MCGEHEE — The key for the McGehee Owls (0-1) this week will be to try to prevent the big play after two big plays in the game against Hamburg last week proved costly.
McGehee, which will host former 8-4A Conference opponent Dumas (0-1) tonight, gave up two fourth-quarter touchdowns and lost 15-0 to Hamburg at Golden Lion Stadium in the Simmons First/Hootens.com Kickoff Week.
Offensively, McGehee sophomore Kaion Parker had 13 carries for 49 yards and senior David Shepard had 50 yards on 11 carries.
On the other side of the ball, Dumas hasn’t won a nonconference game since beating Fordyce in 2010. McGehee has beaten Dumas by a combined 22 points the last two years.
Rison at Junction City
JUNCTION CITY — The Rison Wildcats did not accomplish one of their primary goals last week after losing to Fordyce 28-21. But Rison (0-1) head coach Clay Totty said he was proud of the effort.
“Our goal was to win the ball game and we didn’t accomplish what we set out to do,” Totty said. “We are in a program where effort is expected.”
Totty said the team has been preparing all week for Junction City by trying to “clean up the mistakes we made against Fordyce.”
“We worked all day in getting our stuff together,” Totty said. “We have to worry about the things we can control and be sound in special teams.”
In last year’s game, Junction City brought a punt back, Rison missed a field goal and fumbled a kick return.
“We spent a lot of time on special teams,” Totty said.
For Junction City, junior quarterback Randall Holyfield completed 10 of 21 passes last week for 216 yards and four touchdowns. Senior running back Jaqwis Dancy ran 14 times for 161 yards and three TDs in the 48-20 win over Earle. Junior linebacker Josh Armstrong paced the Dragons with 29 tackles. Junction City, which is ranked No. 1 in 2A, has won 18 straight conference games.
Arkadelphia at Sheridan
SHERIDAN — The biggest concern for Sheridan this week is how well its defense will respond after giving up 40 points against Little Rock Hall last Friday.
“Defensively, we didn’t do anything,” Sheridan head coach Louis Campbell said. “We didn’t tackle and we didn’t prevent the big play.
“We have a lot to improve on from last week to this week.”
Sheridan led Hall by 16 points in the fourth quarter and held on for a 42-40 victory. Sheridan’s Cody Thompson returned a kickoff 67 yards for a touchdown.
“I’m tickled to death with how we played offensively last week,” Campbell said. “We moved the ball well and I don’t think we punted one time all night.”
Arkadelphia seniors Jakahri Howell and Kris Oliver combined for almost 600 yards at Benton a week ago. “That’s all you can handle right there,” Campbell said. “They are going to be one of the better teams we will play.
“They are talented, athletic, fast and well coached. That is a bad combination to play.”
Campbell said if his team’s defense is going to improve it is going to take some time. Unfortunately, time is not really on the Yellowjackets’ side.
“It is going to be a process,” Campbell said.
Camden Harmony Grove at Star City
STAR CITY — First-year head coach Jett Furneaux got its first win as head coach out of the way in style last week when Star City (1-0) knocked off Lonoke 16-14 with a late field goal.
“That was nice and what a way to do it,” Furneaux said. “For it to come down to the last kick of the night.”
Star City junior Eric Estaban kicked the game-winning field goal.
Sophomore Tye Brown was 25 of 33 passing for 252 yards and one touchdown. Junior Bo McBroom had seven catches for 70 yards and one touchdown. Dajunn Harris had six catches for 66 yards out of the backfield.
Furneaux said Brown’s performance is expected but maybe just not this soon.
“He did an unbelievable job of managing the game,” Furneaux said. “That is special for a high school player, much less a sophomore.”
This week, Star City turns its attention to Camden Harmony Grove.
“We expect them to play us really close and give us fits,” Furneaux said. “They are very similar to us because they like to run the spread.”
Camden Harmony Grove lost 28-8 to Bearden after giving up 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
Furneaux said Star City has been focusing on their special teams a little bit more this week.
“We feel like what they showed us on film will not be what shows up in the game,” Furneaux said. “They might come out with a little wrinkle.
“We’ve been trying to simulate it a little bit this week.”
Valley View at Stuttgart
STUTTGART — The defending 4A champions are expecting to a face a ‘dangerous’ team Friday night when the Stuttgart Ricebirds host the Valley View Blazers.
“They have a high-powered offense and they like to run it just as much as they throw it,” Stuttgart head coach Billy Elmore said. “They are pretty dangerous and they like to blitz a lot to put a lot pressure on your offense.
“Hopefully we will be able to respond to both of those threats.”
On Sept. 3, Stuttgart (0-1) lost an offensive shootout when it fell to Central Arkansas Christian 48-40 at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Elmore believes the extra time between the two games has been beneficial.
“We like to think it has been a positive,” Elmore said. “It is a chance for us to go back and look and focus on us.
“Hopefully, we will see a big improvement. The extra few days can only help.”
Valley View senior Noah Johns threw two touchdowns and ran for another in the first half in last week’s 35-point win over Paragould.
Last year, Johns was the first Valley View underclassman to earn all-state honors after completing 126 of 211 passes for 2,095 yards and 25 touchdowns. The senior also ran 89 times for 513 yards and 10 touchdowns.
“We just have to execute the way we know how,” Elmore said. “Hopefully last week’s loss opened their eyes a bit.
“We aren’t asking for a Superman effort, we are just asking for a consistent effort.”
Fordyce at Crossett
CROSSETT — In preparation for this week’s game, Fordyce had to basically implement an entirely new defensive look as Crossett — unlike Rison — likes to air out the ball.
“They have a lot of athletes and have a lot of talent,” Fordyce (1-0) head coach Tim Rodgers said. “They are pretty good up front.”
Until last week’s 32-31 win over Magnolia, Crossett hadn’t beaten a nonconference opponent since 2009.
“We watched them put 30-something points against Magnolia last week as they threw the ball over the place,” Rodgers said. “So we have been working on different stints on defense this week.”
Rodgers said Crossett, which won just four games last year, likes to line up in the spread offense.
“They should throw the ball a lot more this week,” Rodgers said. “We are going to have some trouble because we have a couple kids get hurt.
“It should be a tough game for us.”
Monticello at Magnolia
MAGNOLIA — The biggest question on Monticello head coach Greg Tiner’s mind this week is, “Can we play for four quarters?”
In last week’s 38-14 lost to White Hall, Tiner said the team played hard for two quarters but “didn’t play hard in the second half.”
“That is the bottom line for us,” Tiner said. “If we don’t turn the ball over, then we have a chance to win.”
Magnolia has lost 14 straight games, including a 32-31 loss to Crossett last week. Monticello (0-1) hung with White Hall for a half last week before quarterback Imani Riley and running back Omar Simpson were injured.
“I thought our offensive line played hard,” Tiner said. “They didn’t play a perfect game but they played hard.
“At times, Omar Simpson played hard as well as our guys on defense.”
Tiner said the team just kind of ran out of gas.
John Painter takes over at Magnolia after spending the last six years coordinating El Dorado’s defense, helping the Wildcats advance to the semifinals five straight times and to four consecutive state title games.
Drew Central (0-1) will try to break its 23-game losing streak that dates back to 2010 when it plays at Palestine-Wheatley tonight. Palestine-Wheatley defeated Drew Central last year 44-20. … Woodlawn’s junior varsity defeated Norphlet’s JV 36-6 Tuesday night. Norphlet’s varsity squad forfeited their season at the beginning of the year. … Woodlawn’s varsity improves to 1-1 on the season.