Big-Time Bruin

Pulaski Academy wideout and Arkansas commit Neal Barlow topped the 1,000 yard receiving mark for the second straight year on Friday night, but it was his team's 52-10 win over Little Rock Christian and star juniors Michael Dyer and Dakota Mosley that was the most important thing to him.

Neither Pulaski Academy wideout and UA commit Neal Barlow or Little Rock Christian junior Michael Dyer had big stats Friday night, but both were certainly focal points of the other team's defense. Spencer Keith threw for 315 yards and 5 touchdown passes, D.J. Daniel accounted for over 250 yards total offense and the 6-7, 200-pound Barlow had 4 catches for 73 yards as the Bruins whipped the Warriors 52-10.

"I didn't think we played that well," Barlow said. "We fumbled the ball 3 or 4 times and turned the ball over a lot. That is really not the way we wanted to play, but you have to win those kind of games. I would rather be winning ugly than losing pretty."

Dyer (5-10, 200), the state's leading rusher with nearly 2,000 yards, was playing with two ankle injuries and had just 51 yards on 22 carries against a swarming Pulaski Academy defense.

He also had 2 catches for 31 yards.

"I was hurting, but I don't think that cost us the game," Dyer said. "I just don't think we played very good. I come out and play and I don't blame it on my ankle," Dyer said. "I just don't. Every time I take the field I just play 100 percent and give whatever I've got."

That said, Little Rock Christian junior tight end Dakota Mosley doesn't think his teammate is anywhere near 100 percent.

"I probably say 75 percent," Mosley said.

In addition to a hobbled Dyer, Little Rock Christian quarterback Griffin Kuhn missed the season's first eight games with a broken leg, played a little last week and started his first game this week.

The Warriors (7-3) will play at Siloam Springs in the opening round of the state playoffs.

"It's really hard, but we have just got to suck it up," Dyer said.

Barlow, whose Bruins (9-1) host Alma next Friday, said his team had focused all week on trying to slow down Dyer.

"The defense stepped up really well," Barlow said. "We had a great game plan. We watched a lot of film on them and we knew when they went in motion, what their tendencies were and our defense tackled Michael Dyer really well. They hit him low instead of trying to hit him up high. You can't take him down by hitting him up high."

Pulaski Academy head coach Kevin Kelly praised his defense for following the plan.

"He looked good at first," Kelly said. "But our guys came in and took some shots on him. They were hammering on him and we were saying all week – you have got to hit this kid and hang on until everybody else gets there because he does not go down easily.

"We tried to get 11 guys to the football and not give him any room to cut back," Kelly added. "To be able to stop a kid like that – who ESPN said is the number one back in his class in the country – was great."

There has been some speculation that Dyer may be on the verge of committing to the Razorbacks.

"Not yet," Dyer said. "Right now I am just focusing on football and trying to get our team better."

Mosley (6-3, 235) showed why is another one of the state's top juniors with 8 catches for 105 yards during the contest.

"We didn't really have much time to throw it all night, but when he did, you have to make it happen when you get the opportunity," Mosley said.

One pass was a 26-yard touchdown catch while another was a spectacular diving catch even as holding was being called on the defender.

"The guy was on my back, but he threw it out in front of me and I went out and got it," Mosley said.

Barlow has 63 catches for 1,006 yards and 14 touchdowns through 10 games this season.

"I'm doing alright," Barlow said. "It hasn't gone quite like I thought it would, but we winning and that's what is important. I'm seeing a lot of double teams, but all that does is leave our other guys open to make plays. If they take me away we have plenty of other threats that will help us win the game."

Kelly has admired what he has seen from this season from Barlow, who had 81 catches for 1,164 yards and 11 scores last season.

"Everybody we play is going to double cover him or put a man on him and a safety up top," Kelly said. "He keeps making his yards, but at the same time he is not selfish about it."

An example of that was shown on one of Daniel's TDs.

"I don't know if you saw the block down field on D.J.'s first long TD, but Neal is sprinting down field and D.J. is 15 yards ahead of him," Kelly said. "Neal is yelling at him and Neal makes a block that springs him for the rest of the way.

"That is what you want in one of your star players – a unselfish kid that doesn't care who is doing the scoring," Kelly said.

Barlow has been to several Arkansas games and like's what he sees in terms of the future.

"I have been really impressed with them," Barlow said. "I know they haven't won as much as they would have liked, but they have great potential there and once they have a couple of years in Coach Petrino's offense I think we are going to be great."

Neal Barlow

Michael Dyer

Dakota Mosley

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