week 2, 2023

Share this article Class 4A Rankings
Week 1, 2023
Copyright Seventy-Seven's Publishing

1. Malvern (1-1)
2. Warren (2-0)
3. Rivercrest (1-1)
4. Harding Academy (2-0)
5. Elkins (2-0)
6. Nashville (1-1)
7. McGehee (1-0)
8. Arkadelphia (0-2)
9. Gosnell (2-0)
10. CAC (2-0)
11. Ashdown (2-0)
12. Ozark (1-1)
13. Stuttgart (1-1)
14. Lamar (2-0)
15. DeWitt (2-0)
16. Monticello (1-1)
17. H.G. Haskell (1-1)
18. Crossett (1-1)
19. Lonoke (1-1)
20. Bauxite (1-1)
21. Star City (0-2)
22. Clinton (2-0)
23. Pottsville (1-1)
24. Mena (2-0)
25. Blytheville (1-1)
26. Gentry (1-1)
27. Hamburg (0-2)
28. Gravette (1-1)
29. Lincoln (2-0)
30. Trumann (0-1)
31. Pocahontas (0-2)
32. Dumas (1-0)
33. Heber Springs (0-1)
34. Bald Knob (1-1)
35. LR Hall (0-1)
36. Mayflower (2-0)
37. Highland (1-1)
38. Huntsville (0-2)
39. Riverview (0-2)
40. Jonesboro Westside (0-2)
41. Green Forest (1-1)
42. Berryville (1-0)
43. Cave City (0-2)
44. Harrisburg (0-1)
45. Dover (2-0)
46. Waldron (0-2)
47. Helena (0-2)


WEEK 2 PREDICTIONS (favored team in ALL CAPS)

LAST WEEK correctly predicted 29 of 35 games (83 percent), and for the season has correctly predicted 58 of 70 games (83 percent).


NO. 1 MALVERN (1-1) at 5A Hot Springs Lakeside (2-0): These are former conference foes, and HS Lakeside has won 4 of the past 7 in the series. HS Lakeside is off to a 2-0 start after winning 2 games last year. Rama senior A.J. Howard returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter to jump start last week's 36-31 triumph over Class 6A Russellville. Senior quarterback Jacob Hermosillo threw the winning 8-yard TD pass to senior Skylar Purifoy with 4 minutes left. HS Lakeside senior Caleb Villines made a 35-yard field goal in the first half. Malvern beat Hot Springs County rival Glen Rose by 31 points last week in the Brick Bowl. Senior Jalen Dupree ran 25 times for 257 yards and 3 TDs, while Dyelon Caradine caught 5 passes for 137 yards and 2 TDs from first-year QB Sedrick Allen. Senior Romere Bennett led the Leopards defense with 11 tackles.


5A Hope (0-1) at ASHDOWN (2-0): Ashdown has won 7 straight over Hope by a combined 314-108 (average of 45-15). Ashdown junior Darnell Williams returned a punt for a TD in last week's 41-7 win over De Queen. Junior Braedon Walton (11 catches, 355 yards and 4 TDs in 2023) has emerged as a threat at receiver. Hope trailed Nashville 14-7 in the 3rd quarter last week before losing 24-21. Senior QB Tyler Patterson completed 24 of 30 passes for 300 yards and 2 TDs and ran for a TD.

NASHVILLE (1-1) at 5A De Queen (0-2): Nashville has won 21 of the past 23 in the series. Nashville turned to its defense last week to slide past Hope 24-21. Senior DL Omari Benson made 6 tackles and 3 sacks, while sophomore Zaccheus Harris had 3 sacks. Junior CB Roochie Wiley had 6 tackles and returned a fumble for a TD. All-league RB Tre Hopkins was held out last week due to injuries but will play this week, Coach Mike Volarvich says. Sophomore Tucker Dixon filled in at RB (25 carries, 152 yards), while junior J'Marion Conway gained 125 yards off of 10 touches.

Class 5A Clarksville (0-2) at NO. 6 ELKINS (2-0): Clarksville struggled to slow Morrilton last week (lost 35-7 and gave up 5 passing TDs). Coach Kris Buckner says LB Rhett Fultz (14 tackles) and Brack Denton played well on defense, while sophomore RB Nathan Powell tallied 110 yards. Elkins impressed with last week's 49-13 win over defending Class 3A champion Charleston. Senior Da'Shawn Chairs ran 27 times for162 yards and 1 TD and returned a punt for a TD. Senior QB Dizzy Dean completed 20 of 27 passes for 236 yards and 5 TDs, while his brother Stone Dean caught 6 passes for 90 yards and 1 TD. Mason Allan led the defense with 6 tackles, while Landon Neal had 3 tackles and 1 interception.

Gravette (1-1) at 5A PRAIRIE GROVE (1-0): Prairie Grove has won 11 straight over its former conference rival, including the past 6 by a combined 176 points. The Tigers opened their season last week with a 49-14 victory over Huntsville. Prairie Grove ran 44 times for 392 yards vs. Huntsville, with senior halfback Conner Hubbs logging 8 carries for 138 yards and 1 TD, and he caught a TD pass from senior QB Luke Vance (7 of 12 for 99 yards and 2 TDs and ran for a TD). Junior Jace Edwards also caught a TD pass. Coach Danny Abshier says RB Braxton Beshears, TE David Stephenson and DB Asher Linn played well. Gravette led Inola, Okla., 20-0 at halftime last week before easing to a 37-0 win. Conner Acosta caught a 31-yard TD pass, while Gabriel Holmes ran for 2 TDs. Liam McGuire nailed a 27-yard field goal.

Huntsville (0-2) at 5A PEA RIDGE (2-0): Undefeated Pea Ridge has beaten Gravette and Gentry the past 2 weeks by a combined 86-27. Huntsville allowed 392 rushing yards in last week's 35-point loss to Prairie Grove. Pea Ridge's Waylon Fletcher and Brandon Wright each caught 2 TD passes in last week's 48-13 win over Gentry, while Seth Foster ran for 2 TDs.

5A Forrest City (0-1) at LONOKE (1-1): Forrest City hung with Joe T. Robinson last week before losing 29-8. The Mustangs trailed 17-8 in the third quarter before wearing down. Junior QB Dakwon Scott threw a TD pass and ran 11 times for 78 yards. Lonoke beat Melbourne 39-0 last week, its second shutout in the past 6 games (dating back to last season). Senior QB Bradon Allen completed 18 of 25 passes for 234 yards and 2 TDs and ran 11 times for 140 yards and 1 TD.

Heber Springs (0-1) at 5A SOUTHSIDE (2-0): These are former conference foes, with Heber Springs winning 13 of 17 meetings. But Southside won 44-6 a year ago. Heber Springs hung with Clinton last week before losing 42-29. QB Liam Buffalo completed 3 of 4 passes for 130 yards and 2 TDs, while Parker Brown ran for 127 yards, had 75 yards receiving and scored 3 TDs. “Brown is a special player,” Southside Coach Kenny Simpson says. Southside knocked off Bald Knob last week 42-13. Senior Gabe Witt ran 7 times for 167 yards and 3 TDs, while Louis Calhoun ran for 46 yards and had 11 tackles on defense. Andrew Plummer led Southside's defense with 15 tackles.

4A No. 3 Rivercrest (1-1) at 5A NO. 5 VALLEY VIEW (1-1) Expect a close game. Valley View has won 6 of its 9 meetings vs. Rivercrest, including the past 2 years by a combined 9 points. Valley View notched a 12-point win over Poplar Bluff, Mo., a week ago. Senior QB Carson Turley completed 19 of 30 passes for 207 yards and a 3 touchdowns and ran 18 times for 122 yards. Senior T.J. Starks caught 6 passes for 79 yards and 1 TD, and Zahki Ervin hauled in 5 balls for 64 yards. Rivercrest led Mills 20-14 in the second quarter last week, but scored just 6 points in the second half of a 59-34 setback. Versatile senior Michael Rainer ran 14 times for 91 yards and 1 TD and caught 4 passes for 85 yards and 1 TD. Senior Koby Turner ran 7 times for 125 yards and 1 TD. Junior safety Joe Louis Ralph racked up 10 tackles, while sophomore Jayden Young made 9 stops. Senior defense end Wyatt Lancaster made 8 tackles, 1 sack and registered 4 QB pressures.

5A NETTLETON (1-1) at Blytheville (1-0) Blytheville has won 10 of the past 19 in the series, but Nettleton notched a 5-point victory a year ago. Nettleton senior Curtez Smith ran 2 times for 94 yards and 2 TDs in last week's 42-14 win over Pocahontas. Kohen Ligons led the defense with 13 tackles, while Damin Coleman had 11 tackles, including 2 sacks and 3 TFL. Blytheville's defense forced 5 turnovers in last week's 38-12 win over Osceola. The Chickasaws led by 32 points in the third quarter.

Pocahontas (0-1) at 5A BROOKLAND (1-1): Pocahontas has won 8 of its 9 meetings vs. Brookland, including last season by 19 points. But Brookland has played well this season, beating Trumann in Week 0 and losing at Gosnell last week 32-18. Junior QB Hayden Elder completed 9 of 17 passes for 143 yards and 1 TD and ran for 86 yards and 1 TD, while sophomore WR Gabe Carter caught 3 passes for 78 yards and 1 TD. Pocahontas has lost to Class 5A Southside and Nettleton this season by a combined 76-27. First-year coach Casey Chester says QB DJ Coffey and LB Ty Menard have played well.

Arkadelphia (0-2) at 5A TEXARKANA (2-0): Arkadelphia looks to avoid its first 0-3 start since 2018 (started 0-5 before winning 10 straight). The Badgers lost to Class 5A Hot Springs 24-7 a week ago after trailing 3-0 in the third quarter. Arkadelphia's defense allowed just 253 yards. DE Whit Alderson and LB Chase Vantilborg played well, Coach Trey Schucker says. Texarkana beat Hamburg 38-7 last week, in a game that was scheduled on Wednesday. Razorback QB Nate Wall passed for 242 yards and 3 TDs, while Courtland Loudermill ran 19 times for 231 yards and 2 TDs. Rodney Kindley led the D with 9 tackles, while Malek Dangerfield had 7 tackles and 2 interceptions.


3A No. 3 Charleston (0-1) at OZARK (0-1): Charleston has won 14 of the past 18 in the series, including last year by 14 points. Charleston won last year's Class 3A title but lost to 4A Elkins 49-13 last week. Senior Reese Merechka ran 13 times for 120 yards against Elkins and had 2 receptions for 7 yards. Ozark QB Koby Wilbanks impressed in last week's 48-25 setback to Class 3A No. 1 Booneville. Eli Gilstrap and Paul Eubanks led the Hillbillies in tackles.

3A Quitman (1-1) at GENTRY (1-1): Gentry won a shootout over Quitman last season 63-41. Gentry, battling illness and injuries last week, lost at Class 5A Pea Ridge 48-13. Senior Addison Taylor ran for a TD. Quitman trailed Hector 28-14 at halftime last week before roaring back to a 42-28 decision. Kyler Like paced Quitman's defense with 18 tackles. Greyson Ealy sparked the offense with 7 receptions for 154 yards and 1 TD, while Eli Hartman had 16 carries for 116 yards and 3 TDs.

GOSNELL (2-0) at 3A Osceola (1-1): Osceola has won 10 of the past 19 over its Mississippi County rival, but Gosnell notched a 40-33 decision a year ago. Gosnell edged 5A Brookland last week 32-18. Gosnell's Jai Jacobs-Ford ran 7 times for 83 yards and 1 TD, caught 8 passes for 88 yards and returned a kickoff for a TD. Junior LB Vanterious Lucas registered 15 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 sack and 1 INT. Osceola gave up 2 kick returns for TDs and allowed 2 safeties in last week's 38-12 loss to Blytheville. Coach Jamie Carter emphasized tackling this week in practice.

BERRYVILLE (1-0) at 3A Greenland (0-2): Greenland has won 4 of the past 5 vs. Berryville, including 41-7 last season. Berryville opened its season last week with a 16-13 victory over West Fork. Junior QB Decimus Ruiz played well last week and in a scrimmage game vs. Yellville-Summit. Greenland led Green Forest 46-28 with 8 minutes left last week but lost 56-52. Junior Brandon Vaughan caught 3 TD passes in the first half, while Colby Graham caught 74-yard TD pass and ran 14 yards for a TD.

STUTTGART (1-1) at No. 6 3A Newport (1-1): Stuttgart has won 7 of the past 10 in the series. Newport shined 2 weeks ago in a 28-point win over Osceola, but the Greyhounds were collared by Beebe last week 42-8. Stuttgart rebounded from an opening week mercy-rule loss at Warren with a 52-21 win over Star City. Freshman QB Cain Price completed 14 of 24 passes for 335 yards and 4 TDs vs. Star City, while junior Deontae Clark had a monster game (8 catches, 167 yards and 3 TDs; 14 carries, 76 yards and 1 TD). Senior DL Nykeal Bradley registered 6 solo stops, 2 forced fumbles and recovered both fumbles (1 for a TD).

3A MELBOURNE (0-2) at Cave City (0-2): Melbourne has won 10 of its 12 games vs. the Cavemen, including 6 straight by a combined 147 points. But both teams are struggling this season. Melbourne, under the fourth coach in as many season, Clayton McWilliams, has been outscored by an average of 35-8 this fall in losses to Bald Knob and Lonoke. Cave City has been outscored 88-7 in losses to Clinton and Walnut Ridge. Cave City's defense didn't play too bad in last week's 39-0 loss at Walnut Ridge (trailed 18-0 in third quarter). But the Cave City rushing attack netted only 10 yards.

3A NO. 5 SALEM (2-0) at Riverview (0-2): Riverview trailed Highland 33-12 in the second quarter last week before losing 43-12. Sophomore RB Trevion Greer paces Riverview's ground attack. Undefeated Class 3A Salem beat Thayer, Mo., 38-28 a week ago. The Greyhounds surrendered 161 yards. Gatlin Branscum returned an interception for a TD, while Spencer Jackson and Caden Burch both registered 2 sacks. But Salem lost 6 fumbles and allowed 2 kickoff returns for TDs.

TRUMANN (0-1) at 3A Manila (0-1): Trumann didn't play last week, and 2 weeks ago the Wildcats lost to Class 3A unbeaten Hoxie 12-6. The Wildcats held Hoxie to 259 yards. Winless Manila lost to Class 2A EPC 56-29 last week, but Coach Ben Fisher says the Lions were improved. “Night and day difference from Rivercrest (46-6 loss Week 0) to EPC,” he says. “We still need to tackle better and be more physical.

HARRISBURG (0-2) at 3A Palestine-Wheatley (1-1): Improved Harrisburg played hard 2 weeks ago in a 30-point loss to Class 2A Cross County. Palestine-Wheatley's Cary Knowlton, took over for former coach Terry Farmer last week, leading the Patriots to a 43-0 win over Two Rivers. Knowlton previously led Palestine-Wheatley to a 15-32 from 2017-2021.

3A Piggott at HIGHLAND (1-1): Sterling Stowers notched his first head coaching victory with the Rebels 43-12 victory last week over Riverview. Junior Keagan Statler ran 19 times for 185 yards and 2 TDs, while junior QB Zach Huckabee ran 15 times for 143 yards and 4 TDs and passed for 64 yards. Opposing coaches praise Piggott's effort but lackk of depth catches up to the Mohawks in the second half. Piggott lost to Class 5A Paragould a week ago 35-6. DE Lawson Tompkins led the Mohawks last week with 8 tackles, including 3 TFL.

Waldron at 3A FOUKE: Winless Waldron trailed Lamar 26-0 at halftime last week before losing 42-6. Fouke trailed to score any offensive points in last week's 42-2 loss to Class 2A No. 1 Mineral Springs.


2A No. 2 Des Arc (1-0) at BALD KNOB (1-1): This game was canceled last season. Bald Knob has won 3 of the past 4 over Des Arc. Bald Knob trailed Southside 21-0 in the first quarter of last week's 42-13 setback. Des Arc ended Hazen's 14-game win streak with last week's 36-34 overtime win. Senior QB Cache Flanagan ran 22 times for 170 yards and 3 TDs.


MENA (2-0) at Lincoln (2-0): A battle of unbeatens. Mena edged Lincoln 31-28 a year ago, and we expect another close game this year. Mena beat Centerpoint last week 17-16, when Jair Hernandez nailed the winning 44-yard field goal. Hernandez also made 9 tackles on defense. QB Dax McMellon threw 2 TD passes, while Sean Sullivan caught 3 passes for 95 yards and made 5 tackles. Lincoln won the “State Line Standoff” last week, besting Westville, Okla., 48-24. Kale Jones led Lincoln in rushing with 3 TDs.

OPEN Harding Academy, Green Forest, Jonesboro Westside, Mayflower, Warren


Bauxite (1-1) at CAC (2-0): Bauxite's 37-14 win over CAC last season snapped the Mustang's 4-game win streak in the series. Bauxite lost to Monticello last week 28-16. Bauxite led 10-0 in the second quarter before Monticello gained momentum with a TD, then an interception that set up another TD just before halftime. Bauxite's Marcus Wimberly ran 2 TDs. CAC, under first-year coach Ryan Howard, has been the surprise team in Class 4A. The Mustangs pounded Perryville last week 40-6, not allowing a TD until the final minutes.

H.G. HASKELL (1-1) at Pottsville (1-1): The Cardinals trailed 19-7 in the third quarter. Seniors Maddox Moore (18 carries, 46 yards and 1 TD) and Peyton Potter (13 carries, 46 yards) led Haskell's ground attack. Pottsville stunned Class 5A Dardanelle last week with an effective rushing attack and by forcing 4 turnovers.

Hall Steam (0-1) at CLINTON (2-0): Clinton won the first-ever meeting between these teams last year (57-20). The Yellow Jackets beat Heber Springs last week 42-29 and have scored at least 6 TDs in every game this fall. Senior Zane Widener paces Clinton's rushing attack. Hall Steam lost at Dardanelle 38-7 two weeks ago.

Dover (2-0) at LAMAR (2-0): Dover has won 6 of the 11 in the series, but Lamar cruised to a mercy-rule win a year ago. Dover is unbeaten this fall (received forfeit from J.C. Westside in Week 0 and beat Atkins 28-16 a week ago for its second straight Rivals Cup victory). Junior QB Wyatt Renfroe threw for 1 TD and ran for another vs. Atkins. Lamar beat Waldron 40-6 last week. Junior QB Caleb Green threw 2 TD passes and ran for another. Senior LB Will Sanderson had 10 tackles and recovered 2 fumbles.


MCGEHEE (1-0) at Hamburg (0-2): McGehee has a record of 9-5-1 in the past 15 meetings with Hamburg. The Owls won their opener last week, downing Watson Chapel 38-22. Chris Jones ran 10 times for 99 yards and 2 TDs, while QB Ky Bell had 8 carries for 71 yards and 1 TD. Hamburg's Peyton Sellers amassed 22 tackles and forced 1 fumble in last week's 38-7 loss to Class 5A Texarkana.

CROSSETT (1-1) at Star City (0-2): Star City has won 6 of the past 11 in this series. But Crossett has impressed this season with a 39-38 double overtime win at Glen Rose. The Eagles lost to Class 5A Magnolia 45-17. Senior Taylin Paskel caught 4 passes for 101 yards and 2 TDs, blocked 2 extra points and intercepted 1 pass. Armod Williams led Crossett's defense with 9 tackles. Winless Star City struggled to slow Stuttgart in last week's 52-21 loss. Caleb Williams ran for a TD, returned a kickoff 70 yards for a TD and led the Bulldogs in tackles.

DEWITT (1-0) at Monticello (1-1): Monticello has won 6 of the past 11 in the series, but DeWitt used a 1-point triumph last fall to propel itself into the playoffs. DeWitt beat H.G. Haskell last week 33-21 by holding the Cardinals to 101 yards rushing. Monticello rallied past Bauxite 28-16 last week. Jon Jackson led the Billies with 28 carries for 179 yards and 2 TDs. QB Brooks Bowman completed 10 of 13 passes for 158 yards and 1 TD, while Evan Bealer hauled in 7 catches for 151 yards and 1 TD. Blaine Hayden (12 tackles) and Tejon Tensley (10- tackles, 1 interception) led Monticello's defense.

DUMAS (1-0) at Helena (0-2): Helena has won't since last year's 18-point victory over Dumas. But Dumas has won 4 of the past 65 in the series. Dumas beat Rison 20-14 two weeks ago. QB Joseph Jones passed for 144 yards and 2 TDs, while senior Ronald Johnson ran for 156 yards and 1 TD.

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