SPRINGDALE - On a field littered with Division I prospects and arguably the state’s top two high school football teams, Springdale Har-Ber senior tailback Luke Hannon was the star among stars on Friday night.
Hannon (5-9, 190) rushed 45 times for 318 yards and caught two passes for 44 yards as he led Har-Ber over top-ranked Fayetteville 47-43.
The Wildcats (6-1, 4-0) scored the go-ahead touchdown with six seconds left when Fuller Chandler hit Trey Smith for the game-winning touchdown.
“I was just so happy when Fuller found Trey with that pass because that wasn’t the way the play was supposed to go,” Hannon said. “I was also thinking I’m glad we didn’t have all this effort for nothing.
“It would have been so bad if we had played like this against the number one team and then came up three points away and a loss.”
Hannon’s night included a spectacular touchdown catch at the end of the first half in which he simply took the ball away from one of the three defenders around him.
“I had the guy beat originally, but Fuller had to scramble and just chunked it up,” Hannon said. “We all went up at the same time and one of the Fayetteville guys had it, but I got it away from him and some how the ball just fell into my hands while I was on the ground.
“I don’t know if it was luck or skill or a little bit of both.”
Har-Ber head coach Chris Wood said something that likely everyone who attended last night’s game was thinking.
“Luke Hannon is a special talent," Wood said. "He's a game-changer, and we want the ball in his hands."
Har-Ber's Luke Hannon went up with three Fayetteville defenders on the last play of the first half and ended up with the ball and a touchdown
It should come as no surprise that Hannon was in the training room on Saturday morning.
“I definitely feel it this morning,” Hannon said. “That was more carries than I usually have, but I was happy to do it and helped our team win. It was a really big win for us.”
As of right now, Hannon’s plan is to just be a regular student at Arkansas although he has been offered the opportunity to walk on at Auburn.
“I just think that I have put in a lot of work in high school and my body has taken a lot and I am thinking that I was want to be a regular student,” noted Hannon, an avid fisherman. “Playing college football is a big responsibility and is like a job where you have no time for yourself.
“I think I just want to concentrate on school and have some time for myself. We’ll see if anything changes, but that is the way I am leaning.”
Fayetteville junior quarterback Taylor Powell – who has an offer from Arkansas State and interest from Arkansas and many other schools - was 14-of-27 passing for 188 yards with two touchdown passes to Tyson Morris.
Fayetteville (6-1, 3-1) also had two 100-yard rushers in Jimmy Rapert (17 carries, 162 yards) and Jevantee Smith (14 carries, 113 yards) in a game in which Har-Ber had a 560-460 total yardage advantage.
“Taylor is just a really good quarterback and he’s just a junior,” Hannon said. “He makes plays with his head, with his arm and with his legs.”
Fayetteville quarterback Taylor Powell
The game also featured two big underclassman defensive tackles – both Division I prospects wearing No. 99 – in Fayetteville junior Akial Byers (6-4, 260) and Har-Ber’s Alejandro Ramirez (6-2, 301).
Byers already has an offer from Mississippi State and interest from Arkansas and others.
“I saw a lot of him,” Hannon said. “I mean a lot. He got me on the ground a lot. He’s really, really good. He’s just a junior and just makes play after play after play.
Ramirez also had several key stops.
“Alejandro really got us ready this spring,” Hannon said. “He’s so young, but he makes plays. A lot of people might not think there was much defense played in a 47-43 game, but there was and he was big for us.
“I mean Fayetteville was averaging like 60 poins coming in.”
Other top performers on Thursday or Friday night included:
• Arkansas defensive end commit McTelvin Agim started Friday night’s 28-26 loss at Hot Springs Lakeside with a 55-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with Razorback defensive line coach Rory Segrest looking on.
• Razorback wide receiver pledge Jordan Jones of Smackover had 3 catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s 35-28 over Fordyce with Arkansas assistant Barry Lunney on hand.
• Arkansas tailback/wide receiver commit T.J. Hammonds of Pulaski Academy played just over a quarter Friday night, but scored four touchdowns in his unbeaten team’s 43-13 win over Clinton.
Hammonds had four carries for 65 yards and scored on each of those touches, including on a 42-yard run, and also had one catch for 57 yards.
• North Little Rock junior tailback Alex Day had 28 carries for 180 yards and two touchdowns as the Charging Wildcats whipped Searcy 35-28.
• Arkansas wide receiver commit Kofi Boateng of Arlington Lamar had 5 catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s 44-21 win over Arlington.
• Little Rock Parkview junior quarterback Kolian Jackson was 12-of-18 passing for 224 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed 17 times for 30 yards and two more scores as his team downed Sheridan 31-22.
• Boise State running back commit Demarea Crockett of Little Rock Christian had 49 carries for 289 yards and two touchdowns and also had the game-winning two-point conversion in a 43-42 win over fellow unbeaten Greenbrier on Friday night.
• Lancaster, Texas, athlete Tyrell Alexander had 10 carries for 114 yards and four catches for 40 yards and was also Homecoming King as his team downed Mansfield Legacy 57-21.
• Springhill, La., tailback Devin White – who had Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema on hand to see him Thursday night – had 167 yards of total offense and four touchdowns as his team beat Shreveport Loyola College Prep 28-7.
• Ole Miss running back commit and Manvel tailback D’Vaughn Pennamon, who plans to take an official visit to Arkansas, had 8 carries for 144 yards and three touchdowns as Manvel routed Alvin 73-7.
• Beaumont, Texas, Central tailback Devwah Whaley had 22 carries for 137 yards and five touchdowns as his team downed Beaumont Ozen 43-27.
• La Grange, Texas, junior tailback J.K. Dobbins, who got an offer from Arkansas earlier this week, had 267 yards rushing with four touchdowns and also threw a 29-yard touchdown pass.
Star City standout and Arkansas defensive tackle commit Austin Capps poses with Razorback super fan Cannan Sandy after his team’s 35-14 win over Dumas on Friday night.