Prep Friday Preview: Huge Matchup Comes Early in 7A Playoffs at Conway

by Luke Matheson, Special to ArkansasSports360.com  on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010 5:06 pm  

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

Round two of the 2010 Arkansas High School Football Playoffs is set for Friday night, and each classification has a couple of games to keep your eyes on. These games highlighted are the ones which could decide how the landscape of the the remaining playoff picture will look.

ArkansasVarsity.com has examined the top game in each classification. 7A and 2A have games that many fans would typical expect for state championship games. But the way the brackets were set up, they have led to some titanic clashes in just the second round.

In Class 7A, the Springdale Har-Ber Wildcats travel to take on the Conway Wampus Cats.

Both teams are very solid, and are capable of making a run all the way to Little Rock, but unfortunately, they are in the stacked side of the bracket. The winner of this game will take on the winner of the Bentonville Tigers-Bryant Hornets game set for Bentonville. Bentonville is ranked No. 1 this week, Har-Ber is No. 2 and Conway is No. 3. One of Bryant's key wins in 7A-Central knocked Conway from the No. 1 perch last month.

Har-Ber will have to rely on solid play from players like QB Ryan Luther, RB Gordon Welch, WR Michael Fine, OT Brey Cook, LB Preston Cash, and LB Hunter Kissinger.

Conway will have to rely on solid play from their skill players, QB Tyler Langley, RB Jamarkus Harmon, WR Tristan Eddings, WR Jalen Jones, WR Desmond Cox, DE Marquez Massey, LB Darian Hill, DB Elijah White and DB Hunter Moix.

This game will play a huge roll in how the remainder of the Class 7A playoffs are played. A very good team will have their season ended this Friday night, and that is a shame because both have the capabilities of going all the way.

Pick: Conway by 2

Will Class 6A be an 'All-South' quarterfinals again this year?

About the only way ArkansasVarsity.com can see that not happening is for Jonesboro to defeat Texarkana.

Texarkana obviously represents the very stout 6A South conference, but Jonesboro holds the No. 1 seed in the 6A East conference, and their three losses each come from Class 7A teams this year.

The Golden Hurricaine will be led by QB Moe Malugen, RB Zac Brooks, RB Demarques Johnson, WR P.J. Bookout, T Javin Puntry, DE Trip Crawford, LB Brad Shearin, and LB Terrence Greer.

The Razorbacks will be led by QB Kierra Harris, RB Charles Hillis, WR Kennan Robinson, DT Trenell Moore, LB Exavie Hillis, DB Chris Stewart and DB Justin White.

The Golden Hurricane is the one team with the ability to break up the All-South party, and ArkansasVarsity.com feels they will do just that.

Pick: Jonesboro by 12

In Class 5A there is a huge match-up in Southeast Arkansas between the Watson Chapel Wildcats and the Greenbrier Panthers.

This game has the makings of a showdown and could prove to be one of those playoff games people talk about for years to come.

The Panthers will be led by QB Neal Burcham, RB/DB Hunter Winston, WR/DB JoJo Olokun, WR/DB Reid Cone, OL/DL Matt Cain, DE Ryan Alexander, and LB Blake Henderson.

The Wildcats, a top seed as the 5A-Southeast champ, will be led by QB Kyle Coleman, RB Aaron Lagrone, WR Mitch Lane, WR/LB Sam Bass, OL Zach Beggs, LB Michael Payne, LB Josh Rounds, and DB Cedric Burnett.

Watson Chapel will rely on a lot of senior talent while Greenbrier is loaded with underclassmen. Both teams are capable of scoring from anywhere on the field at any given point in the game. This game will certainly be one of the best in the state this week.

Pick: Watson Chapel by 2

In Class 4A there are several quality games, but the one that stands out the most to ArkansasVarsity.com is the matchup between the Pulaski Robinson Senators and the Booneville Bearcats.

The Senators enter the game at 10-1 while the Bearcats enter at 11-0. Both teams are ranked in the ArkansasVarsity.com Top 10 for Class 4A. Boonville sits at No. 3 in the poll while Robinson sits at No. 5.

The Senators did not make the playoffs last season, but have turned things around this year, and are now in round two. They will rely on QB Cole Bulloch, FB Dylan Sanders, RB Jaalen Watkins, WR Evian Hill, OL/DL Anthony Acosta, LB Beau Digby, and DB Tredrick Dunn to get the job done.

The Bearcats are hoping to have a better run in this years playoffs. They went undefeated in season play last year, and was knocked out of the playoffs in round one by Malvern. They will rely on solid play from QB Brock May, RB/LB Talor Tatterson, RB Weston Hughes, FB/LB Anthony Napier, WR/DB Jayson McKnight, OL/DB Isaac Brown, OL/DL Marco Rodriguez and NG Daniel Tillery.

This game could decide who will play the winner of a potential Nashville vs Shiloh Christian matchup. It is certainly one of the best games in Class 4A this week.

Pick: Booneville by 6

In Class 3A, there is going to be a hugh battle in Northeast Arkansas tonight as the Camden Harmony Grove Hornets travel to take on the Rivercrest Colts. The Colts are ranked No. 2 in the ArkansasVarsity.com Class 3A Top 10, while the Hornets are ranked No. 5 in the poll. The Colts are undefeated while the Hornets are 10-1.

The Hornets will rely on solid play from QB Dustin Vaughn, RB Ticorian Berry, FB Jacob Wright, WR Jesse Castleberry, OL Matt Green, OL Chris Kelley, OL James Sherman, OL Jonathan Butler, OL Glenn Nash, LB Devonta Broadnax, S Lavonte Childs, and S Ryan McCann to get the job done.

The Colts will rely on QB Demoine Brown, RB/LB Earl Byrd, RB Terrence Banks, FB/LB Trevor Gregory, WR Tevin Howard, WR John Worsham, OL Scott Russell, OL/DL Jason Smith, and S Michael Wright to get the job done.

The Colts have had a solid running game all season long, but it could be tested tonight as they will face the largest and most physical defensive line they have seen all season. The Hornets will have to be able to match the Colts speed, but have some players capable of doing just that.

This game has huge implications on the Class 3A playoffs, and the winner will potentially meet the winner between Glen Rose and Fordyce, with the winner going to the Class 3A State Championship game.

Pick: Harmony Grove by 2

Class 2A's feature game is one that is usually played later in the playoffs, and was played in the Class 2A State Championship game last season. This game is one that will never disappoint, No. 1-ranked Bearden vs No. 8-ranked Junction City.

The Bears will rely on QB/FS Defonta Lowe, RB/LB Rashad Beets, TE/LB Alan Holmes, WR Tyler Rollins, OL/LB Demarcie Berry, RB/CB Connor Mosley, and RB/CB Blain Harris to get the job done.

The Dragons will rely on RB/DB Rodney Larry, RB/DB Romunskee Flowers, RB/LB Bronte' Elliott, WR/DB Ja'Ryan Brown, OL/DL Walker Cannon, and LB Brandon Nathan to answer the call.

This game is one that both teams would lay it all on the line even if they were both 0-10 and it was not a playoff game. This is a rare rivalry game that is usually played twice a year. Bearden won the first battle this year with a convincing 35-8 victory. The winner of this game should potentially play for the Class 2A State Championship.

This game is also the ArkansasVarsity.com Game of the Week. Publisher Luke Matheson and photographer Jimmy Jones will be on hand for the game. ArkansasSports360.com will have photographers at the Conway-Har-Ber game as well as Pulaski Academy and Batesville home playoff games.

Pick: Bearden by 6

Luke Matheson is publisher of ArkansasVarsity.com, a member of the Rivals.com network.

 

 

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