In his team’s final regular-season game of the 2017 season, Pulaski Academy senior quarterback Layne Hatcher became the state’s all-time leading passer.
Hatcher has passed for 13,920 yards in his career with the Bruins (2014-current), breaking former Pulaski Academy quarterback Stefan Loucks’ record of 13,703 yards set from 2003-2006.
In the Bruins’ 48-8 victory at Mills on Nov. 2, Hatcher completed 22 of 25 passes for 264 yards with 5 touchdowns and no interceptions. During the regular season, Hatcher went 285-of-383 passing for 4,216 yards with 51 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.
Hatcher has thrown 170 touchdown passes in his career and is one behind former Shiloh Christian quarterback Rhett Lashlee, who threw 171 scoring passes from 1999-2001 for the Saints. Lashlee, a former assistant coach under Gus Malzahn at Arkansas State University and Auburn, is currently the offensive coordinator at Connecticut.
Three single-season records are in reach for Hatcher, who can play up to four more games in the Class 5A playoffs should the Bruins reach the Class 5A state championship game. Hatcher is 26 touchdown passes behind former Bruins quarterback Thomas Thrash, who threw 77 scoring passes in 2001. Hatcher also is 1,094 yards behind Spencer Keith, who threw for 5,310 yards for Pulaski Academy in 2008, and 115 completions behind former Bruins quarterback Wil Nicks, who had 400 completed passes in 2009.
Pulaski Academy (10-0), the 5A-Central Conference’s No. 1 seed, will host Valley View on Friday in a Class 5A first-round game.
On road again
For the 11th consecutive week, Little Rock McClellan will play a game away from its home stadium as it travels to Batesville for the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.
Lion Stadium, the home of the Crimson Lions, has not been open this season because of ongoing renovations. The natural grass surface at McClellan, which was replaced during the summer, has not grown in as expected, leaving some patches and holes in the field. The Little Rock School District announced in October that use of McClellan’s field was being suspended because of continuing work at the stadium.
McClellan’s final regular-season home game Nov. 2 against Little Rock Parkview was moved to War Memorial Stadium. The Crimson Lions (7-3) defeated the Patriots 26-24 to clinch the No. 3 seed from the 5A-Central Conference in the Class 5A playoffs.
Crimson Lions Coach Maurice Moody said it’s been business as usual for his team.
“We don’t even think about it,” Moody said. “They can put us wherever they want to put us. We’ll play good football. I couldn’t be more proud of our guys. We haven’t played a home game all year, but our guys have kept fighting. I’m happy for my boys, and I’m happy for my seniors.”
McClellan is in the Class 5A playoffs for the third consecutive season. The Crimson Lions advanced to the Class 5A state championship game in 2015 and the quarterfinals in 2016.
“These guys are winners,” Moody said. “These guys understand how to win. They got what it takes. They got pride. They’re resilient.”
JAMES STREET AWARD
The Little Rock Touchdown Club has announced 13 nominees from Little Rock high schools for the James Street Sportsmanship Award.
The award, named for the late All-American quarterback at the University of Texas, will honor a football player who exhibits outstanding sportsmanship toward teammates, coaches and opponents. The winner will be presented the award Monday during the Little Rock Touchdown Club’s luncheon at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock.
The nominees are Little Rock Central’s Bobby Brown, Little Rock Fair’s Kalik Brazle, Little Rock Hall’s Jonathan Aquino, Little Rock McClellan’s Tommy Crumpton, Little Rock Parkview’s Zachery Smith, Joe T. Robinson’s Andrew Williams, Mills’ Richard Rodgers, Baptist Prep’s Tyler Holmes, Episcopal Collegiate’s Rodney Rice, Little Rock Catholic’s Austin Bisceglia, Little Rock Christian’s Travis Henderson, Pulaski Academy’s Hayden Cobb and Southwest Christian Academy’s Dylan Houston.
Steve Hatchell, the CEO of the National Football Foundation, is scheduled to speak at the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday. Lunch will be served at 11 a.m., and the program will begin at 11:50 a.m. The cost is $20 for members and $30 for nonmembers.
Reservations can be made at lrtouchdown.com.
There are nine teams entering the state high school football playoffs with 10-0 records — North Little Rock in Class 7A; Greenwood in Class 6A; Pulaski Academy in Class 5A; Joe T. Robinson in Class 4A; Clinton, Mayflower, Charleston and Junction City in Class 3A; and Mount Ida in Class 2A. North Little Rock, Greenwood, Robinson, Mayflower and Junction City all have first-round byes this week. Pulaski Academy has the state’s longest current winning streak with 23 victories. … Benton sophomore Gavin Wells completed 16 of 24 passes for 271 yards with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions in the Panthers’ 45-12 victory over Sheridan on Friday. Junior running back Zak Wallace rushed for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 carries while senior DJ Sturgis caught 2 passes for 94 yards and 2 touchdowns. Benton hosts Jacksonville in a Class 6A first-round game Friday. … White Hall senior quarterback Ollie Reddick has passed for 1,527 yards and 8 touchdowns and rushed for 1,076 yards and 15 touchdowns this season for the Bulldogs, who travel to Alma for a Class 5A first-round game Friday. … Mayflower junior running back Deon Simmons had three rushing touchdowns in the Eagles’ 70-0 victory over Marianna on Nov. 2. Simmons has rushed for 1,969 yards and 37 touchdowns on 170 carries this season, helping the Eagles win the 2-3A Conference championship. Mayflower is off Friday and will host Lamar or Smackover in a Class 3A second-round game Nov. 17.