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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE Fort Smith Northside running back Eli Bolton carries the ball against Rogers Heritage in a game earlier this season. Northside will host Van Buren in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs tonight at Mayo-Thompson Stadium.

Class 7A

Rogers High at Conway

Wampus Cat Stadium

KICKOFF 7 p.m.

RECORDS Rogers 2-7; Conway 8-2.

ON THE AIR Rogers -- games are live-streamed on, KURM-AM 790 and at

BETWEEN THE LINES Rogers QB Hunter Loyd ran for two touchdowns and threw for two to lead the Mounties to a 33-14 win over crosstown rival Rogers Heritage in the regular-season finale. ... Junior Nathan Hahn has moved from defense to offense 3 weeks ago for the Mounties and ran for more than 300 yards over the final two weeks combined. ... Conway QB JoVoni Johnson has thrown for 1,258 yards and 10 TDs, while rushing for 696 yards and 17 TDs. ... C0nway RB Cary McClain has also rushed for 1,043 yards. ... The Wampus Cats had a four-game winning streak snapped in the regular-season finale by Bryant.

PLAYERS TO WATCH Rogers -- QB Hunter Loyd (Jr., 6-4, 190), TE Matthew Watson (Jr., 6-5, 215), OL R.J. Long (Jr., 6-2, 290), FB Casey Allred (Sr., 6-1, 215), WR/DB Wil Sims (Sr., 6-1, 170), WR Mason Ross (Jr., 5-10, 170). Conway -- QB JoVoni Johnson (Sr., 6-5, 205), RB Cary McClain (Sr., 6-0, 185), WR Bryce Bohannon (So., 5-9, 155), WR Nick Richmond (Sr., 5-11, 149), LB Reed Hughes (Jr., 6-1, 195).

HOOTEN'S RANKINGS Rogers High is No. 14 in Class 7A. Conway is No. 5.

HOOTEN'S LINE Conway by 26

OUR TAKE Conway 35, Rogers High 17.

-- Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulB

FS Southside at Springdale High

KICKOFF 7 p.m.

RECORDS Southside 4-6; Springdale 7-3.

ON THE AIR The game is live-streamed on each team's mobile app. Springdale games also broadcast at 99.5-FM

BETWEEN THE LINES The teams enter tonight's game at opposite ends of the spectrum. Southside could not get much going offensively in a 23-13 loss to crosstown FS Northside last week. Springdale went on the road to Van Buren and earned the program's biggest victory in more than a decade in a 35-24 win that secured the program its first home playoff game since 2005. ... Southside has been a prolific scoring team, led by senior dual-threat quarterback Taye Gatewood. Gatewood is 120 of 220 passing for 1,741 yards and 21 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He has rushed for 639 yards and 9 touchdowns. ... Springdale counters with a strong run game with the return of 7A-West rushing leader Garrett Vaughan, who rushed for 1,089 yards in just 8 games and averages 5.7 yards per game with 15 rushing touchdowns. ... Springdale coach Zak Clark has not named a starting quarterback. Last week junior Conner Hutchins started at Van Buren and senior Will Mueller also saw action. Hutchins is the better runner of the two, while Mueller is the better passer. ... Springdale has posted five wins this season when trailing at halftime.

PLAYERS TO WATCH Southside -- QB Taye Gatewood (Sr., 6-2, 190), RB Ricardo Savoy (Sr., 5-9, 150), DB Jaylin Coleman (Sr., 5-11, 160), WR Tyrese Solomon (Sr., 5-10, 160). Springdale -- RB Garrett Vaughan (Sr., 5-10, 170), WR Brock Pounders (Sr., 5-8, 160), RB Darrell Parchman (Jr., 5-8, 178), LB Chops Sanders (Sr., 6-3, 210), WR Jaden Cornelius (Sr., 6-1, 180), WR Martre Simon (Jr., 5-8, 165).

HOOTEN'S RANKINGS Southside is No. 9 in Class 7A; Springdale is No. 8.

HOOTEN'S LINE Southside by 11.

OUR TAKE Springdale 24, Southside 21

-- Chip Souza • @NWAChip

Van Buren at FS Northside

Mayo-Thompson Stadium

KICKOFF 7 p.m.

RECORDS Van Buren 4-6; Northside 6-4.

ON THE AIR The game is live-streamed on each team's mobile app.

BETWEEN THE LINES Van Buren has won as many games this season (4) as it did the previous two seasons combined under first-year coach Casey Dick, the former Arkansas quarterback. ... Northside started the season strong then hit a skid that saw the Grizzlies lose three straight games before they rallied for a 23-13 win at home last week against crosstown Southside to secure the No. 4 seed in the 7A-Central and a home first-round game. ... Van Buren led Springdale into the fourth quarter last week before falling 35-24. ... This is Van Buren's first playoff appearance since 2011. The Pointers were 4-26 the previous three seasons. ... Northside quarterback Derrick Wise is one of Northwest Arkansas' top dual-threat quarterbacks. Wise is 79 of 113 passing for 1,159 yards and is Northside's leading rusher with 803 yards. ... Van Buren has used quarterback Christian Morrow in a variety of ways this season. He is 118 of 236 passing for 1,388 yards, but he has also been used at receiver, like last week when he caught a 15-yard scoring pass from Gary Phillips. ... Northside's defense is stout with linebacker Anthony Travis and a solid secondary, led by DBs Greg Washington and Elijah Tabut. Standout senior Stevie Young (6-5, 280) has been playing a lot of snaps on the defensive line lately. ... Earlier this season Northside defeated Van Buren 46-21, but the game was actually close in the first half.

PLAYERS TO WATCH Van Buren -- QB Christian Morrow (Sr., 6-0, 195), QB Gary Phillips (Jr., 6-0, 175), RB Brayden Rivas (Jr., 5-6, 165), LB Landry Wilkerson (Sr., 5-7, 140). Northside -- QB Derrick Wise (Sr., 5-11, 186), RB Eli Bolton (Sr., 5-7, 178), DB Greg Washington (Sr., 6-0, 185), DB Elijah Tabut (Sr., 5-10, 175), OL/DL Stevie Young (Sr., 6-5, 280), LB Anthony Travis (Sr., 6-2, 225).

HOOTEN'S RANKINGS Van Buren is No. 13 in Class 7A. Northside is No. 7.

HOOTEN'S LINE Northside by 11

OUR TAKE Northside 37, Van Buren 21

-- Chip Souza • @NWAChip

Little Rock Catholic at Fayetteville

Harmon Field, Fayetteville

KICKOFF 7 p.m.

RECORDS Little Rock Catholic 5-5. Fayetteville 8-2.

ON THE AIR: KFMD-FM, 101.5 and live-stream at

BETWEEN THE LINES: Little Rock Catholic qualified for the playoff last week with a 42-21 victory over Little Rock Central. All-state running back Samy Johnson led the way with 212 yards rushing and three touchdowns. ... Fayetteville has won five of its past six games. The Bulldogs lead the 7A-West in total offense behind senior quarterback Darius Bowers, who missed three games earlier in the season because of a knee injury. ... Bowers has thrown for 2,132 yards and 21 touchdowns on the season with only two interceptions. .... Connor Flannigan leads the 7A-West with 83 catches for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns. ... Beau Stuckey is third in the league with 49 catches for 784 yards and 11 touchdowns. ... Senior Marcus Tortorello has eight sacks from his noseguard position for Fayetteville. ... Tonight's winner will advance to play Bryant, which received a first-round bye.

PLAYERS TO WATCH Fayetteville -- QB Darius Bowers (Sr., 6-2, 205), WR Connor Flannigan (Jr., 5-10, 155), WR Barrett Adams (Sr., 5-11, 180), OL Cameron Ervin (Sr., 6-3, 250), DT Keondre Conley (Sr., 6-3, 245), DB J Beasley (Sr., 5-9, 185). LR Catholic RB Sammy Johnson (Sr., 5-11, 180), QB Cooper Monroe (Sr., 6-1, 210), FB Jake McNeil (Sr., 5-9, 160), TE Nick Cobb (Sr., 6-2, 200), OG Caleb Sanders (Sr., 6-0, 250).

HOOTEN'S RANKINGS Fayetteville is No. 2 in Class 7A. Little Rock Catholic is No. 10.

HOOTEN'S LINE Fayetteville by 28

OUR TAKE Fayetteville 45, Little Rock Catholic 14

-- Rick Fires • @NWARick

Class 6A

Siloam Springs at Searcy

Lion Stadium

KICKOFF 7 p.m.

RECORDS Siloam Springs 5-5; Searcy 8-2.

ON THE AIR The game is live-streamed; search Siloam Springs High School Athletics on YouTube.

BETWEEN THE LINES The winner earns a trip to face 6A-West No. 1 seed and defending state champion Greenwood on Nov. 16. ... This will be the third meeting between the two schools since 2012, all in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs at Lion Stadium in Searcy. ... Searcy survived a furious Siloam Springs comeback to win 49-48 in the opening round in 2012. ... Siloam Springs won 26-21 in 2013. ... Siloam Springs running back Kaiden Thrailkill has rushed 268 times for 1,443 yards and 16 touchdowns. Siloam Springs quarterback Landon Ellis has completed 99 of 199 passes (49.7 percent) for 1,302 yards, 8 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. ... Searcy quarterback Peyton Wright has completed 210 of 368 passes for 2,797 yards, 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. ... Running back Tony Young has carried 144 times for 662 yards and 11 touchdowns. ... Searcy wideout Tim Williams leads the team with 51 catches for 845 yards and 12 touchdowns, while Tanner Leonard has 57 catches for 629 yards and six touchdowns and Dallas Loftis 48 catches for 627 yards and two touchdowns.

PLAYERS TO WATCH Siloam Springs -- QB Landon Ellis (Sr., 5-11, 174), RB Kaiden Thrailkill (Sr., 5-10, 205), WR Gage Weaver (Jr., 5-10, 152), WR/LB Spenser Pippin (Sr., 6-0, 180), OL/DL Corbin Collins (Sr., 6-2, 275), LB Chase Chandler (Sr., 5-11, 222), LB Matt Avery (Sr., 5-10, 235). Searcy -- QB Peyton Wright (Sr., 6-4, 190), WR Tanner Leonard (Jr., 5-6, 130), RB Tony Young (Sr., 6-0, 180), LB Ben Donnell (5-9, 205), LB Hayden Miles (Jr.), CB D'Markus Neal (Sr.).

HOOTEN'S RANKINGS Siloam Springs is No. 10 in Class 6A. Searcy is No. 5.

HOOTEN'S LINE Searcy by 6.

OUR TAKE Searcy 35, Siloam Springs 24

-- Graham Thomas • @NWAGraham

Class 5A

White Hall at Harrison

F.S. Garrison Stadium

KICKOFF 7 p.m.

RECORDS White Hall 5-4; Harrison 10-0.

ON THE AIR Harrison -- game is live-streamed on

BETWEEN THE LINES These two teams haven't met since 2006, when White Hall claimed a 37-16 victory in a first-round game. ... White Hall is the No. 4 seed from the 5A-Central Conference and enters the game on a three-game losing skid, including last week's 63-21 loss to defending state champion Pulaski Academy. ... The Bulldogs are led by QB Josh Looney, who has thrown for 1,415 yards and 13 touchdowns, and RB Donte Buckner, who has run for 1,293 yards and 11 scores. ... Harrison's offense is centered around junior RB Gabe Huskey, who has more than 2,100 yards and 30 touchdowns rushing and receiving and has thrown for a touchdown pass. ... Junior LB Brooks Both spearheads the Goblins' defense as he leads the team with 92 tackles.

PLAYERS TO WATCH White Hall -- QB Josh Looney (Sr., 5-11, 193), RB Donte Buckner (Jr., 5-11, 185), WR Baylor Owen (Sr., 6-1, 180), LB Erwin Williams (Jr., 5-11, 190). Harrison -- RB Gabe Huskey (Jr., 5-10, 170), FB/LB Brooks Both (Jr., 6-1, 220), QB Ben Johnson (Jr., 6-0, 170), WR Thailer Lovell (Sr., 5-9, 155), DL Hayden Vanderpool (Sr., 6-3, 290).

HOOTEN'S RANKINGS White Hall is No. 15 in Class 5A; Harrison is No. 4.

HOOTEN'S LINE Harrison by 27.

OUR TAKE Harrison 42, White Hall 14.

-- Henry Apple • @NWAHenry

Alma at Pulaski Academy

Joe B. Hatcher Stadium, Little Rock.

KICKOFF 7 p.m.

RECORDS Alma 5-5; Pulaski Academy 9-1

ON THE AIR Alma -- game is live-streamed on

BETWEEN THE LINES The two teams have met only once -- a 2008 playoff meeting, which Pulaski Academy won 63-39. ... Alma has continued to utilize two quarterbacks, with senior Tanner Shelton and junior Landon Blair splitting up the duties. ... RB Keagan Rosebeary is the Airedales' leading rusher. ... Senior safety Coltin Bowerman has already surpassed 100 tackles this season. ... Pulaski Academy's high-powered offense is led by QB Braden Thatcher, who has completed 207 of 309 passes for 3,067 yards and 38 touchdowns. ... RB Jayden Kelley needs just 6 yards to reach the 1,000-yard mark this season. ... WR/TE Hunter Henry leads the Bruins with 65 receptions, but teammate John David White has a team-high 1,149 yards receiving and 19 touchdowns.

PLAYERS TO WATCH Alma -- RB Keegan Rosebeary (Sr., 6-1, 205), OL/DL Zac Henson (Sr., 6-4, 270), OL/DL Levi Prestidge (Sr., 6-3, 250), QB Landon Blair (Jr., 6-1, 220), S Coltin Bowerman (Sr., 6-2, 170), MLB Logan Chronister (So, 6-0, 220). Pulaski Academy -- QB Braden Bratcher (Jr., 6-0, 185), WR/TE Hunter Henry (Sr., 6-5, 230), WR John David White (Sr., 5-11, 175), LB Futa Shinkawa (So., 5-0, 200), LB Chris Connell (Jr., 6-1, 200).

HOOTEN'S RANKINGS Alma is No. 10 in Class 5A; Pulaski Academy is No. 1.

HOOTEN'S LINE Pulaski Academy by 25.

OUR TAKE Pulaski Academy 49, Alma 20.

-- Henry Apple • @NWAHenry

Class 4A

Star City at Shiloh Christian

Champions Stadium, Springdale

KICKOFF 7 p.m.

RECORDS Star City 4-6; Shiloh Christian 9-1.

ON THE AIR The game is live-streamed at

BETWEEN THE LINES Shiloh Christian has won nine straight games since a season-opening loss to Class 5A Texarkana. The Saints locked down the 4A-1 Conference championship last week with a 49-13 rout of Pea Ridge. ... Star City won its last two games after losing four straight before that. The Bulldogs edged Crossett 15-6 last week. ... Star City missed the playoffs the past two seasons, but first-year coach Chris Vereen has the tradition-rich Bulldogs back in the playoffs. ... Senior Jaret Russ scored six touchdowns last week in Shiloh Christian's win at Pea Ridge -- four rushing and two receiving. ... The Saints have used two quarterbacks effectively this season in junior Eli Reece and sophomore Jaiden Henry. Reece is 96 of 141 passing for 1,423 yards and 18 touchdowns. Henry is 39 of 63 for 784 yards, but has scored in a variety of ways including special teams. He had a 71-yard scoring run last week. ... The conference title is Shiloh Christian's first since 2010, the final season of a historic three-year run of Class 4A state championships keyed by Parade All-America quarterback Kiehl Frazier.

PLAYERS TO WATCH Star City -- QB Ty Welch (Sr., 5-10, 175), WR Jahmar Knight (Sr., 6-1, 200), RB Adam Fonville (Jr., 5-10, 170), DR Garland Ross (Sr., 5-8, 170). Shiloh Christian -- QB Eli Reece (Jr., 5-9, 155), QB Jaiden Henry (So., 5-9, 150), WR Blake Thomson (Sr., 6-0, 185), WR Truitt Tollett (Jr., 6-1, 165), RB Jaret Russ (Sr., 5-9, 175), OL Logan Kallesen (Sr., 6-4, 295).

HOOTEN'S RANKINGS Star City is No. 28 in Class 4A; Shiloh Christian is No. 1.

HOOTEN'S LINE Shiloh Christian by 24

OUR TAKE Shiloh Christian 48, Star City 14.

-- Chip Souza • @NWAChip

Helena-West Helena Central at Pea Ridge

Blackhawk Stadium

KICKOFF 7 p.m.

RECORDS Central 8-2; Pea Ridge 7-3

ON THE AIR Pea Ridge -- game is live-streamed on

BETWEEN THE LINES The two schools, which are 328 miles apart, have never played each other before. ... Central finished tied for third in the 4A-8 Conference but has the league's No. 4 seed because of a 34-32 loss to Hamburg, the Cougars' last loss. ... Central enters the game with a three-game win streak, including a 60-36 decision over Warren last week. ... Cougars QB Armonie Calhoun directs a run-heavy offense as he has run for 1,584 yards and 19 touchdowns this season while throwing for only 689 yards and five scores. ... The defense is led by Deamonte Oliver, which had 96 tackles and 16 tackles for loss. ... Pea Ridge, the No. 2 seed from the 4A-1 Conference, had a seven-game win streak snapped last week with a loss to league champion Shiloh Christian. ... RB Samuel Beard needs just one yard to reach the 1,000-yard mark this season. ... MLB Tristin Brewer leads the Blackhawks with 78 tackles, while LB Gavin Warden has 14 tackles for loss.

PLAYERS TO WATCH Central -- QB Armonie Calhoun (Sr, 5-10, 179), FB John Oliver (Jr., 6-0, 240), LB Deamonte Oliver (Sr., 6-3, 245), SS Yarvarious Frazier (Sr., 5-3, 140), FS Joseph Robinson (Sr., 5-6, 155). Pea Ridge -- WR Peyton Galbraith (Sr., 5-9, 150), NG Mike Mahoney (Sr, 6-1, 265), DB-QB Carson Rhine (Sr., 5-11, 170), OL Dalton Nesbitt (Sr., 6-1, 230), LB Tristin Brewer (Sr., 5-8, 200).

HOOTEN'S RANKINGS Central is No. 14 in Class 4A; Pea Ridge is No. 17.

HOOTEN'S LINE Pea Ridge by 3.

OUR TAKE Pea Ridge 24, Helena-West Helena Central 22.

-- Henry Apple • @NWAHenry

Class 3A

Baptist Prep at Booneville

Bearcat Stadium

KICKOFF 7 p.m.

RECORDS Baptist Prep 4-5-1; Booneville 10-0.


BETWEEN THE LINES Booneville senior FB Carson Ray leads a potent Bearcats rushing game with 1,179 yards and 24 touchdowns. ... Junior QB Evan Schlinker has stepped in for injured starter Brandon Ulmer and set a single-season Booneville school record with 13 passing TDs. ... The Bearcats allowed just 76 points in seven 3A-1 Conference games, but almost half of those came in one game, a 62-34 win over Greenland. ... Baptist Prep is making its first playoff appearance since 2015.

PLAYERS TO WATCH Baptist Prep -- RB Hunter Teaster (Jr., 6-0, 180), WR Jax Coleman (Jr., 6-1, 165), QB Robert Lewis (Sr., 6-2, 170). Booneville -- FB/LB Carson Ray (5-7, 200), HB Mike Hesson (Sr., 5-10, 170), OL Noah Reyes (Sr., 6-2, 240), OL Sammy Haynes (Sr., 5-10, 250), DL Marcus Nichols (Sr., 5-9, 235).

HOOTEN'S RANKINGS. Baptist Prep is No. 25 in Class 3A. Booneville is No. 1.

HOOTEN'S LINE Booneville by 35.

OUR TAKE Booneville 42, Baptist Prep 7.

Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulB

Melbourne at Mansfield

Tiger Stadium

KICKOFF 7 p.m.

RECORDS Melbourne 7-3; Mansfield 7-3.


BETWEEN THE LINES The Red Tigers are making their first playoff appearance since 2011. ... Mansfield QB Ethan Stovall has thrown for 1,946 yards and 22 TDs and has also run for 376 yards and 10 TDs. ... Junior Jaicy Griffin has 37 receptions for a team-high 599 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with a team-high 65 tackles and also returned an interception for a touchdown for Mansfield.

PLAYERS TO WATCH Melbourne -- QB Gabe Lawrence (Jr., 6-3, 165), RB Noah McSpadden (Jr., 5-11, 175), WR Alex Bray (Jr., 5-11, 180), WR Andrew Pitts (Sr., 5-10, 155). Mansfield -- QB Ethan Stovall (6-2, 215, Jr.), RB Zach Woolbright (5-10, 145, Sr.), WR Hunter Willsey (5-10, 160, Sr.), WR Jaicy Griffin (5-10, 145, Jr.), CB Layton Howard (6-0, 160, Jr.), Max Lovelace (6-0, 170, Sr.).

HOOTEN'S RANKINGS. Melbourne is No. 18 in Class 3A. Mansfield is No. 19.

HOOTEN'S LINE Melbourne by 2.

OUR TAKE Mansfield 22, Melbourne 20.

Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulB

Sports on 11/09/2018

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