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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/BEN GOFF @NWABENGOFF Marcus Tortorello (93), Fayetteville defensive lineman, in the first quarter vs Springdale Har-Ber Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, during the game at Wildcat Stadium in Springdale. FOR ADV. DO NOT USE.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Fayetteville has one of the best passing games in the state, but even teams as efficient as the Bulldogs can't win without quality play on defense.

That's the job of players like Marcus Tortorello, a senior defensive lineman at Fayetteville. Tortorello is the middle man along the defensive front that will be challenged by Little Rock Catholic on Friday in a first-round Class 7A state playoff game at Harmon Field.

CLASS 7A STATISTICAL LEADERS

TEAM OFFENSE

TEAM^RUSH^PASS^TOTAL^AVG/GM

Fayetteville^ 1,597 ^ 3,065 ^ 4,662 ^466.2

Springdale^ 1,564 ^ 2,601 ^ 4,165 ^416.5

FS Southside^ 1,920 ^ 1,741 ^ 3,661 ^366.1

Springdale Har-Ber^ 2,025 ^ 1,586 ^ 3,611 ^361.1

Bentonville^ 1,724 ^ 1,842 ^ 3,566 ^356.6

Bentonville West^ 1,198 ^ 2,287 ^ 3,485 ^348.5

Van Buren^ 1,380 ^ 1,912 ^ 3,292 ^329.2

FS Northside^ 2,039 ^ 1,215 ^ 3,254 ^325.4

Rogers High^ 1,335 ^ 1,543 ^ 2,878 ^319.8

Rogers Heritage^ 1,444 ^ 802 ^ 2,246 ^224.6

TEAM DEFENSE

TEAM^RUSH^PASS^TOTAL^AVG/GM

Bentonville^ 1,161 ^ 1,305 ^ 2,466 ^246.6

FS Northside^ 1,542 ^ 1,099 ^ 2,641 ^264.1

Fayetteville^ 1,222 ^ 1,772 ^ 2,994 ^299.4

Springdale Har-Ber^ 1,326 ^ 1,925 ^ 3,251 ^325.1

Bentonville West^ 1,350 ^ 1,989 ^ 3,339 ^333.9

Rogers High^ 1,870 ^ 1,531 ^ 3,401 ^377.9

Springdale^ 2,012 ^ 1,866 ^ 3,878 ^387.8

FS Southside^ 2,447 ^ 1,439 ^ 3,886 ^388.6

Van Buren^ 2,176 ^ 2,018 ^ 4,194 ^419.4

Rogers Heritage^ 2,529 ^ 2,226 ^ 4,755 ^475.5

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

PASSING

PLAYER, SCHOOL^COMP^ATT^INT^YDS^TD

Allen, Springdale^145^229^3^ 2,244 ^21

Bowers, Fayetteville^148^204^2^ 2,132 ^21

Hughes, Bentonville^137^209^4^ 1,785 ^17

Gatewood, FS Southside^120^220^10^ 1,741 ^21

Loyd, Rogers^133^264^12^ 1,486 ^12

Morrow, Van Buren^118^236^11^ 1,388 ^8

McDonald, Bentonville West^97^167^0^ 1,263 ^22

Wittschen, Springdale Har-Ber^82^175^4^ 1,249 ^13

Wise, FS Northside^79^113^7^ 1,159 ^12

Jarrett, Bentonville West^52^86^1^ 985 ^8

Gibbs, Fayetteville^65^118^3^ 933 ^12

Z.Brown, Rogers Heritage^69^153^13^ 739 ^3

Phillips, Van Buren^37^89^3^ 593 ^7

RUSHING

PLAYER, SCHOOL^ATT^YDS^TD^AVG.

Vaughan, Springdale^191^ 1,089 ^15^ 5.70

Savoy, FS Southside^148^ 1,069 ^9^ 7.22

Crawford, Bentonville^148^ 910 ^11^ 6.15

Burns, Springdale Har-Ber^81^ 866 ^8^ 10.69

Wise, FS Northside^150^ 803 ^11^ 5.35

Smallwood, Bentonville West^102^ 706 ^12^ 6.92

Zamarron, Rogers^140^ 687 ^4^ 4.91

Z.Brown, Rogers Heritage^127^ 654 ^5^ 5.15

Gatewood, FS Southside^127^ 639 ^9^ 5.03

Rivas,Van Buren^121^ 519 ^6^ 4.29

Pena, Springdale Har-Ber^82^ 491 ^3^ 5.99

Bolton, FS Northside^77^ 473 ^6^ 6.14

Fetherolf, Bentonville^72^ 446 ^2^ 6.19

Phillips, Van Buren^71^ 412 ^3^ 5.80

Lemmond, Rogers Heritage^115^ 372 ^3^ 3.23

Anderson, Bentonville West^71^ 350 ^5^ 4.93

Shepard, FS Northside^53^ 333 ^4^ 6.28

Morrow, Van Buren^107^ 325 ^4^ 3.04

Webb, Rogers Heritage^60^ 319 ^2^ 5.32

Sharits, Fayetteville^67^ 308 ^4^ 4.60

Hahn, Rogers^46^ 308 ^0^ 6.70

Bowers, Fayetteville^65^ 282 ^7^ 4.34

Parchman, Springdale^65^ 279 ^2^ 4.29

RECEIVING

PLAYER, SCHOOL^NO^ YDS ^TD^AVG.

Flannigan, Fayetteville^83^ 1,387 ^15^ 16.71

Pounders, Springdale^53^ 954 ^4^ 18.00

Stuckey, Fayetteville^49^ 784 ^11^ 16.00

Ross, Rogers^48^ 748 ^5^ 15.58

Bartholomew, Van Buren^45^ 720 ^6^ 16.00

Campbell, Bentonville^45^ 701 ^5^ 15.58

Solomon, FS Southside^45^ 590 ^8^ 13.11

Sims, Rogers^41^ 374 ^2^ 9.12

Jackson, Bentonville West^38^ 797 ^10^ 20.97

Charboneau, Fayetteville^35^ 514 ^4^ 14.69

Cornelius, Springdale^32^ 512 ^6^ 16.00

Dyson, Bentonville West^31^ 317 ^3^ 10.23

Humphreys, Van Buren^30^ 435 ^4^ 14.50

Seawood, Springdale Har-Ber^29^ 462 ^3^ 15.93

King, FS Northside^28^ 390 ^5^ 13.93

Phillips, Van Buren^28^ 191 ^1^ 6.82

Swoboda, Bentonville West^27^ 565 ^2^ 20.93

Wood, Springdale Har-Ber^27^ 564 ^7^ 20.89

Simon, Springdale^26^ 391 ^1^ 15.04

Smallwood, Bentonville West^25^ 251 ^3^ 10.04

Savoy, FS Southside^23^ 363 ^5^ 15.78

McDonald, Bentonville West^23^ 279 ^2^ 12.13

Vaughan, Springdale^23^ 259 ^1^ 11.26

McBride, FS Southside^22^ 350 ^2^ 15.91

Rivas, Van Buren^22^ 174 ^0^ 7.91

Lee, Bentonville^21^ 250 ^3^ 11.90

Hodges, Rogers Heritage^21^ 246 ^1^ 11.71

Thorne, FS Northside^20^ 247 ^1^ 12.35

CLASS 6A AND BELOW

PASSING

PLAYER, SCHOOL^COMP^ATT^INT^YDS^TD

Holt, Greenwood^184^260^1^ 2,567 ^18

McClain, Elkins^160^251^12^ 2,297 ^25

Stovall, Mansfield^139^228^5^ 1,946 ^22

Dietz, Ozark^101^157^8^ 1,773 ^17

Lloyd, Lincoln^141^250^8^ 1,751 ^19

Hill, Farmington^104^203^9^ 1,585 ^17

Reece, Shiloh Christian^96^141^3^ 1,423 ^18

Vaughn, Greenland^93^150^4^ 1,418 ^13

Atwood, Gentry^125^230^8^ 1,378 ^12

Hester, Hackett^74^121^8^ 1,321 ^6

Johnson, Harrison^62^102^1^ 1,296 ^17

Ellis, Siloam Springs^99^199^7^ 1,295 ^8

Blair, Alma^91^170^5^ 1,221 ^15

Ross, Charleston^90^146^4^ 1,057 ^10

Caudle, Charleston^81^140^3^ 1,025 ^8

Hertlein, Subiaco Academy^54^140^8^ 1,018 ^12

Bryant, Johnson County^69^206^12^ 899 ^9

Busey, Pea Ridge^47^100^8^ 874 ^11

Henry, Shiloh Christian^39^63^3^ 784 ^9

RUSHING

PLAYER, SCHOOL^ATT^YDS^TD^AVG

Huskey, Harrison^187^ 1,595 ^24^8.5

Thrailkill, Siloam Springs^268^ 1,449 ^16^5.4

Heltemes, Prairie Grove^154^ 1,223 ^14^7.9

Ray, Booneville^153^ 1,179 ^21^7.7

LaRue, Cedarville^188^ 1,072 ^7^5.7

Sanders, Ozark^112^ 1,058 ^12^9.4

Stout, Greenland^185^ 1,003 ^13^5.4

Beard, Pea Ridge^169^ 999 ^9^5.9

Mitchell, Cedarville^113^ 978 ^7^8.7

Taylor, Mountainburg^84^ 894 ^13^10.6

McClain, Elkins^119^ 865 ^15^7.3

Turner, Farmington^137^ 856 ^7^6.2

Armistead, Lavaca^126^ 760 ^9^6.0

Buckner, Clarksville^120^ 756 ^3^6.3

Rosebeary, Alma^127^ 732 ^8^5.8

West, Mountainburg^83^ 685 ^5^8.3

Lawson, Cedarville^81^ 667 ^0^8.2

Hester, Hackett^125^ 660 ^10^5.3

Jones, Elkins^125^ 632 ^11^5.1

Robertson, Booneville^55^ 614 ^8^11.2

Holt, Greenwood^104^ 602 ^15^5.8

RECEIVING

PLAYER, SCHOOL^NO^YDS^TD^AVG

Leonard, Greenwood^63^703^6^11.2

Graham, Elkins^55^909^14^16.5

Wright, Gentry^55^531^5^9.7

Sturgeon, Farmington^53^863^8^16.3

Dawson, Greenwood^49^752^6^15.3

Tollett, Shiloh Christian^48^762^10^15.9

Dunn, Elkins^47^606^4^12.9

Bryant, Greenland^45^743^7^16.5

Bailey, Alma^44^756^7^17.2

Howard, Mansfield^39^482^5^12.4

Kengla, Charleston^38^362^2^9.5

Griffin, Mansfield^37^599^6^16.2

Nason, Charleston^37^484^2^13.1

Sanders, Ozark^34^523^7^15.4

Thomson, Shiloh Christian^31^641^7^20.7

Angel, Greenwood^31^347^1^11.2

Jarnagan, Gentry^29^377^4^13.0

Holmes, Mansfield^28^526^6^18.8

Burns, Ozark^26^626^7^24.1

Weaver, Siloam Springs^26^364^1^14.0

Pippin, Siloam Springs^26^262^1^10.1

McBride, Hackett^25^552^4^22.1

Wilkinson, Greenwood^23^339^5^14.7

Morphis, Lincoln^23^300^6^13.0

Holte, Greenland^22^151^1^6.9

Arkansas Sports Media High School Football Poll

Following is the Overall top 10 overall high school football teams in Arkansas and the top five in Classes 6A, 5A, 4A, 3A and 2A, as voted by a panel of sports media from around the state for the week ending November 3. Ranking is given with first-place votes received, records, total points and last week’s rankings:

OVERALL

^Record^Pts^Prv

  1. North Little Rock (24)^10-0^ 249^1

  2. Bryant ^8-2^209^3

  3. Bentonville^7-3^170^5

  4. Greenwood (1)^9-1^167^4

  5. Conway ^8-2^167^2

  6. Fayetteville^^8-2^135^7

  7. Pulaski Academy^9-1^107^8

  8. Bentonville West^6-4^65^6

  9. West Memphis^10-0^63^9

  10. Benton^8-2^33^-

Others receiving votes: LR Christian 8, Joe T. Robinson 6, Fort Smith Northside 5, Warren 5, Springdale 4, Booneville 4, Harrison 3, Hazen 3, Texarkana 2, Marion 1.

CLASS 6A

^Record^Pts^Prv

  1. Greenwood (24)^8-1^ 124^1

  2. West Memphis (1)^10-0^98^2

  3. Benton^8-2^75^3

  4. Marion^8-2^48^4

  5. Searcy^8-2^17^-

Others receiving votes: Jonesboro 5, Russellville 4.

CLASS 5A

^Record^Pts^Prv

  1. Pulaski Academy (24)^9-1^139^1

  2. Harrison^10-0^87^2

  3. LR Christian^9-1^69^3

  4. Texarkana (1)^9-1^66^4

  5. LR McClellan ^9-1^30^5

Others receiving votes: None.

CLASS 4A

^Record^Pts^Prv

  1. Joe T. Robinson (11) ^8-2^103^2

  2. Warren (10)^8-1^100^1

  3. Stuttgart (2)^8-1^41^3

  4. Shiloh Christian (1)^9-1^40^-

  5. Rivercrest (1) ^9-1^37^5

Others receiving votes: Nashville 18, Arkadelphia 18, Dumas 7, Bauxite 4, Ozark 4, West Helena 4

CLASS 3A

^Record^Pts^Prv

  1. Booneville (22)^10-0^122^1

  2. Clinton (3) 10-0^90^2

  3. Smackover^9-1^70^3

  4. Prescott ^9-1^28^5

  5. Rison^9-0^26^4

Others receiving votes: Osceola 12, Glen Rose 8.

CLASS 2A

^Record^Pts^Prv

  1. Hazen (11) ^9-0^102^1

  2. Foreman (7)^8-1^93^3

  3. Junction City (6)^72^87^2

  4. Salem^9-1^35^-

  5. Conway Christian^8-2^29^5

Others receiving votes: Gurdon 19, Mount Ida 6, Hampton 5, Hector 1

CLASS 7A

First round

Friday, Nov. 9

C1 North Little Rock, C2 Bryant, W1 Bentonville High, W2 Bentonville West earn first-round byes

C5 FS Southside (4-6) at W4 Springdale High (7-3)

W6 Rogers High (3-6) at C3 Conway (8-2)

W5 Van Buren (4-6) at C4 FS Northside (6-4)

C6 LR Catholic (5-5) at W3 Fayetteville (8-2)

Quarterfinals

Friday, Nov. 16

FS Southside-Springdale winner at C1 North Little Rock (10-0)

Rogers-Conway winner at W2 Bentonville West (6-4)

Van Buren-FS Northside winner at W1 Bentonville (7-3)

LR Catholic-Fayetteville winner at C2 Bryant (8-2)

Semifinals

Friday, Nov. 23

Games to be determined

Championship

Saturday, Dec. 1

at War Memorial Stadium

Teams to be determined, 6:30 p.m.

CLASS 6A

First round

Friday, Nov. 9

W1 Greenwood, W2 Benton, E1 West Memphis, E2 Marion have first-round bye

W5 Siloam Springs (5-5) at E4 Searcy (8-2)

E6 Sylvan Hills (3-7) at W3 Russellville (7-3)

E5 Pine Bluff (5-4-1) at W4 El Dorado (5-5)

W6 Lake Hamilton (5-5) at E3 Jonesboro (6-4)

Quarterfinals

Friday, Nov. 16

Siloam Springs-Searcy winner at W1 Greenwood (9-1)

Sylvan Hills-Russellville winner at E2 Marion (8-2)

Pine Bluff-El Dorado winner at E1 West Memphis (10-0)

Lake Hamilton-Jonesboro winner at W2 Benton (8-2)

Semifinals

Friday, Nov. 23

Games to be determined

Championship

Saturday, Dec. 1

at War Memorial Stadium

Teams to be determined, noon

CLASS 5A

First round

Friday, Nov. 9

S4 Hot Springs Lakeside (5-5) at E1 Blytheville (6-4)

C3 LR Parkview (5-5) at W2 Morrilton (6-4)

E4 Nettleton (8-2) at S1 Texarkana (9-1)

W3 Greenbrier (7-3) at C2 LR Christian (9-1)

W4 Alma (5-5) at C1 Pulaski Academy (9-1)

E3 Valley View (7-3) at S2 LR McClellan (9-1)

C4 White Hall (5-4) at W1 Harrison (10-0)

S3 Camden Fairview (6-4) at E2 Wynne (6-4)

Quarterfinals

Friday, Nov. 16

HS Lakeside-Blytheville winner vs. LR Parkview-Morrilton winner

Nettleton-Texarkana winner vs. Greenbrier-LR Christian winner

Alma-Pulaski Academy winner vs. Valley View-LR McClellan winner

White Hall-Harrison winner vs. Camden Fairview-Wynne winner

Friday, Nov. 23

Games to be determined

Championship

Friday, Nov. 30

at War Memorial Stadium

Teams to be determined, 7 p.m.

CLASS 4A

First round

Friday, Nov. 9

1st-4 Ozark, 1st-2 Stuttgart have first-round byes

4th-1 Prairie Grove (5-5) at 3rd-2 Lonoke (5-5)

5th-4 Pottsville (5-5) at 1st-7 Pulaski Robinson (8-2)

3rd-1 Lincoln (8-2) at 3rd-8 Hamburg (7-3)

5th-7 Fountain Lake (6-4) at 1st-3 Rivercrest (9-1)

5th-3 Pocahontas (4-6) at 2nd-2 Heber Springs (6-4)

4th-2 Batesville Southside (6-4) at 1st-8 Warren (8-1)

4th-8 Helena-West Helena Central (8-2) at 2nd-1 Pea Ridge (7-3)

4th-3 Jonesboro Westside (7-3) at 3rd-4 Dardanelle (8-2)

5th-2 CAC (5-5) at 2nd-8 Dumas (9-1)

3rd-3 Gosnell (6-4) at 3rd-7 Arkadelphia (5-5)

5th-8 Star City (4-6) at 1st-1 Shiloh Christian (9-1)

5th-1 Gentry (3-7) at 2nd-4 Mena (6-4)

4th-4 Elkins (7-3) at 2nd-7 Nashville (8-2)

4th-7 Bauxite (8-2) at 2nd-3 Trumann (7-3)

Second round

Friday, Nov. 16

Prairie Grove-Lonoke winner at 1st 4 Ozark (8-2)

Pottsville-Pulaski Robinson winner vs. Lincoln-Hamburg winner

Fountain Lake-Rivercrest winner vs. Pocahontas-Heber Springs winner

Batesville Southside-Warren winner vs. Helena/West Helena Central-Pea Ridge winner

Jonesboro Westside-Dardanelle winner at Stuttgart (8-1)

CAC-Dumas winner vs. Gosnell-Arkadelphia winner

Star City-Shiloh Christian winner vs. Gentry-Mena winner

Elkins-Nashville winner vs. Bauxite-Trumann winner

Quarterfinals

Friday, Nov. 23

Games to be determined

Semifinals

Friday, Nov. 30

Games to be determined

Championship

Saturday, Dec. 8

at War Memorial Stadium

Teams to be determined, 6:30 p.m.

CLASS 3A

First round

Friday, Nov. 9

1st-5 Smackover, 1st-4 Glen Rose have first-round byes

4th-2 Yellville-Summit (4-6) at 3rd-4 Danville (7-3)

5th-5 Fouke (4-6) at 1st-3 Osceola (8-2)

3rd-2 Melbourne (7-3) at 3rd-1 Mansfield (7-3)

5th-3 Hoxie (5-5) at 1st-6 Rison (9-0)

5th-6 Pine Bluff Dollarway (3-7) at 2nd-4 Mayflower (9-1)

4th-4 Atkins (7-3) at 2nd-1 Lamar (8-2)

4th-1 Greenland (6-4) at 2nd-2 Harding Academy (6-3)

4th-6 Barton (4-5) at 3rd-5 Camden Harmony Grove (7-3)

5th-4 Baptist Prep (4-5-1) at 1st-1 Booneville (10-0)

3rd-6 Lake Village (6-4) at 3rd-3 Walnut Ridge (8-2)

5th-1 Charleston (6-4) at 1st-2 Clinton (10-0)

5th-2 Mountain View (2-7) at 2nd-5 Prescott (9-1)

4th-5 Centerpoint (6-4) at 2nd-3 Newport (8-2)

4th-3 Piggott (6-4) at 2nd-6 McGehee (7-3)

Second round

Friday, Nov. 16

Yellville-Summit/Danville winner vs. 1st-5 Smackover (9-0)

Fouke-Osceola winner vs. Melbourne-Mansfield winner

Hoxie-Rison winner vs. PB Dollarway-Mayflower winner

Atkins-Lamar winner vs. Greenland-Harding Academy winner

Barton-Camden Harmony Grove winner at 1st-4 Glen Rose (9-1)

Baptist Prep-Booneville winner vs. Lake Village-Walnut Ridge winner

Charleston-Clinton winner vs. Mountain View-Prescott winner

Centertpoint-Newport winner vs. Piggott-McGehee winner

Friday, Nov. 23

Games to be determined

Semifinals

Friday, Nov. 30

Games to be determined

Championship

Saturday, Dec. 8

at War Memorial Stadium

Teams to be determined, noon

CLASS 2A

First round

Friday, Nov. 9

1st-7 Foreman, 1st-4 Hector have first-round byes

4th-6 Carlisle (4-5-1) at 3rd-4 Magazine (5-4)

5th-7 Dierks (3-7) at 1st-3 Salem (8-1)

3rd-6 Earle (7-3) at 3rd-5 England (5-5)

5th-3 McCrory (4-5) at 1st-8 Junction City (7-2)

5th-8 Parkers Chapel (2-7) at 2nd-4 Mountainburg (7-2)

4th-4 Hackett (4-5) at 2nd-5 Mountain Pine (7-3)

4th-5 Magnet Cove (5-5) at 2nd-6 Des Arc (7-3)

4th-8 Bearden (3-6) at 3rd-7 Mount Ida (8-2)

5th-4 Lavaca (4-5) at 1st-5 Conway Christian (8-2)

3rd-8 Fordyce (5-5) at 3rd-3 Rector (5-4)

5th-5 Quitman (6-4) at 1st-6 Hazen (9-0)

5th-6 Clarendon (3-6) at 2nd-7 Gurdon (8-2)

4th-7 Mineral Springs (8-2) at 2nd-3 East Poinsett County (6-4)

4th-3 Cross County (4-6) at 2nd-8 Hampton (6-1)

Second round

Friday, Nov. 16

Carlisle-Magazine winner at 1st-7 Foreman (7-2)

Dierks-Salem winner vs. Earle-England winner

McCrory-Junction City winner vs. Parkers Chapel-Mountainburg winner

Hackett-Mountain Pine winner vs. Magnet Cove-Des Arc winner

Bearden-Mount Ida winner at 1st-4 Hector (7-3)

Lavaca-Conway Christian winner vs. Fordyce-Rector winner

Quitman-Hazen winner vs. Clarendon-Gurdon winner

Mineral Springs-East Poinsett County winner vs. Cross County-Hampton winner

Friday, Nov. 23

Games to be determined

Semifinals

Friday, Nov. 30

Games to be determined

Championship

Friday, Dec. 7

at War Memorial Stadium

Teams to be determined, 7 p.m.

The Rockets will likely try to punish the Bulldogs with senior Sammy Johnson, an all-state running back and college prospect who's rushed for over 1,000 yards this season. Johnson rushed for 212 yards and scored on touchdown runs of 72, 17, and 5 yards last week against Little Rock Central.

"He's their guy, so it'll be interesting to see if we can get him on the ground," Fayetteville coach Billy Dawson said.

Tortorello (5-foot-11, 230 pounds) has put plenty of ball carriers on the ground for Fayetteville, which has won five of its past six games. He has 41 tackles, including 26 solo tackles, with eight sacks and 11 quarterback hurries.

Tortorello had a big game last week with nine tackles, three sacks and a deflected pass in a 42-14 victory at Springdale Har-Ber.

"Marcus is a tremendous worker," Dawson said. "Regardless of what the drill is, he's only one speed, and that's full speed ahead. It's paid off for him. He's had a great year. That's because of his relentless effort and uncanny strength from the work he does in the weight room."

Tortorello's motor doesn't stop with the end of football season. He's also a member of the Fayetteville wrestling team, and he finished fifth in the 220-pound weight class last year at the state tournament in Little Rock. He finished 35-16, a vast improvement from his first year in wrestling when he went 13-24 as a sophomore.

"Over the last two years, Marcus has started to understand his body type with positioning to help him gain advantages on his opponents," Fayetteville wrestling coach Nika West said. "He's a great kid who has the whole package any coach would love to have. He is a student first, athlete second."

Tortorello said wrestling helps with football but added there are differences in the way he approaches the two sports.

"It helps with balance, and ever since I starting wrestling my endurance has gone up a lot," Tortorello said. "I can play a lot more without getting tired. In wresting, it's a lot more running and calisthenics. In football, it's more like a short burst of energy."

Fayetteville appears primed for a playoff run with the return of senior quarterback Darius Bowers, who missed three games because of a knee injury. Bowers is back and flinging passes again to Beau Stuckey and Connor Flannigan, who caught nine passes for 145 yards last week in the win over Har-Ber.

Tortorello said getting Bowers back has energized and boosted the confidence of the Bulldogs, who will face Bryant in a second-round game if they get past Little Rock Catholic.

"Darius has been my quarterback since I first started football, like when I was seven," Tortorello said. "We've been playing in youth leagues all the way up until now. He's an awesome quarterback, really tough, too, and I'm glad he's not hurt anymore."

Sports on 11/08/2018

Print Headline: PREP FOOTBALL Tortorello relentless along defensive front for Fayetteville

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