Class 7A Week 10 Rankings, Notes & Picks
Class 7A, Week 10, 2021
Copyright Hooten Publishing, Inc.
1. Bryant (8-1)
2. Conway (8-1)
3. Fayetteville (7-2)
4. Bentonville (7-2)
5. North LR (7-2)
6. Cabot (7-2)
7. FS Northside (5-4)
8. Rogers (6-2)
9. Bentonville West (6-3)
10. Springdale Har-Ber (3-6)
11. Springdale (1-8)
12. LR Catholic (2-7)
13. FS Southside (1-8)
14. LR Southwest (2-7)
15. LR Central (0-9)
16. Rogers Heritage (0-9)
HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 1 Bryant at No. 2 Conway.
Conway hasn't won this matchup since 2014. The conference title, No. 1 playoff seed and Bryant's 38-game win streak against in-state opponents are on the line. Three-time defending state champ Bryant won at Cabot (45-20) two weeks ago and stopped North LR 24-12 last Friday. “We will have to play better than we did last week to win (at Conway),” says Bryant coach Buck James. Bryant starts five senior offensive linemen. All-state tackle Will Diggins (6-4, 285), all-conference guard Jason Shifflet (6-2, 295) and all-state tackle Brooks Edmonson (6-5, 290; 3.9 GPA) are three-year starters who have a combined 103 starts. All-conference defensive tackle Brandon Jones (5-11, 275) and senior safety Malachi Graham (4.6 speed) lead a Bryant defense allowing 11.5 points per conference game.
Conway consistently executes its up-tempo offense with few mistakes, scoring 45 points per conference game. Sophomore QB Donovyn Omolo (6-0, 175) plays like a veteran, never panicing, always waiting for things to develop. Standout senior RB Manny Smith (5-7, 163) and junior basketball point guard/RB Jamarion “Boogie” Carr (5-10, 170) are both healthy. Senior safety/linebacker Ashton Waller makes big plays with fumble and interception returns.
It's hard to simulate Conway offensive coordinator Mark Kelley's fast-moving attack in practice, but Bryant has the depth to simultaneously use two scout team offenses to prep for the Wampus Cats' quick snaps. Bryant starts just two seniors on defense.
“Conway is the most prolific offense we've seen,” says James, who is now 64-9 (88 percent) at Bryant. “They're really good on offense and don't give up a lot of points.” Watch extended highlights of Bryant’s 24-12 win over North Little Rock earlier this season. Watch extended highlights of Bryant vs Pulaski Academy (scrimmage). Watch extended highlights of Conway’s 57-21 win over Cabot earlier this season.
hootens.com correctly predicted 6 of 8 winners (75 percent) in Class 7A games. For the season, hootens.com is 79-9 (90 percent) in Class 7A.
WEEK 10 PREDICTIONS (favored teams in CAPS followed by points spread)
BRYANT (4) at Conway: Game of the Week.
NORTH LR (1) at Cabot: Winner gets the No. 3 seed. Loser is No. 4 seed. Watch extended highlights of North Little Rock’s 24-12 loss to Bryant earlier this season. Watch extended highlights of Cabot’s 47-27 win over Jonesboro earlier this year. Watch extended highlights of Cabot’s 57-21 loss to Conway earlier this year.
FS NORTHSIDE (25) at LR Southwest: Southwest, now in its second season of football, scored its first varsity victory on the field last Friday at LR Central 6-0. Southwest dresses 60 but 39 are freshmen or sophomores ...14 starters in 2022, got a forfeit from LR Parkview earlier this season. Watch extended highlights of LR Southwest’s 47-0 loss to LR Parkview earlier this year.
LR Central at LR CATHOLIC (3): LR Catholic likely plays at Rogers in the first round of the playoffs.
BENTONVILLE (7) at Bentonville West: Run-oriented Bentonville geared up for the playoffs by passing 24 times for 379 yards in last week's 49-7 win over Springdale. Playoff opponents could be perplexed by Bentonville, which often lines up with two tight ends and with two D-1 recruits (Chas Nimrod and Cooper Smith) at wide receiver. Nimrod caught three passes for 131 yards last week while Smith grabbed four tosses for 71 yards. Bentonville secures a No. 2 seed with a win this week but could drop to a lower seed with a loss. West led just 12-0 at halftime, but was balanced in last week's 34-14 win over FS Southside, passing for 258 yards and rushing for 210.
Heritage at ROGERS (20): Rogers could finish as a No. 3 or No. 4 seed in the West. Rogers senior RB Joshua Shepard has rushed for 1,462 yards (183 yards per week and 9.8 per carry) this fall. Heritage finishes winless for the third time in four seasons and has won three times in seven years.
FS Southside at SPRINGDALE (1): Southside passed 45 times while rushing for just 84 yards in last week's 34-14 loss to Bentonville West. Springdale is headed the playoffs, totaled 233 yards, commited three turnovers and trailed No. 4 Bentonville 35-0 with 9:41 left in the third quarter last week.
FAYETTEVILLE (13) at Har-Ber: Fayetteville wins its first outright league title since John F. Kennedy was President in 1963. Fayetteville has attempted 299 passes (33 per game) this season and completed 184 of them (62 percent) for 65 percent of its 4,071 yards of total offense. Har-Ber lost to Rogers 35-21 last Friday but heads to the playoffs with a 3-7 record.