SPRINGDALE -- A lot has changed since the last time Charleston and Shiloh Christian met on the football field.
Back in November 1999, Gus Malzahn was coaching the Saints to a 15-0 record, which included what many call the greatest game ever played in Arkansas -- a 70-64 win over Junction City.
At A Glance
Shiloh Christian vs. Charleston
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m.
Where: Mayo-Thompson Stadium, Fort Smith
On The Air: www.shilohsaints.org
Records: Season opener for both teams
Hooten’s Ranking: Shiloh Christian is No. 12 in Class 4A; Charleston is No. 2 in Class 3A.
Hooten’s Line: Charleston by 8.
On the way to setting a record for most points scored in a season, the Saints travelled down to the River Valley for a second-round playoff game at Charleston. The Tigers hung close for a half, but the Saints' offense took over in the second half and rolled to a 56-21 victory.
The teams have met just four times, with Shiloh Christian winning all four. They renew their rivalry at 5:30 p.m. today in the hootens.com Kickoff Classic at Mayo-Thompson Stadium in Fort Smith.
"I think they bring out the best in everybody," Charleston coach Greg Kendrick said. "They're a team we haven't beat, going back to the late '90s and early 2000s. Our kids know the history behind it; they understand what's behind this game. To all the community members here, they understand the importance of it. This is a big deal for our community."
Back in the 1990s, it was Shiloh Christian that had all the record-setters like former quarterback Josh Floyd. In today's game, the star will be on the other sideline as Charleston quarterback Ty Storey will lead the Tigers in what they hope culminates in another state championship before he enrolls at Arkansas in January.
Storey (6-foot-3, 222 pounds) is a 4-star prospect and one of the nation's top quarterbacks. Last season he led the Tigers to the 3A state title by passing for 4,241 yards and 52 touchdowns. He torched Harding Academy for 519 yards and seven touchdowns.
"The University of Arkansas isn't just recruiting him just because he looks good in a Charleston Tiger uniform," Shiloh Christian coach Jeff Conaway said. "He's a very good player. We've got to play near perfect defensively just to slow him down. Not a whole lot of teams have been able to do that ... none in the last year or so.
"I hope that our guys are going to rise to the occasion."
Shiloh Christian will hope two heads are better than one as Conaway plans to use two quarterbacks. Senior Ben Olsen and sophomore Connor Reece will split time, Conaway said.
"Both bring a little different style to the offense," Conaway said. "Both of them are playmakers, both of them are very smart, intelligent players. We're excited to have both of them."
The Saints are still battling through some injuries that have lingered since the spring, Conaway said. Senior wide receiver Adler Goode, who caught 35 passes for 560 yards and seven touchdowns last season, is still questionable for today's game. Goode did not play in last week's scrimmage at Springdale High.
Shiloh Christian was shut out by Booneville in the three-team scrimmage, but defeated Springdale. Conaway said the scrimmage exposed a lot of areas the Saints needed to work on.
"We made a lot of corrections, but we still have a long way to go," Conaway said. "There's a lot of things I really believe this team can improve on. So the last week, that's kind of been the goal."
Sports on 09/04/2014
Print Headline: Shiloh Christian Hopes To Slow Storey