Archive for September, 2022

College football: Week 5

Monday, September 26th, 2022

There seems to be a hex surrounding the Southwest Classic for Arkansas.

Texas A&M has won 10 of the previous 11 meetings. Saturday night’s game in Arlington marked the third time in the past nine meetings that the Aggies have come back from deficits of 14 or more points to win. It happened in 2014. It happened in 2017. It happened again Saturday.

The good news is that the contract is coming to an end in a couple of years, and the Aggies (who routinely draw more than 100,000 fans to home games) want to go back to a home-and-home series.

The even better news is that the end of the contract with Jerry Jones will make it easier for Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek to ensure there’s not another autumn like this one when there are no Little Rock games for the Hogs. He must realize that the long tradition of Little Rock games — even it it’s just one per season — is an integral part of this program’s rich tradition.

Saturday’s loss prevented Arkansas from starting 4-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1988-89.

KJ Jefferson rushed for 105 yards and passed for 171, but his ball security mistake changed this game. And now Alabama looms.

We went 5-2 on the picks last week to make the record 30-4 for the season.

Here are the predictions for this week’s games:

Alabama 30, Arkansas 23 — Alabama is off to its usual 4-0 start with three routs and that scare at Texas. The Tide has wins of 55-0 over Utah State, 20-19 over Texas, 63-7 over Louisiana-Monroe and 55-3 over Vanderbilt. Expect Arkansas to play well and hang around until the fourth quarter. In the end, though, the Tide will escape Fayetteville with a victory, just as they escaped Austin on Sept. 10.

Arkansas State 28, Louisiana-Monroe 27 — The Red Wolves are 1-3 following a 29-26 loss at Old Dominion. ASU led 12-0 at the half but was outscored 21-7 in the third quarter. ASU’s offensive line is a real problem. There were eight quarterback sacks on Saturday. Louisiana-Monroe is 2-2 with wins of 35-7 over Nicholls and 21-17 over Louisiana-Lafayette. The losses were by scores of 52-10 to Texas and 63-7 to Alabama. We’ll give a slight edge to the home team.

Austin Peay 25, UCA 19 — UCA is 1-3 following a 35-27 loss at Southeast Missouri. Will McElvain passed for 284 yards for the Bears in the losing cause. Austin Peay lost its opener to Western Kentucky by a final score of 38-27 but has since run off four consecutive victories — 63-0 over Presbyterian, 41-0 over Mississippi Valley State, 28-3 over Alabama A&M and 31-20 over Eastern Kentucky.

Southern 17, UAPB 10 — The Golden Lions are 2-2 following a 38-21 loss at Alcorn State. A Syracuse transfer named Jarveon Howard rushed for 295 yards and four touchdowns for the Braves as they outscored UAPB 28-7 in the second half. The Golden Lions are back on the road this week against Southern University in Baton Rouge. Southern opened the season with an 86-0 victory over Florida Memorial University. It then lost a “money game” to LSU by a score of 65-17 and fell 24-0 to Texas Southern. With two weeks to prepare for this Saturday’s contest, we’ll give Southern the edge.

Ouachita 49, Northwestern Oklahoma 24 — Ouachita moves up to No. 6 in the country in NCAA Division II following its 21-13 victory over previously undefeated Harding at Cliff Harris Stadium on Saturday night. The 4-0 Tigers came into the game ranked No. 9. Harding, the defending Great American Conference champion and the coaches’ preseason pick to win the 2022 title, was No. 7 entering the game. Ouachita’s defense shut out Harding in the second half. The Bisons had 214 yards on the ground in the first half but only 58 during the final two quarters. Ouachita now must make its longest road trip of the year to take on 0-4 Northwestern Oklahoma.

Harding 35, Oklahoma Baptist 9 — In 2019, Harding lost its opener at Ouachita on a last-second field goal and went on to finish 10-1. This is a talented enough team to finish 10-1 yet again and go deep in the NCAA Division II playoffs. The Bisons will work off the frustration of the loss to Ouachita this Saturday at home against Oklahoma Baptist, which is 1-3.

Henderson 32, Southeastern Oklahoma 26 — Henderson was 3-0 and ranked No. 24 in the country going into last Saturday’s game at Magnolia against Southern Arkansas. SAU pulled the upset by a final score of 28-24. Mulerider quarterback O.B. Jones threw three touchdown passes. Then, the SAU defense held Henderson on downs at the Mulerider 25 with 1:38 left in the game. Henderson is back home in Arkadelphia this week against 2-2 Southeastern Oklahoma.

UAM 40, Southwestern Oklahoma 29 — The Boll Weevils are off to a 3-1 start. They beat Arkansas Tech by a final score of 35-14 last Saturday. Weevil quarterback Demilon Brown gets better every week. He carried the ball 17 times for 184 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns against Tech. He passed for another 114 yards. UAM is 3-1 for the first time since 2008. This week’s opponent, Southwestern Oklahoma, is 2-2.

Arkansas Tech 38, Southern Nazarene 34 — Tech is 1-3. Southern Nazarene is 1-3. It’s going to be a rough season for both teams. When in doubt, give the advantage to the home team. This one is being played in Russellville.

Southern Arkansas 42, East Central Oklahoma 31 — The Muleriders are home in Magnolia again this week and filled with confidence following their win over Henderson. Both SAU and East Central enter the game with 2-2 records, but the Mulerdiers appear to have a bit more talent.

 

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Rex’s rankings: After five weeks

Monday, September 26th, 2022

We’re nearing the halfway point of the regular season in high school football, and the cream is rising to the top.

All of our Top 10 teams won last Friday (most of them easily), so there are no changes in the overall Top 10. There are a few changes in the Top 5 in certain classifications, however.

Here are the updated rankings:

OVERALL

  1. Bryant
  2. Conway
  3. Pulaski Academy
  4. Bentonville
  5. Fayetteville
  6. Lake Hamilton
  7. Greenwood
  8. Little Rock Catholic
  9. Joe T. Robinson
  10. Arkadelphia

CLASS 7A

  1. Bryant
  2. Conway
  3. Bentonville
  4. Fayetteville
  5. Cabot

CLASS 6A

  1. Pulaski Academy
  2. Lake Hamilton
  3. Greenwood
  4. Little Rock Catholic
  5. Marion

CLASS 5A

  1. Joe T. Robinson
  2. Shiloh Christian
  3. Little Rock Mills
  4. Little Rock Parkview
  5. Magnolia

CLASS 4A

  1. Arkadelphia
  2. Ashdown
  3. Warren
  4. Harding Academy
  5. Star City

CLASS 3A

  1. Prescott
  2. Rison
  3. Charleston
  4. Booneville
  5. Melbourne

CLASS 2A

  1. Hazen
  2. Marked Tree
  3. Carlisle
  4. Bigelow
  5. Mount Ida

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College football: Week 4

Monday, September 19th, 2022

At the end, most of the 74,133 in attendance at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium could finally exhale. Arkansas had overcome a 17-point deficit to subdue Bobby Petrino’s Missouri State Bears, 38-27.

No. 10 Arkansas lost two fumbles in the first half that the Bears turned into points. The Razorbacks led 597-409 in total offense, but Missouri State won the turnover battle 3-0. That allowed the Bears to keep the game close. Missouri State also dominated time of possession, 35:51 to 24:09.

So what are we to make of this?

Sam Pittman is now 7-0 in nonconference games, the first Razorback coach to do that since Lou Holtz. The mark of a good program is one that wins the games it’s supposed to win, even when having an off night.

Let’s also note that Petrino coached his 200th game as a college head coach and now has a record of 134-66. He’s pretty good at coaching this sport. Of course, we already knew that.

So don’t panic. Arkansas will be just fine.

We went 7-0 last week to bring the season record to 25-2.

Here are the picks for this week’s games:

Arkansas 31, Texas A&M 29 — Which Arkansas team will show up at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Saturday night? Will it be the one that looked so organized and confident in wins over Cincinnati and South Carolina or will it be the bumblers who were on the field in Fayetteville last Saturday? The better question is probably which Texas A&M team will show up. Will it be the one that lost 17-14 to Appalachian State on Sept. 10 or the one that looked decent in a 17-9 win over Miami (which came in ranked 13th in the country). Max Johnson threw for 140 yards and a touchdown against Miami as he took over as Aggie quarterback.

Old Dominion 28, Arkansas State 24 — ASU fell to 1-2 with a 44-32 loss to the Memphis Tigers at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium. It was the 61st meeting between the two schools. The Red Wolves took a 32-31 lead late in the game but couldn’t hold it. Memphis, which had 547 yards of offense and 25 first downs, led 21-17 at halftime in a game that was close throughout. ASU heads to Virginia this week to battle an Old Dominion squad that shocked Virginia Tech, 20-17, in the season opener. Old Dominion has since lost 39-21 to East Carolina and 16-14 to Virginia. We’ll give a slight edge to the home team.

Southeast Missouri State 23, UCA 21 — UCA is 1-2 following a 31-16 victory over Idaho State in Pocatello, Idaho. Bear quarterback Will McElvain was 24 of 29 passing for 259 yards and one touchdown. UCA is back on the road this week to face a 2-1 Southeast Missouri team. SEMO started the season with a 42-10 loss to Iowa State but has bounced back for victories of 34-31 over Southern Illinois and 42-16 over Nicholls. Once more, we give a small advantage to the home team.

Alcorn State 20, UAPB 17 — The Golden Lions dropped to 2-1 following a 63-7 thrashing at the hands of Oklahoma State. Let’s just hope the big check cleared. UAPB had only 230 yards of offense in that game. The Lions travel to Mississippi this week to play Alcorn State. Alcorn began the season with losses of 31-27 to Stephen F. Austin and 52-0 to Tulane but bounced back Saturday for a 30-19 win at McNeese State. For a third consecutive game, let’s give the advantage to the home team.

Ouachita 35, Harding 30 — It’s rare when two Arkansas teams are in the Top 10. On Saturday night at Cliff Harris Stadium in Arkadelphia, No. 7 Harding will visit No. 9 Ouachita. It’s safe to say that this is one of the biggest small college games ever played in Arkansas. Between them, Ouachita and Harding have won seven of the 10 Great American Conference titles. Ouachita has won five. Harding has won two, including last year. Ouachita roared to a 49-7 halftime lead Saturday in Russellville and wound up beating Arkansas Tech by a final score of 63-14. The Tigers had 629 yards of offense. Ouachita is now 46-4 in its past 50 regular-season games. Two of those four losses have come to Harding. The Bisons led Southern Arkansas only 17-10 at the half but pulled away for a 37-17 victory over the weekend as Will Fitzhugh rushed for 124 yards and three touchdowns. Yet again, the advantage goes to the home team.

Henderson 41, Southern Arkansas 27 — We’ll finally pick a road team. The visiting Reddies will have too much firepower for 1-2 Southern Arkansas in Magnolia on Saturday night. Henderson is 3-0 following a 37-27 victory over UAM. Coach Scott Maxfield earned his 120th victory at Henderson to become the winningest coach in school history.

UAM 43, Arkansas Tech 33 — It’s the 2-1 Boll Weevils vs. the 1-2 Wonder Boys. Not only are the Weevils at home, UAM also appears to have the most talent.

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Rex’s rankings: After four weeks

Monday, September 19th, 2022

There was a truncated schedule in high school football last week. A lot of teams had an open date. A number of others took on out-of-state competition.

The biggest upset saw North Little Rock finally come to life after a slow start and knock off Little Rock Parkview, which came into the game as our No. 1 team in Class 5A.

The big game of the week was at War Memorial Stadium, where Little Rock Catholic proved it is indeed for real with a 38-14 victory over Benton.

Things will get much busier this week as most teams have conference games.

Here are our updated rankings:

OVERALL

  1. Bryant
  2. Conway
  3. Pulaski Academy
  4. Bentonville
  5. Fayetteville
  6. Lake Hamilton
  7. Greenwood
  8. Little Rock Catholic
  9. Joe T. Robinson
  10. Arkadelphia

CLASS 7A

  1. Bryant
  2. Conway
  3. Bentonville
  4. Fayetteville
  5. Cabot

CLASS 6A

  1. Pulaski Academy
  2. Lake Hamilton
  3. Greenwood
  4. Little Rock Catholic
  5. Little Rock Christian

CLASS 5A

  1. Joe T. Robinson
  2. Shiloh Christian
  3. Farmington
  4. Little Rock Mills
  5. Little Rock Parkview

CLASS 4A

  1. Arkadelphia
  2. Ashdown
  3. Warren
  4. Harding Academy
  5. Star City

CLASS 3A

  1. Prescott
  2. Rison
  3. Gurdon
  4. Charleston
  5. Booneville

CLASS 2A

  1. Hazen
  2. Marked Tree
  3. Carlisle
  4. Bigelow
  5. Mount Ida

 

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College football: Week 3

Monday, September 12th, 2022

Isn’t it nice, Razorback fans, to be able to speak these words: “The University of Arkansas is in the AP Top 10.”

It might not last, but it feels good for now. The Razorbacks’ 44-30 victory over South Carolina was another display of Sam Pittman football as Arkansas’ offensive line dominated. That led to 295 yards on the ground and five rushing touchdowns. Raheim Sanders had a career-high 156 yards with two touchdowns.

On defense, meanwhile, the Razorbacks had three takeaways, six sacks and nine tackles for loss.

For the first time since 2003-04, Arkansas has won back-to-back Southeastern Conference openers. Arkansas now leads the series with South Carolina 14-10.

Arkansas led in time of possession 34:37 to 25:23.

Now, Bobby Petrino returns to Fayetteville with his Missouri State Bears.

We were 8-2 on the picks last week, making the record 18-2 for the season. Here are the picks for this week’s games:

Arkansas 43, Missouri State 27 — In an appearance before the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday, Paul Finebaum called Petrino a “reformed man” and warned Arkansas not to take this game for granted. Pittman won’t let that happen against an FCS foe. The Bears are off to a 2-0 start with victories of 27-14 over UCA and 35-30 over Tennessee-Martin. The Arkansas players are too young to remember much about the Petrino era in Fayetteville, but most of the fans aren’t. It will be louder than usual for a nonconference game in Fayetteville on Saturday night.

Memphis 31, Arkansas State 29 — ASU is 1-1 following the expected whipping at the hands of Ohio State. The Buckeyes rolled to a 45-12 victory as C.J. Stroud had 351 yards of offense. He completed 16 of his 24 passes and had four touchdowns. Memphis is 1-1. The Tigers fell 49-23 to Mississippi State in their opener and then came back Saturday with a 37-13 victory over Navy. We’ll give Memphis the slight edge in this one since the Tigers are home at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium.

UCA 24, Idaho State 23 — The Bears must make the long trip to Pocatello, Idaho, to take on an 0-2 Idaho State team that has lost 52-21 to UNLV and 38-7 to San Diego State. UCA is also 0-2. Its loss to Missouri State was followed by a 59-3 whipping at Ole Miss. Both of the Rebel quarterbacks had success against the Bears in a game that the Rebels led 31-0 at halftime. This is a tough one to call as it’s looking like both UCA and Idaho State will have down years.

Oklahoma State 59, UAPB 7 — A Golden Lion football team is 2-0 in the fall for the first time since 2000. UAPB picked on a tiny NAIA independent from Texas called North American last Saturday night and won 76-3. It was the fifth most lopsided victory since the school began football in 1916. Now, as is the case with most FCS schools, UAPB must play a Power 5 team in order to collect the check. It will be ugly. Let’s just hope the Golden Lions don’t get any key players hurt before SWAC play begins.

Harding 30, Southern Arkansas 22 — The defending Great American Conference champions from Harding moved to 2-0 following a 38-13 victory over 1-1 Southeastern Oklahoma, which was the only school to down the Bisons last year in the regular season when Harding went 10-1. The 2-0 Bisons host Southern Arkansas, which fell to 1-1 with a 24-20 loss at 1-1 Southwestern Oklahoma. Southwestern outscored the Muleriders 10-0 in the fourth quarter of that game. Harding is now up to No. 7 in the American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division II poll.

Ouachita 34, Arkansas Tech 25 — Ouachita moves up to No. 10 in the AFCA poll following its 45-0 shutout of 0-2 Southern Nazarene. The 2-0 Tigers, who have won five of the 10 GAC titles since the league was formed, are 45-4 in their past 49 regular-season games. Tech should be 2-0 and is much improved from last season. The Wonder Boys lost their opener in double overtime to Southeastern Oklahoma and then bounced back for a 35-13 victory over 0-2 East Central Oklahoma. Quarterback Taye Gatewood threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in that victory. Ouachita saw senior tailback T.J. Cole rush for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over Southern Nazarene.

Henderson 33, UAM 28 — The Reddies and Boll Weevils are both 2-0 coming into Saturday night’s game at Arkadelphia. Henderson made its longest road trip of the season and came home with a 51-27 victory over 0-2 Northwestern Oklahoma. Henderson head coach Scott Maxfield is now tied with the legendary Ralph “Sporty” Carpenter with 119 victories at Henderson. Carpenter was the head coach there from 1971-89. UAM was at home Saturday and posted a 40-17 victory over 0-2 Oklahoma Baptist as Jonero Scott rushed for 175 yards and two touchdowns.

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Rex’s rankings: After three weeks

Monday, September 12th, 2022

The first three weeks of the high school football season are in the books, and Bryant finally was tested.

Our No. 1 overall team won again, but Little Rock Parkview gave the Hornets all they could handle before falling 20-10 Friday night at War Memorial Stadium. Parkview remains No. 1 in Class 5A.

In another big game, Lake Hamilton defeated Little Rock Christian, 34-19, to move up from No. 3 to No. 2 in Class 6A. Little Rock Christian falls from No. 2 to No. 5 in the classification.

Here are the updated rankings:

OVERALL

  1. Bryant
  2. Conway
  3. Cabot
  4. Pulaski Academy
  5. Lake Hamilton
  6. Bentonville
  7. Fayetteville
  8. Little Rock Parkview
  9. Wynne
  10. Arkadelphia

CLASS 7A

  1. Bryant
  2. Conway
  3. Cabot
  4. Bentonville
  5. Fayetteville

CLASS 6A

  1. Pulaski Academy
  2. Lake Hamilton
  3. Greenwood
  4. Little Rock Catholic
  5. Little Rock Christian

CLASS 5A

  1. Little Rock Parkview
  2. Wynne
  3. Joe T. Robinson
  4. Shiloh Christian
  5. Farmington

CLASS 4A

  1. Arkadelphia
  2. Ashdown
  3. Malvern
  4. Warren
  5. Harding Academy

CLASS 3A

  1. Prescott
  2. Booneville
  3. Charleston
  4. Rison
  5. Gurdon

CLASS 2A

  1. Hazen
  2. Mount Ida
  3. Bigelow
  4. Marked Tree
  5. Carlisle

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College football: Week 2

Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

That was vintage Sam Pittman football at the end.

After Cincinnati made it a one-possession game in Fayetteville on Saturday afternoon, the Razorback offense kept the ball on the ground and ran the final 5:49 off the clock.

Run it down their throats. Out-physical them, as coaches like to say.

And thus for the first time since 1974, a ranked Arkansas team has defeated a ranked opponent in a season-opening game. In 1974, it was No. 5 USC that lost at War Memorial Stadium.

The final statistics were close. Arkansas outgained Cincinnati 447-436. Both teams had 23 first downs.

You had to know it was going to be a tough test. Cincinnati is 22-3 since 2020. The three losses have come against Southeastern Conference teams.

Bumper Poole led the Arkansas defense with 13 tackles. He’s now eighth in school history with 362 tackles, and that number should soar in the weeks ahead.

Now, the SEC season starts for Arkansas.

We were 10-0 on the picks opening week. We’ll try to be perfect again this week, though the schedule is more challenging.

Arkansas’ six Great American Conference teams went 5-1 against Oklahoma foes. Arkansas Tech was the lone loser, but it took double overtime for Southeastern Oklahoma to overcome the Wonder Boys.

Arkansas State and UAPB took care of business at home with the Red Wolves easily defeating Grambling (at least the visitors brought their world-class band to Jonesboro) and the Golden Lions overcoming Lane College.

As expected, Bobby Petrino’s nationally ranked Missouri State Bears were too much for the UCA Bears to handle in Conway.

Let’s get to the picks for Week 2:

Arkansas 28, South Carolina 20 — The SEC flexed its muscles opening week, going 13-1 against nonconference foes. If LSU knew how to block for field goals and extra points, it might have been 14-0. South Carolina didn’t have nearly the challenge that Arkansas overcame. The Gamecocks rolled 35-14 against an outmanned Georgia State squad. Arkansas should win this game at home, but in the SEC it’s foolish to take anyone for granted. Pittman doesn’t strike us as the kind of coach who will allow a team to take a win for granted. Expect South Carolina to stay close.

Ohio State 47, Arkansas State 19 — The Red Wolves had jumped out to a 30-0 lead by the second quarter against Grambling. Quarterback James Blackman finished 15 of 20 passing for 210 yards with two passing scores and two rushing scores. Blackman led touchdown drives on four of the first five series. Anyone who saw Ohio State’s victory over Notre Dame knows what to expect in Columbus this Saturday. The key for the Red Wolves is to avoid injuries and make sure to collect that big check. A close game isn’t in the cards.

Ole Miss 41, UCA 17 — The Bears must have the same goals as the Red Wolves: Avoid injuries and make sure to collect the check. After a scoreless first quarter last Thursday night in Conway, Missouri State outscored UCA 17-0 in the second quarter. The UCA secondary gave up 266 yards through the air. It might be 400 yards this week. Ole Miss had a decent first half in a 28-10 season-opening victory over Troy. Our advice to UCA fans: Get there early, crash a party or two in the Grove, take in the scene (which is truly like none other) and have fun.

UAPB 29, North American 22 — The Golden Lions opened the season against much smaller Lane and still struggled before escaping with a 48-41 victory. UAPB had defeated Lane 34-16 last year to start the season. Sophomore running back Kayvon Britten had 237 rushing yards and 297 total yards. He’s now second on the school’s all-time list for single-game yardage. North American is a tiny NAIA program from the Houston area that we’ve frankly never heard of. UAPB, unfortunately, has a way of keeping what should be blowout victories close, as evidenced by last week’s win.

Ouachita 49, Southern Nazarene 25 — The Tigers must find a way to rally following the unexpected death Sunday of senior defensive end Clark Yarbrough. Fortunately, they’re hosting one of the conference’s least talented teams. Southern Nazarene finished 1-10 in 2021. In the rain last Thursday at Shawnee, Ouachita overcame a slow first half to defeat Oklahoma Baptist, 42-32. The game really wasn’t that close as Ouachita had a 30-point lead before putting in the substitutes. The Tiger offense again this year will feature the one-two punch of tailbacks T.J. Cole and Kendel Givens. Cole rushed for 176 yards and two touchdowns. Givens rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Ouachita had 406 rushing yards. Continue to pray for Yarbrough’s mother, other family members, teammates and friends.

Henderson 35, Northwestern Oklahoma 21 — The Reddies got off to a 1-0 start with a 30-13 victory over Southwestern Oklahoma. Sophomore quarterback Landon Ledbetter accounted for 319 yards — 179 passing and 140 rushing. It will be the longest road trip of the season for Henderson, but Northwestern is among the conference’s weakest squads. Southern Arkansas hung 62 points on the Rangers last week en route to a 62-31 victory. Look for Ledbetter to pile up even larger numbers this week. Northwestern finished 2-9 a year ago.

Harding 18, Southeastern Oklahoma 16 — Harding is the defending GAC champion, and the Bisons were picked by the conference’s coaches to repeat that feat. Last year, Southeastern was the only team to defeat both Harding and Ouachita. Harding finished the regular season 10-1. Ouachita finished 9-2. Southeastern again appears to be the best of the six Oklahoma schools in the GAC and could win this game in Searcy. Harding opened the season with a 29-12 victory over East Central Oklahoma as Cole Keylon completed three touchdown passes. We’ll go with Harding in a tight one, but don’t be surprised if Southeastern has Harding’s number for a second consecutive season.

Oklahoma Baptist 36, UAM 31 — Oklahoma Baptist has a freshman quarterback out of Moore, Okla., who piled up huge numbers as a prep athlete and looked good at times against Ouachita. Meanwhile, UAM won its opener by a final score of 49-26 against Southern Nazarene as quarterback Demilion Brown rushed for 149 yards and passed for 228 yards. Brown must have an even bigger night for UAM to defeat an Oklahoma Baptist squad that’s filled with young talent.

Arkansas Tech 27, East Central Oklahoma 24 — The Wonder Boys showed improvement in that 41-34 loss to Southeastern Oklahoma in two overtimes. It has been a long dry streak for the conference’s largest school based on enrollment. Tech was 4-7 in 2021. We think Tech is going to be much improved this year, and East Central may find that out the hard way Saturday night in Russellville.

Southern Arkansas 40, Southwestern Oklahoma 32 — The Muleriders have a new coach and seemingly new life after going 4-7 last season. The 62 points scored in that victory over Northwestern Oklahoma were the most points ever posted by a Mulerider team in a season opener. This week’s opponent went 0-11 a year ago. The Muleriders should be able to overcome the long trip to Weatherford and move to 2-0. A Sept. 17 showdown at Harding looms.

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Rex’s rankings: After two weeks

Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

The second week of the high school football season had a bit of everything.

No. 1 Bryant was scheduled to play a Texas powerhouse at Shreveport, but thunderstorms forced the game to be called off.

Meanwhile, Conway faced Bentonville. The teams were No. 2 and No. 3 respectively coming into the game. Conway won, 44-35. The Wampus Cats stay at No. 2 overall, and Bentonville falls to No. 6.

Two ranked teams won on touchdown passes on the final play of the game.

Greenwood, ranked No. 4 in Class 6A, beat Fort Smith Northside by a final score of 56-53.

Arkadelphia, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A, beat Hot Springs by a final score of 29-28 after also having a successful two-point attempt following the touchdown.

Here are the updated rankings:

OVERALL

  1. Bryant
  2. Conway
  3. Cabot
  4. Pulaski Academy
  5. Little Rock Christian
  6. Bentonville
  7. Lake Hamilton
  8. Little Rock Parkview
  9. Wynne
  10. Arkadelphia

CLASS 7A

  1. Bryant
  2. Conway
  3. Cabot
  4. Bentonville
  5. Fayetteville

CLASS 6A

  1. Pulaski Academy
  2. Little Rock Christian
  3. Lake Hamilton
  4. Greenwood
  5. Little Rock Catholic

CLASS 5A

  1. Little Rock Parkview
  2. Wynne
  3. Farmington
  4. Harrison
  5. Joe T. Robinson

CLASS 4A

  1. Arkadelphia
  2. Ashdown
  3. Malvern
  4. Warren
  5. Harding Academy

CLASS 3A

  1. Prescott
  2. Booneville
  3. Charleston
  4. Rison
  5. Gurdon

CLASS 2A

  1. Hazen
  2. Mount Ida
  3. Bigelow
  4. Marked Tree
  5. Carlisle

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