By Kyle Sutherland | Background photo by Braeden Botts
Six weeks later, four remain as the final month of the regular season heats up. A Class 5A conference is complete madness after the latest addition to the Power 25 picked up an overtime victory, the No. 2 fell to No. 5 and many more fell last week, which created the most movement we’ve seen so far.
Here’s the SBLive Arkansas ranking of the top 25 high school footballers for Week 7.
1. Bryant (5-0)
Two coaching legends, Bryant’s Buck James and Central’s George Shelton, faced off at Everett Field, but James’ mighty Hornets didn’t need very long to finish this one as they scored all of their 42 points at halftime and eliminated the Tigers. Bryant travels to nearby Pulaski County on Friday to play Little Rock Southwest.
2. Cabot (5-1)
Cabot beat Conway 14-0 in the first quarter and went full game to beat the Wampus Cats 35-20, taking advantage of 12 penalties from Conway and forcing four turnovers. The Panthers now have the best resume in the state after beating three Top 10 teams – Fayetteville, Bentonville West and Conway. They’re back at home this week in a favorable game against Central, before hitting the road to face top-ranked Bryant on October 21.
3. Conway (5-1)
Although they fought to the end, the Wampus Cats did some unusual things, succumbing to double-digit penalties and nearly a handful of turnovers in a 35-20 loss to Cabot. Very little had gone wrong from them so far, so they expect to regroup and learn from their mistakes before Fort Smith Northside arrives at John McConnell Stadium on Friday.
4. Pulaski Academy (6-0)
Academy opponent Pulaski has scored the opening goal in three of the Bruins’ six games, but that hasn’t fazed them. Siloam Springs was the last to do so and once again PA responded by running away, scoring 58 points in the first half, eventually winning 65-17. The Bruins will travel to Van Buren this week.
5. Greenwood (5-1)
The Bulldogs were goodbye. They will host a huge showdown with No. 7 Lake Hamilton on Friday.
6. Bentonville (5-1)
The Tigers won in dominant fashion for the fourth straight week beating Rogers Heritage 42-7. Since the bye week a month ago, they have outscored their opponents 165-45 but have yet to earn a signing victory. That could change on Friday as they host No.8 Fayetteville, hoping to avenge last year’s 42-34 loss.
7. Lake Hamilton (7-0)
Led by another outstanding performance from star Justin Crutchmer – 211 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns, an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and 8 total tackles defensively – Wolves took care of business and barely skipped a beat all year. They are looking to start 8-0 for the fourth straight season but need to pass No.5 Greenwood on the road to do so. The Bulldogs have won the last seven meetings, including the 2020 6A state championship game, dating back to 2016 when the programs began competing in 6A West.
8. Fayetteville (4-2)
It took a while to get into the rhythm, but the Purple Dogs pulled away from Fort Smith Southside 60-20 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, head coach Casey Dick’s former home ground. Junior quarterback Drake Lindsey had another stellar outing completing 24 of 36 passes for 401 yards and 5 touchdowns, 2 of those scores to his favorite target Kaylon Morris who had received over 200 yards. Fayetteville travels to rival No. 6 Bentonville this week in a bid to defeat the Tigers in back-to-back seasons since 2004-05.
9. Catholic (6-0)
After a big win over previously undefeated West Memphis, the Rockets were pushed down the road by Sheridan, but prevailed again winning 21-7 to stay undefeated. The defensive unit continues to be one of the best in the state, allowing just 13 points per game. They return to War Memorial Stadium on Friday against Sylvan Hills.
10. West Bentonville (4-2)
The Wolverines were in a must-win situation against undefeated Rogers if they were to stay in the 7A-West race and they answered the call by beating the Mounties 34-21. Quarterback Jake Casey passed for 242 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Ty Durham had 6 passes for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns. West will play in Har-Ber this week.
After digging a 21-0 hole against Bentonville West, the RCMP offense came to life in the second half, but the West offense also kept scoring which was too much to overcome. Rogers is looking to get back on track at home against Springdale ahead of a big road game against No. 6 Bentonville on October 21.
12. Joe T. Robinson (5-1)
Against Maumelle and former Senators defensive coordinator Brian Maupin, Robinson lost 8-0 but had 21 points in the second quarter, which proved to be the main difference in the 35-30 win. Noah Freeman punished defenses all year and did it once again with 291 all-around yards, including 205 yards and 3 rushing yards averaging 12 yards per carry. They return to Charlie George Stadium on Friday to face Beebe.
13. Parkview (4-2)
The Patriots had no problem visiting Hope as they handled the Bobcats 47-21 at War Memorial Stadium. Sophomore sensation Omarion Robinson had one of the most impressive performances any player in the state has had this season, with all of his scores being non-offensive touchdowns which included an interception return, a return kick and two punt returns. Parkview heads to deep southwest Arkansas on Friday to take on a brave team from Arkansas High.
14. Arkadelphia (5-0)
The Badgers were goodbye. They are hosting Waldron this week.
15. Little Christian Rock (4-2)
After a bye, the Warriors had no problem handling Mountain Home 45-13. Sophomore Ronny Anokye made his presence known by rushing 26 times for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Warriors compiled nearly 400 rushing yards. They travel to Siloam Springs this week hoping to win back-to-back games 2-0 since the start of the season.
16. Camden Fairview (5-1)
The Cardinals played fierce defense throughout their four-game winning streak and maintained that pace, along with a stellar rushing offense, in a 35-19 win over previously undefeated Magnolia. They rushed for 229 yards, led by quarterback and Razorback committing Martavius Thomas’ 144, as well as JaBauree Lockhart’s three touchdowns. After back-to-back games on the road, the Cardinals return home to face De Queen this week.
17. Benton (4-2)
Benton got off to a 1-2 start but has since taken care of business against a favorable schedule and is currently on a three-game winning streak. The Panthers outscored their opponents 168-41 during that span. They needed just 280 total rushing yards to earn a 58-0 win over Greene County Tech last Friday. Benton returns to Everett Field this week with Jacksonville coming to town.
18. Shiloh Christian (5-1)
After beating Harrison last Friday, the Saints beat their three 5A-West opponents 167-27. Besides two throw interceptions, quarterback Eli Wisdom was perfect completing 12 of 14 passes for 245 yards and four touchdowns, while wide Bodie Neal continues to impress, completing 7 passes for 169 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Saints travel to Pea Ridge this week.
19. Mills (7-0)
It wasn’t the first time this season that Mills had won in thrilling fashion, but an extra point from QJ King sealed the deal as the Comets were able to slip away from Pine Bluff at home to remain unbeaten. UCA Commit Jabrae Shaw also notched his ninth interception of the season, adding to his numbers as the state leader in that category. A showdown with No. 12 Robinson on October 21 that should end up deciding 5A-Central looms after a bye.
20. Farmington (4-2)
Adapting to quarterback Sam Wells continued to be a success for the Cardinals as they won their last two games by a combined 101-22. A favorable home game with Clarksville looms on the horizon this week before a crucial road trip to Shiloh Christian with major implications in 5A West on October 21.
21. Magnolia (5-1)
The Panther offense scored its lowest point total of the season and was unable to stop Camden Fairview’s rushing attack, resulting in its first loss of the season. While it will increase their workload trying to bounce back, 5A-South’s top spot is still up for grabs as they hit the road against a feisty Hot Springs squad.
22. Batesville (5-1)
Winners of four straight games, Batesville have allowed just six points in the past two games, most recently beating Forrest City 37-6. Junior running back Gabe Witt, the Pioneers’ workhorse, rushed 14 times for 136 yards (9.7 yards per carry) and touchdowns. Batesville has a tough game on the road this week against a Wynne team that just dropped a point to Valley View.
23. Harding Academy (6-0)
After a 13-12 halftime score in favor of Harding Academy, the Wildcats managed to put Bald Knob out as they kicked a second-half shutout, picking up 28 points. Sophomore Owen Miller had another great outing completing 38 of 44 passes (86%) for 418 yards and also had 100 rushing yards. Heath Griffin added 149 all-purpose yards and 5 touchdowns, while Landon Koch had 11 passes for 156 yards through the air. The Wildcats face Riverview on Oct. 21 after a bye this week.
24. Nettleton (5-1)
With the exception of a loss to Batesville, the Raiders were flawless at least in terms of final results and easily managed a struggling Paragould team 35-0 last Friday. A road trip to Southside Batesville is on the schedule this week as they fight to stay in the 5A-East race.
25. Valley View (5-1)
After a thrilling overtime win over Wynne, the Blazers claim the final Power 25 spot. They fell to Harding Academy in Week 0 but have since won five straight and created even more madness in the quest for the 5A-East. the best corner.