Sizzling Simpson

Shiloh Christian quarterback Matt Simpson (6-1, 200) - who has the University of Arkansas' interest after throwing for 4,387 yards and 52 touchdowns last season - will be looking for UA commit Crosby Tuck (6-1, 180, 4.43) tonight at 7:30 p.m. when the Class 4A top-ranked Saints host Greenwood, the No. 1 team in Class 5A.

There should be plenty of offensive fireworks tonight when the No. 1 team in Class 4A hosts the top-ranked Class 5A in a battle of unbeatens at Champions Field in Springdale.

Shilioh Christian (2-0) will be trying to avenge a a 45-42 loss last season at eventual state champ Greenwood (2-0) and will use an offense headed up by a University of Arkansas in wideout Crosby Tuck (6-1, 180) and quarterback Matt Simpson (6-1, 200), who is drawing interest from the Razorbacks.

It is a duo that has flourished early this regular season after a summer in which they Saints proved their mettle in 7-on-7 competition, including besting Hoover (Ala) High – the current No. 1 prep team in the country.

"We have a lot of confidence," Simpson said. "It is a good feeling because all these guys – all these seniors – have worked hard for about five years to get to this point. It feels good to earn respect."

Tuck, who committed to Arkansas back in July, has caught 11 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns as well as a two-point conversion in the opening pair of games.

He is just one of several receivers that Simpson has hooked up with while completing 48-of-63 passes for 750 yards and nine touchdowns.

Simpson has also run for a trio of touchdowns – albeit he has just 8 carries for 10 yards total.

"Yep, we've got us a dual-threat quarterback now rushing for touchdowns," Tuck joked of his normally pocket-passing buddy who passed for a whopping 4,387 yards and 52 touchdowns last season.

Shiloh head coach Josh Floyd knows someone is going to end up with a very good quarterback in Simpson.

"I am proud of the way he has progressed through the program," Floyd said of the three-year starter. He can make every throw we need him to make in this style of offense. He's getting better at making the right decisions and knowing when to throw it away."

The offense has obviously been very proficient early this season in a 45-17 road win over Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian Academy and a 49-26 home victory over Gravette.

The Shiloh Christian offense is averaging 608 yards per game total offense with 662 against Prestonwood and another 554 against Gravette while getting into the end zone 13 times already.

"We feel pretty good about our overall performance," Tuck said after the Prestonwood game. "Our passing game is working good like normal and we were running the ball very good also."

The Saints boast five players who have D-I offers in Tuck, Simpson, offensive linemen Nolan Hankins (6-6, 348), running back David Ingram (6-1, 195) and linebacker Adam Herring (6-1, 205).

Greenwood should pose Shiloh's toughest foe so far as the Bulldogs whipped Class 7A Fort Smith Southside 25-21 in its opener and then beat Poteau (Okla.) 49-13 in week 2.

They boast a new quarterback in Tyler Wilson, who is following Daniel Stegall, who led his team to a state title, signed with Miami and then was taken in the Major League Baseball draft and chose to take that route.

Wilson had touchdown passes of 20, 59 and 73 yards last week in the win over Poteau after leading his team to the big win over Southside in the first start of his career.

"Tyler was perfect," Greenwood head coach Rick Jones told the Southwest Times Record. "Our kids really stepped up. That's what's so special about Greenwood kids; they have so much heart."

Ironically, Simpson – who along with Tuck took an unofficial visit to Arkansas for its game with USC – is hearing from both the Razorbacks and their Saturday foe Vanderbilt.

But the excellent student also has lots of interest in Harvard, Troy (who has offered) and TCU among others.

"I'm hearing from Arkansas and Vanderbilt, but I am still really interested in Harvard and there are a couple of schools in TCU like that," Simpson said. "Troy is the team that has offered me and they are going to be running the spread offense so that has me interested."


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