All the non-conference games are finished. Now it is time to get down to business.
Bearden, Hampton, Junction City and Norphlet are frontrunners for the playoffs.
Bearden lost to Rison on Friday night 29-22. The Bears fell behind 23-6 due to turnovers but rallied in the second half with scoring drives of 86 and 92 yards. Ben Owens led the Bears with 133 yards rushing on 17 carries. He also scored a touchdown and two 2-point conversions.
Harmony Grove lost to Fouke 35-26. Nick Green was the leading rusher for the Hornets with 162 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown.
The Hampton Bulldogs lost a close contest to the Star City Bulldogs 28-21. Star City had to fight off a late rally by Hampton. The Bulldogs will return home for the conference opener against Sparkman.
Smackover destroyed the Strong Bulldogs 63-8. Brent Stevens turned in a stellar performance for the Buckaroos by rushing for 233 yards and scoring five touchdowns on just 10 carries. Smackover hosts Bearden this Friday.
Westside Christian beat Woodlawn 27-21. The Warriors were led by quarterback Drew Smith who passed for 214 yards on 8 of 16 passing and one touchdown. Seth Carter caught four passes for 124 yards and Lane Hammett caught two passes for 43 yards and a touchdown. Westside travels to Norphlet to take on the Leopards who beat Hermitage 37-22. Deunta Talley and Craig Coleman turned in solid performances for Norphlet. Talley rushed for 125 yards and scored two touchdowns. Coleman passed for 198 yards and one touchdown. Nick Lambert had five receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
THIS WEEKS GAMES
Bearden vs. Smackover
Westside vs. Norphlet
Sparkman vs. Hampton
Harmony Grove vs. Junction City
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Ben Owens, Bearden
Drew Smith, Westside
Craig Coleman, Norphlet
Deunta Talley, Norphlet
Brannin Carter, Junction City
GAME OF THE WEEK
Westside vs. Norphlet
This will be a battle of two programs that are trying to reach the playoff level. It is also a game that is turning into a heated rivalry. It will become even hotter as both have the chance to grab the fourth playoff seed this season.
Norphlet is led by quarterback Craig Coleman and running back Deunta Talley. The Leopards will need a solid performance from both of them to prevail.
On the other side of the ball, the Warriors must stop either Coleman or Talley to have a chance. They also need a big performance from quarterback Drew Smith. Whoever wins this one, will make a big step toward reaching the playoffs.