Fayetteville junior quarterback Tyler Powell and the Purple Bulldogs’ explosive offense are simply running roughshod through the 7A-West to this point.
They rolled again on Friday night as Powell (6-2, 197) - who led his team to the state title last season as a sophomore - completed 20-of-22 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns while playing just a half in a 70-21 rout of Springdale.
The Purple Bulldogs are averaging 58.3 points per game so far this season and certainly could eclipse the conference record of 47.4 set by the Mitch Mustain-led Springdale squad back in 2005.
“We are just trusting in the system we have and trusting our coaches,” Powell said. “They are getting us prepared during the week leading up to the games.
“We also have great running backs and receivers and then a great defense. We just have to go out and execute and try to have fun.”
Powell is completing over 75 percent of his passes (122-of-160) and thrown for 1,685 yards this season with 24 touchdown passes and only two interceptions.
Still Powell - who has an offer from Arkansas State and interest from Arkansas and many other colleges - sees room for himself to improve.
“I would say that being smarter, especially when I get out of the pocket, and trying not to do too much,” Powell said. “Also sometimes I get a little greedy and try to fit it into a hole, but I have gotten better than that.
“I do think that I am doing a good job of going to my third and fourth reads and getting the ball out to our playmakers out in space and letting them do the work.”
Likely the biggest challenge of the season to date will happen next Friday when top-ranked Fayetteville (6-0, 3-0) visits Springdale Har-Ber (5-1, 3-0).
Har-Ber is likely to move up to No. 2 this week after beating Bentonville 31-21 and ending the defending state champion Tigers’ 14-game winning streak.
“They are very athletic on defense, real deep and real disciplined,” Powell said. “…They have a good offense and it will be a real competitive game. I am looking forward to it.”
Powell - who was 42-of-50 in the last two games last season - and his teammates faced former Fayetteville offensive coordinator and current Springdale head coach Zak Clark on Friday night.
“Growing up I was always close with Coach Clark and him always being at Fayetteville, it was kind of tough to see him go to Springdale, but I was happy for him,” Powell said. “I think in the future he will turn that program around and turn it around soon.”\
Former Fayetteville players came and talked about the rivalry to the current Purple Bulldogs early in the week.
“They just said was more than just playing for today,” Powell said. “It is for history, it is for the alumni, it’s tradition and it is for bragging rights against Springdale.”
Powell - who dad Mark is a team doctor for Arkansas - has taken in Razorback games this season and likes what he has seen out of the offense headed up by former Fayetteville quarterback Brandon Allen.
“I’ve been really impressed, especially with Brandon and the wide receivers and the new offensive scheme,” Powell said. “I really like it a lot and I am just really impressed with what Coach Bielema has going on over there.”
He has a list of top schools.
“I only have one offer right now and it is Arkansas State, but the top five would be like Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Illinois and Missouri,” Powell said.
He does have some things that he is looking for in a school.
“First off, I am looking for a place that I can get the best education,” Powell said. “That’s the first thing I am looking forward.
“I am also looking for a relationship with the offensive coordinator and the staff. Also I am looking to see if the system is right for me and if I would be able to perform in that system.
“If I am comfortable in that system, I think that will help me perform better. I also just want to be comfortable at the university because I will be spending four years there.”
Recruiting is in the background for Powell at the present time.
“Right now I am not even focused in on recruiting,” Powell said. “I am just focused on school, watching a lot of film and going out there on Fridays and executing with my team.
“After the season then I will start to focus on recruiting and start narrowing down my choices.”