Class 7A Week 13 Rankings, Notes & Picks

Class 7A Week 13 Rankings, Notes & Picks

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Class 7A, Week 13, 2018
Copyright Hooten Publishing, Inc.
1. North LR (11-0)
2. Bryant (8-2)
3. Bentonville West (7-4)
4. Fayetteville (9-3)
5. FS Northside (8-4)
6. Conway (9-3)
7. Bentonville (7-4)
8. FS Southside (6-6)
9. Springdale (7-4)
10. LR Catholic (5-6)
11. Cabot (3-7)
12. Springdale Har-Ber (2-8)
13. Van Buren (4-7)
14. Rogers (3-7)
15. LR Central (1-8)
16. Rogers Heritage (0-10)

No. 5 FS Northside at No. 2 Bryant
Northside coach Mike Falluer was not pleased when these teams' first meeting of the year (Sept. 21) was cancelled in the 2nd quarter due to lightning at Bryant. Northside trailed 16-7 when officials called the game. “I'd hate to give somebody a win after playing less than a half, too,” says Bryant coach Buck James. Northside’s other losses came on consecutive Fridays in October at Conway (35-21), vs. North LR (40-3) and at Cabot (35-23). The Grizzlies beat rival FS Southside (23-13) Week 10 to earn a No. 4 playoff seed, mercy-ruled Van Buren 35-0 in the first round of the playoffs and ended Bentonville’s seven-game win streak last Friday, 30-17. 
Northside, which hasn't returned to the state finals since winning it all in 1999, owns one of the state’s better defenses. It allowed just 63 yards in the first half last week at Bentonville and just 30 yards rushing on 16 carries for the night. Northside recorded five QB sacks, forced three turnovers and allowed only one TD (Bentonville returned a kick for its other TD). Northside senior LB Anthony Travis (6-2, 215), a basketball standout playing football for just the second season, makes big hits and knocks down passes in coverage. The Grizzlies committed no turnovers at Bentonville with senior QB Derrick “Duece” Wise operating the option attack to near perfection. Wise carried 24 times for 133 yards and complete nine of 14 passes at Bentonville. “The option makes you have to cover the whole field,” James says. “We'll have to play assignment football and make one-on-one tackles.”
Bryant makes it's third consecutive semifinals appearance looking to play in its first state title game. Hard-running senior all-state RB Latavion Scott gains 6.77 yards per carry, totaling 1,470 yards this season. Senior all-state linebacker Jakob Neel blocked a field goal with 19 seconds remaining to beat Fayetteville 28-25 last week. Neel missed the first seven games of the season with injury, including a 36-35 loss to Fayetteville on Sept. 14 at Bryant. All Hornets are healthy and ready for the semis, James says. “This team's motivation has been different since the offseason. They get it. I like our team. I think they're ready to be able to do this. Nothing short of winning a state championship is what we've set out to do. We're not here to just play in the semifinals.”

No. 3 Bentonville West at No. 1 North LR
Talented defending champ North LR advances to its third straight state title game with a win while Bentonville West looks to play for it all in just its third season of football. 
West waltzes into the semis loaded with three-year starters and four-star recruits. Senior receiver and Ole Miss commit Jadon Jackson totals 107.2 all-purpose yards weekly. Senior three-year starting QB Will Jarrett, out with injury in three of West’s 4 losses this fall, completes 58 percent of his passes for 223 yards weekly. Senior Tucker Swoboda (6-3, 180) totals 74.5 all-purpose yards weekly. The Wolverines pass for 218 yards and rush for 125 weekly to average 32.6 points. West allows 21.7 points with 25 QB sacks and 11 interceptions this season. Senior linebacker Austin Embank makes 10.1 tackles per Friday, but Vanderbilt LB commit Kendall Young will not play for the second consecutive game due to undisclosed reasons.  Undefeated North LR outscores opponents 40-21 weekly. The Charging ‘Cats failed to cover consecutive onside kicks in the fourth quarter last week but survived FS Southside 48-45. It was North LR’s closest outing since beating Tulsa Washington 29-28 in the season opener. North LR has three, thick-thighed, 1,000-yard rushers: seniors Oscar Adaway and Tyler Day and junior Brandon Thomas. Thomas carried 11 times for 218 yards while Day added 177 rushing yards last Friday.  North LR’s robust rushing attack is bad news for Bentonville West, which allowed 5.49 yards per carry to Conway last Friday. However, the West pass-catch combo of Jarrett to Jackson is arguably the best in the state and North LR’s man coverage has been susceptible to deep balls all season. North LR allowed 456 yards passing just last week. So, in a game loaded with talented players, look for North LR to use time-consuming, debilitating drives to limit West’s opportunities and advance to the finals. Both Conway and Bryant were limited to nine second-half snaps against North LR earlier this season.

LAST WEEK correctly predicted three of four winners in Class 7A games. For the season, is 78-24 (76 percent) predicting 7A games.

WEEK 13 PREDICTIONS (favored team in CAPS followed by points spread)
FS Northside at BRYANT (13)
Bentonville West at NORTH LR (15)

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