Class 7A Rankings, Picks and Notes, Week 3, 2023
Hooten’s Arkansas Football Rankings
Class 7A, Week 3, 2023
Copyright Seventy Seven’s Football Publishing, LLC
1. Conway (2-0)
2. Fayetteville (3-0)
3. Bentonville (1-1)
4. Rogers (3-0)
5. Bryant (2-1)
6. Cabot (1-1)
7. FS Southside (3-0)
8. Bentonville West (2-1)
9. North Little Rock (0-2)
10. Jonesboro (1-2)
11. LR Southwest (1-1)
12. Har-ber (0-2)
13. Springdale (1-2)
14. FS Northside (0-3)
15. Heritage (1-2)
16. LR Central (0-3)
KEVIN KELLEY'S COMMENT Lot of talk over dropping Bryant to No. 2 last week despite its 2-0 record. It’s not about that. It’s about who is believed to be the best at the time. Right now, Conway is clearly No. 1 while Fayetteville has moved up with some dominating victories. Bentonville and Rogers continue to take care of business, so Bryant takes another move down this week after losing to defending Class 5A champion Little Rock Parkview. Don’t get me wrong: Bryant is a good team, but we need to see how it reacts to having its 54-game in-state winning streak come to an end. Little Rock Southwest moved to No. 11 with a commanding win over Heritage while Fort Smith Southside now has my attention. We will see if it can take a week off and then pick it back up.
WEEK 3 PREDICTIONS (favored team in ALL CAPS)
Hootens.com predicted 5 of 8 games (60 percent) involving 7A teams and is 23-9 (71.8 percent) for the season.
HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK:
7A No. 9 North Little Rock (0-2) at 5A No. 1 LR Parkview (2-0):
Class 5A defending state champion Parkview participates in the 7A Game of the Week for the second consecutive week. The Patriots beat Bryant (ranked No. 2 at the time), ending the Hornets' 54-game streak of consecutive wins against in-state opponents. This Friday, Parkview takes on No. 9 North Little Rock, which had a bye after opening the season with back-to-back losses. Monterrio Elston's 70-yard TD run started the scoring for Parkview at Bryant. Eric McGehee scored on a 29-yard run and Cam Settle followed with a short TD run. Special teams kicked in with an 85- yard kickoff return by Jermaine Penny. The deciding moment came with Parkview leading 28-20 in the third quarter. Bryant scored to make it 28-26, but the Hornets elected to kick the extra point to make it 28-27 instead of attempting a game-tying 2-point conversion.
North Little Rock (0-2) opened the season with a 17-7 loss to 6A LR Catholic in Week 1 and then fell to 7A No. 2 Fayetteville 58-20. The Charging Wildcats have had an extra week to prepare for a Parkview team coached by Brad Bolding, who formerly coached North Little Rock. North Little Rock showed some good things against Fayetteville, but I think the momentum that Parkview has will carry it to a victory. The Patriots look smoother in all phases right now as NLR is working to sharpen things up under first-year head coach Clint Reed.
No. 1 Conwat (2-0) at Ouachita Parish (1-1): Conway takes its No. 1 Arkansas ranking to Louisiana after beating Bentonville and Springdale the past 2 weeks. QB Donovan Omolo threw TDs to Cris O’Neal, Jackson Anderson, and John Smith against Springdale. Ouachita Parish is averaging 19 points per game, while Conway is averaging 42 points against what I believe is better competition. Conway should take this one easily.
KC (Mo.) Rockhurst (2-1) at No. 3 Bentonville (1-1): Bentonville had a week off to fix things after a 3-point home loss to current No. 1 Conway, and I bet Coach Jody Grant did just that. Bentonville needs to keep getting the ball to C. J. Brown, who had a 70-yard TD reception against Rockhurt last year in Bentonville's 30-7 win. Rockhurst enters off a 35-7 loss last week Liberty (Mo.) North. As long as Bentonville can stop Rockhurst RB Aidan Ryan, who averages more than 100 yards per game, I think Bentonville gets the win. LIberty North QB Tillman Martin (9-10 passing, 264 yards, 3 TDs) was sharp against Rockhurst, and I think Bentonville QB Carter Nye can put up similar numbers. The Tigers right the ship this week before getting heavy into 7A West play.
Ruston, La. (1-1) at No. 6 Cabot (1-1): Cabot had a week off to get ready for this out-of-state matchup, and it was probably a pretty good week off after a small upset win (yes, I picked Bentonville West to beat Cabot in a tight one). I know better than to pick against the Panthers at home, where they haven't lost since 2021. Cabot QB Maddox McCrory threw the ball for 21 yards, most of it to H-back Gavin Reardon. The Panthers beat the Wolverines on the ground and with defense. Cooper Powell (2 TDs) and Hayes Cox (TD) led the scoring. Keegan Vest led the team in rushing yards with 84. Ruston beat New Orleans Jesuit 35-7 last week, and it looks for a repeat of last season's win over Cabot. I think Cabot will keep its home win streak alive, and will probably throw it a little more this week getting ready for 7A Central conference play.
5A No. 6 Hot Springs (2-0) at 7A No. 11 LR Southwest (1-1): Coach Darryl Patton led the Gryphons to their first win, 48-6 over Heritage. Southwest will try to avenge a 61-30 loss to Hot Springs last year. Hot Springs (2-0) has returned to the winning reputation it had when I was growing up in the Spa City. Coach Darrell Burnett has his guys aiming for a 5A South Conference title after dominant wins over Vilonia and Arkadelphia. That should give the Trojans confidence. I think Southwest gained some confidence, too, in its win over Heritage, and I think Southwest pulls out a win this week.
Mustang, Okla. (2-0) at No. 12 Har-ber (0-2)
Mustang enters the game undefeated while winless Har-ber comes off a much-needed bye week after losing 75-18 at Bixby, Okla. in Week 1. New Har-ber Coach Brett Eckley is still getting to know his team, and I am betting the Wildcats are much improved this week. I don’t think it will be enough to win, though I am hoping they prove me wrong.