Class 6A Rankings, Picks and Notes, Week 4, 2023
Hooten’s Arkansas Football Rankings
Class 6A, Week 4, 2023
Copyright Seventy Seven's Football Publishing, LLC
1. Greenwood (4-0)
2. Pulaski Academy (3-0)
3. Little Rock Christian (3-1)
4. Benton (2-1)
5. LR Catholic (2-1)
6. Marion (3-0)
7. Searcy (3-0)
8. West Memphis (2-1)
9. Lake Hamilton (2-2)
10. Mountain Home (2-2)
11. El Dorado (2-1)
12. Greenbrier (3-1)
13. Russellville (1-3)
14. Van Buren (1-2)
15. Sylvan Hills (0-3)
16. Sheridan (0-3)
17. Siloam Springs (0-4)
18. Greene County Tech (1-2)
19. Jacksonville (0-3)
Hootens.com correctly picked 8 of 9 games (89 percent) involving Class 6A teams last week and 37 of 45 games (82 percent) on the season.
WEEK 4 PREDICTIONS (favored team in ALL CAPS)
HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 2 Pulaski Academy (3-0) at No. 3 LR CHRISTIAN (3-1)
Pulaski Academy is 14-3 all-time against LR Christian, including the last 5 in a row. These teams played for the Class 5A state title 3 consecutive years (2018-2020), with the Bruins winning the last 2. LRCA topped PA for the 2018 state championship.
Defending Class 6A state champion Pulaski Academy had a bye week last Friday after opening with 3 wins. The Bruins dominated the second half of a 48-20 victory over Russellville 2 weeks ago. The Cyclones led 20-18 after the first quarter and at halftime, but the Bruins scored the game's final 30 points. PA QB Brandon Cobb passed for 444 yards and 5 TDs against Russellville, while the Bruins running game totaled 199 yards and a score. Kaden Nash (10 tackles) and J.T. Phelan (9) led the defense.
LR Christian, which lost to 5A Shiloh Christian in Week 1, has returned to form since opening league play 2 weeks ago. The Warriors rolled Russellville 40-7 last Friday night after trailing 7-5 in the second period. LRCA senior QB and Auburn commit Walker White passed for 245 yards and 3 TDs against Russellville, while Tristan Wilson (5-104 receiving, 3 TDs) and Jackson Ward (13-87 rushing) supplemented White.
There's no reason to believe this matchup won't be another exciting one, but LR Christian wins late in front of its home crowd.
Greene County Tech (1-2) at NO. 6 MARION (3-0): This rivalry dates back to the 1980s, but the Patriots, who are celebrating homecoming, have led the series 6-2 since 2000, including a 34-8 victory a season ago. El Dorado tamed Tech 38-6 on Friday night. Marion is 3-0 for the first time since 2018 after mercy-ruling Jacksonville 48-13 last week. The Pats produced more than 400 yards for the second consecutive week and led 35-0 in the second period after scoring on 5 drives in a row. Marion's lead hit 48-6 in the fourth quarter, and the first-string defense has allowed 2 touchdowns in 2023. Greene County Tech's offense has scored 12 points this season after booting 2 field goals in last week's loss to El Dorado. Tech trailed 24-3 at halftime and 31-6 after 3 quarters. The Golden Eagles defense allowed 194 yards. Marion has outscored its opposition by a combined 125-33, and that trend continues this week.
No. 4 BENTON (2-1) at El Dorado (2-1): Benton has won 3 in a row in this series, including 56-28 a season ago. The Panthers enter after topping defending 6A East champion Little Rock Catholic 49-42 in a thriller last Friday night. Benton sophomore QB Drew Davis (21-33 passing, 324 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT.) honed in on Maddox Davis (10-138 receiving, 4 TDs) as his favorite target. Senior tailback and Arkansas commit Braylen Russell (134 rushing, 3 TDs) led the ground attack. El Dorado overcame a lengthy road trip last week to topple Greene County Tech 38-6. El Dorado rushed for 194 yards and 4 scores, led by Thomas Smith's 64 yards and a TD. It was El Dorado's best game to date, but Benton is rolling right now on offense.
No. 7 Searcy (3-0) at NO. 5 LR CATHOLIC (2-1) at War Memorial Stadium: Little Rock Catholic won 42-21 in 2022, the first meeting between the teams. The Rockets must move past last week's 49-42 loss at Benton, a game in which they led 14-0 in the first quarter. Catholic senior QB Jackson English (21-34 passing, 415 yards, 6 TDs) looked to Brooks Ward (7-165 receiving, 3 TDs) and Thomas Duch (5-100 receiving, 2 TDs) as his favorite targets. Searcy beat Sylvan Hills 42-7. Searcy senior QB Ty Strickland (13-19 passing, 137 yards, TD) led the air attack, and the Lions rushed for 182 yards and 5 TDs. Senior LB Jace Garcia (22 tackles in 2023) spearheads a defense that allowed its fewest points since beating West Memphis 44-7 on Oct. 2021. This game might be closer than many believe, but Catholic's defense will make the difference on Friday night.
Jacksonville (0-3) at SHERIDAN (0-3): Sheridan has won 4 of the past 6 meetings, including 49-0 last year. Jacksonville senior QB Kentrell Thompson ran for 111 yards and 2 TDs last week in the Titans' 48-13 home loss to Marion. Jacksonville surrendered 5 straight TD drives to Marion and 6 in the first half. Sheridan stayed close to West Memphis last week into the fourth quarter before the Blue Devils won 49-21. Sheridan intercepted a Blue Devils pass but allowed 267 passing yards. Sheridan struggles against the pass while Jacksonville has found rushing success. The Yellowjackets should be able to get enough stops to win this week.
NO. 8 WEST MEMPHIS (2-1) at Sylvan Hills (0-3): West Memphis has won 6 of the past 10 meetings, including a 35-16 win last year. The Bears won the previous 3 meetings. Sylvan Hills totaled 94 yards while turning it over 3 times in last week's 42-7 loss to Searcy. Sylvan Hills expects to get a boost with the likely return offensive lineman Diamond Simpson, who missed the first 3 games. West Memphis slammed Sheridan 49-21 a week ago, rolling up 429 yards. Blue Devils senior QB Keland Mills (16-20 passing, 267 yards, 2 TDs), while 5 West Memphis rushers combined for 167 yards and 4 scores. Senior receiver Jaylon Merritt (4-128 receiving) caught both of Mills' TD passes. West Memphis has bounced back from an opening loss at 7A Jonesboro and the Blue Devils should pull away this week.
Pulaski Academy at LR CHRISTIAN: See hootens.com Game of the Week.
Russellville (1-3) at No. 10 MOUNTAIN HOME (2-2): These teams have split the past 4 meetings, with Russellville winning 38-28 last fall. Russellville kept it close for more than a half last week before falling to LR Christian 40-7. The Cyclones led 7-5 late in the first half. Luke Jones scored the Cyclones' TD. Mountain Home trailed Lake Hamilton 20-10 last week at halftime, but the Bombers rallied to take the lead in the second half before allowing the game-winning touchdown with 25 seconds left for a 44-38 defeat. Mountain Home senior QB Cade Yates completed 15 of 26 passes for 174 yards and 2 TDs at Lake Hamilton, while Chris Hubbard ran 12 times for 136 yards and 2 scores. The winner of this game will likely host a first-round playoff game in November, and that will be the Bombers, who should win a thriller in Baxter County.
NO. 9 LAKE HAMILTON (2-2) at Siloam Springs (0-4): Lake Hamilton has won 6 of the 7 meetings between the teams, including 41-7 last year. Lake Hamilton outgained Mountain Home last week 414-349 in a 44-38 home victory. Hamilton senior QB Easton Hurley completed 9 of 14 passes against Mountain Home for 126 yards, and the Wolves led 14-3 early in the second period. Siloam Springs rushed for more than 200 yards in a 55-14 loss to Greenwood, but 4 turnovers didn't help. Siloam QB Dane Marlatt rushed for a 1-yard TD against Greenwood. Lake Hamilton's quest to host a playoff game continues this week with a big road win after a 187-mile bus trip to Northwest Arkansas.
NO. 1 GREENWOOD (3-0) at Van Buren (1-2): Greenwood has won all 5 meetings with Van Buren, including 63-21 in 2022. Van Buren was open last week after losing 58-27 to Greenbrier 2 weeks ago. Van Buren led 14-10 after a quarter, but the Panthers outscored the Pointers 48-13 from the second period on. Greenbrier outgained Van Buren 566-345. Greenwood slammed Siloam Springs 55-14 behind third-string QB Scott Holland and a dominant rushing attack that produced more than 300 yards, including 245 yards and 4 TDs from tailback Brayden Davis. Greenwood forced 4 turnovers and led 21-0 in the first period. Greenwood continues to battle the injury bug this September, with sophomore QB Kane Archer missing the last game with an injury. Regardless, the Bulldogs have enough to win and improve to 4-0.