Class 7A Rankings, Picks and Notes, Week 5, 2023
Hooten’s Arkansas Football Rankings
Class 7A, Week 5, 2023
Copyright Seventy Seven’s Football Publishing, LLC
2. Fayetteville (4-0)
3. Bentonville (2-2)
4. Rogers (4-0)
5. Bryant (3-1)
6. Cabot (2-2)
7. FS Southside (3-1)
8. Bentonville West (2-2)
9. North Little Rock (1-3)
10. Jonesboro (1-3)
11. LR Southwest (1-3)
12. Har-ber (0-4)
13. Springdale (2-2)
14. FS Northside (0-4)
15. Heritage (1-3)
16. LR Central (0-4)
NOTE There are no changes yet again in the 7A rankings. The top 6 took care of business in a big way overall.
BY KEVIN KELLEY
I went 8-0 last week, bringing my total to 33-14 (70 percent) in games involving 7A teams.
WEEK 5 PREDICTIONS (favored team highlighted and ALL CAPS)
HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 4 Rogers (4-0) at No. 2 FAYETTEVILLE (4-0):
This should be an awesome matchup. Fayetteville has won 18 of the past 21 in the series, but Rogers (4-0) is coming off an emotional 44-38 win against Fort Smith Southside and looks to be on a mission. Rogers Coach Chad Harbison praised the Mounties' defense for making key stops when needed. A TD pass from QB Dane Williams to sophomore Jeff Regan put Rogers ahead for good. WR Caleb Hudgins moved to RB for the game and was effective running the ball. Rogers WR Graycen Cash is my favorite motivational story of the year. Cash, who came back from a torn ACL after only 5 months, had 3 catches for 74 yards and a fumble recovery in the win. I love the fact that he wanted to get back on that field with his team and also because he knows his parents love watching him play.
Fayetteville comes in off a 56-21 win over a good Bentonville West team. Drake Lindsey threw 5 TD passes to Jaison Delamar. Lindsey and Delamar are pushing to be the state's best QB/WR duo, and Rogers will have to find a way to contain them to have a shot to win. Lindsey looks very comfortable in the pocket in the limited amount of video I have seen, but I have not seen him have to deal with a lot of blitzes on his successful plays. I wouldn’t mind seeing how he reacts to pressure because he has shown he is excellent without it. Teams are scared to blitz too much, so I see Fayetteville pulling away late after a close game in the first half.
No. 7 FS Southside (3-1) at No. 3 BENTONVILLE (2-2): Southside, led by Amari Tucker (140 rushing yards, including 74-yard TD run; 28-yard reception) and WR Isaac Gregory (2 catches, 1 TD), comes in off a 6-point loss to undefeated Rogers. Its task gets no easier this week. Bentonville beat Har-ber 73-39 in the state's highest-scoring game last week, and I am sure the Tigers Coach Jody Grant will want to slow things down this week. Bentonville showed off its running game against Har-ber with several different players running for TDs, including senior RB Jason Gilmore. I believe Bentonville will have to contain Southside's Amari Tucker, who is one of the best around, to get back to being the defense it wants to be. Bentonville takes this one!
No. 8 BENTONVILLE WEST (2-2) at No. 13 Springdale (2-2): Bentonville West lost last week to a very good Fayetteville Bulldogs team, and Coach Bryan Pratt will have the Wolverines ready after giving up yards in the passing game. Bentonville West ran the ball well at times last week, including a TD from Cole Edmondson. Springdale comes off a much-needed 28-20 win over Rogers Heritage, led by QB Jack Pounders, who rushed for a TD. Pounders needs to continue to add TDs to his stat sheet if Springdale wants to beat Bentonville West. I look for the Wolverines to get back on track here.
No. 12 SPRINGDALE HAR-BER (0-4) at No. 15 Rogers Heritage (1-3): Har-ber put up 39 points in a 34-point loss to Bentonville, but Bentonville Coach Jody Grant was complimentary of Har-Ber's offensive effort. Coach Brent Eckley's team needs to continue using the same passing-game combinations it used with QB Braden Sprague throwing to receivers Hayden Wood, Ashton Stewart, and Evan Curry. Stewart and Curry scored last week. Heritage, coming off a 28-20 loss to Springdale, eyes its second win. Har-ber leads the series 14-1 and it has displayed more firepower so far this year. I think that will be on display this week.
No. 1 CONWAY (4-0) at No. 9 North Little Rock (1-3) North Little Rock has won 11 of the past 19 between these teams, but Conway is rolling right now. The Wampus Cats played well on both sides of the ball in a 56-0 win over LR Southwest. Conway started last week with a TD pass by quarterback Donovyn Omolo, then a 5-yard run by RB Desmond Davis. It capped off the first quarter with a TD run by Omolo and never looked back. North Little Rock beat Little Rock Central 41-6 in a game that was close early. Then, Tyson Bradden threw a long TD pass to Kaiden Pettus to open up a 2-TD lead, and it was over then. I look for Conway to dominate this game as the Buck James freight train continues to gain speed.
No. 10 Jonesboro (1-3) at No. 5 Bryant (3-1): Bryant won 48-7 over Northside and now must turn its attention Jonesboro. QB Jordan Walker and WR Mytorian Singleton continued their solid seasons that last week. Jonesboro lost 27-14 against a good Cabot team. QB Terrance Brown and WR Chris Stacy clicked on a TD pass. Bryant wins this one at home and gets to work on some things in the process. Watch out for the Hornets' running game this week.
No. 11 Little Rock Southwest (1-3) at No. 6 CABOT (2-2): Cooper Powell and Hayes Cox both scored TDs last Friday night in Cabot's 27-14 over Jonesboro. Cabot hasn’t lost at home in almost 2 years and is 2-0 in this very young series since Southwest opened. Little Rock Southwest totaled 250 yards in a 56-0 loss to No. 1 Conway. The Gryphons will have to improve in both the passing and running games to have a chance. I see this one going Cabot’s way as its home winning streak continues.
No. 16 Little Rock Central (0-4) at No. 14 FS NORTHSIDE: Both teams are looking for their first win. The Tigers lost 41-6 o North Little Rock last week, and the Grizzlies lost at home to No. 5 Bryant. Northside leads the series 7-1, and I am going with the Grizzlies to get their first win.