SPRINGDALE -- Jeff Conaway picked up his cell phone and sent a quick text message from his seat at the front of Shiloh Christian's team bus.
Senior wide receiver Jarred Moore was on the receiving end of Conaway's text, sitting in a seat at the back of the bus.
Class 4A Playoffs
Warren at Shiloh Christian
• Kickoff: 7 p.m.
• Records: Warren 9-3; Shiloh Christian 9-3
• On The Air: www.shilohchristianfootball.com.
• Between The Lines: This is a Class 4A third-round playoff game. Warren defeated Heber Springs 49-7 last week, and Shiloh Christian defeated Pocahontas 14-7. … The Lumberjacks annually produce a number of college prospects. Chris Gragg (Buffalo Bills) and Jarius Wright (Minnesota Vikings) are former Warren stars. … Senior WRs Darveon Brown (51 catches, 837 yards, 11 TDs) and Jaylen Marshall (33-731-7) have committed to Arkansas State. … Senior QB Justin Gorman was 11-of-15 for 149 yards and 3 TDs last week vs. Heber Springs. … Senior RB Kilay Cox ran for more than 300 yards against Shiloh Christian as a sophomore and has rushed for more than 1,700 yards. … The Saints defense was huge in last week’s win over Pocahontas, specifically senior safety Ben Olsen, who blocked two punts and made numerous big plays. … Saints sophomore QB Connor Reece is 148-of-263 for 2,140 yards and 23 TDs, including the game-winner last week to Jarred Moore. … Senior RB Kyle Freeman returned after missing the first-round playoff game with a knee injury and scored a TD. … Saints senior WR Matthew Solomon had a 100-yard KO return against Warren in 2012. Solomon has caught 48 passes for 701 yards and 11 TDs. … The Saints have suffered key injuries last two weeks to several players, including LB Austin Connolly and DB Doug Burke. Their status this week is day-to-day. … Shiloh Christian strength coach John Durmon is a Warren alum.
• Players To Watch: Warren — RB Trent Broughton (Sr., 5-8, 175), RB Kilay Cox (Sr., 5-8, 175), QB Justin Gorman (Sr., 5-10, 180). Shiloh Christian — WR Matthew Solomon, (Sr., 5-7, 145), LB Austin Connolly (Sr., 6-0, 2-5), WR Jarred Moore (Sr., 5-10, 180), LB Lakin Hall (Jr., 6-1, 195), SS Ben Olsen (Sr., 5-10, 177).
• Hooten’s Rankings: Warren is No. 3 in Class 4A; Shiloh Christian is No. 7
• Hooten’s Line: Warren by 21
• Our Take: Warren 35, Shiloh Christian 21
— CHIP SOUZA • @nwaChip
"When we call your number, you've got to be ready," the text said.
Conaway's text message to Moore was simple and direct.
"Basically I told him he needed to be prepared when we call a shot, that his hands had to be ready," Conaway said. "We were going to choose our shots wisely and not force things, but when we decided to throw it vertically down the field, he needed to be ready for it."
Late in the fourth quarter of a 7-7 playoff game at Pocahontas, he got the call. "White main" was the play, and Moore knew immediately he would have a chance to make a big play.
The Pocahontas defender covering him had played both ways the entire game, and Moore sensed that the defender was fatigued.
"On that call, I knew Jarred well enough that, you know he's smart, so he had the option to run the 5-yard hitch and sit it down and try and get the first down, or run the fade for a touchdown," Conaway said. "And we knew what he was going to do. And sure enough he got by (the defender) and the ball was thrown perfectly."
Sophomore quarterback Connor Reece laid a perfect strike and Moore did the rest, completing a 47-yard touchdown play that was the difference in the Saints' 14-7 win in the second-round playoff win. The victory earned the Saints (9-3) a home game today against Warren in Champions Stadium.
"I knew the corner that was guarding me wasn't ready," Moore said. "That's when I just took off. I could tell he was getting really tired. He was wearing down."
Moore (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) has been targeted more often the past two weeks after the season-ending injury to receiver Adler Goode in the final regular season game. He is one of the older players on the team in terms of varsity game experience. Moore actually saw some varsity time as a freshman when he was called up to the varsity team at the end of the season and saw action against both Farmington and Heber Springs.
He also started on both offense and defense as a sophomore as the Saints took on Warren on the purple-and-gray striped turf at UCA's Estes Stadium in 2012. Warren jumped on Shiloh Christian early, but the Saints rallied late for a 36-35 win.
"It was a hard-fought game, that's what I remember," said Moore, who also reminded that Shiloh Christian has never lost to Warren. "I remember Kilay Cox ran all over us, but our seniors found a way to win."
Moore said this year's senior class has a lot of similarities to that 2012 senior group.
"We may not have as much talent, but we play with a lot of heart," he said. "We're close and we play with a lot of unity."
He'll be ready again this week when the time comes, and Conaway won't hesitate to make that call.
"He's got a great football mind," Conaway said. "He knows how to use his body to get open against man coverage, and how to step on toes and separate from defenders."
Sports on 11/28/2014
Print Headline: Veteran Moore Comes Through For Saints