Sheridan (2-4, 1-2 7A/6A-South) is coming off a big win against Benton to pick up its first conference victory of the season.
Now the Yellowjackets get the team that has allowed the fewest points this year in the division — Bryant (4-2, 2-1).
“Just a big challenge for us,” Sheridan coach Louis Campbell said. “They are very big upfront on both sides of the ball and they have the skill guys. They are a complete football team and we will have to play a near perfect game.”
Braden Lunday had a key game for Sheridan in last week’s win as he had 123 all-purpose yards and a touchdown.
Bryant fullback Tyree Reese scored three touchdowns last week. Campbell said to stop him, the team has to swarm to the ball.
“Have to get more people around the ball,” he said. “Can’t just line up in base defense and stop him. You have to crowd people around the ball to have a chance to make the play.”
Stuttgart at Clinton
Stuttgart (6-0, 3-0 in 2-4A Conference) is the top-ranked team in Class 4A, according to Hootens.com, and won three of the past four games against Clinton (2-4, 1-2).
However, Stuttgart coach Billy Elmore is getting ready for a physical matchup.
“It’s a long trip and they’ve got a pretty physical football team,” he said. “They played Dollarway close for a while and they seem to be able to do some good things.”
The game against Clinton comes a week before Stuttgart faces the No. 3 team in 4A — Dollarway. But Elmore said his team has not even thought about next week’s game.
“We’ve got to focus on Clinton and the job at hand,” he said. “If you start looking ahead, you start getting into problems.”
Star City at Dumas
The game between Star City (4-2, 1-2 in 8-4A Conference) and Dumas (1-5, 1-2) is a key one in the 8-4A Conference for both teams.
The Bulldogs and Bobcats are tied for fifth in the conference, and a loss could be the deciding factor if one of the teams misses the playoffs.
Star City could have fallen to 0-3 in the conference if it were not for a field goal by Eric Esteban with 1:11 left in the game to give the Bulldogs a 17-14 win over Hamburg last week.
“We are coming off a big win last week against a strong Hamburg team,” Star City coach Blair Brown said. “We went from being dead last to in contention again.”
Star City started the year 3-0, so Brown is looking for the team to get back to that level.
“It’s time for us to play more consistent,” he said. “We need to limit the turnovers and continue to play hard.”
Dumas’ only win is against Lake Village Lakeside. The Bobcats have given up the most points in the conference.
Brown is expecting a tough matchup, though.
“We know we will get a hungry Dumas team who always plays us tough,” he said. “(Dumas coach) Mark Courtney’s teams are always ready to play.”
Warren at DeWitt
Warren (3-3, 3-0 in 8-4A Conference) continues its march to a conference championship after an 0-3 start to the year.
The Lumberjacks have scored 34, 48 and 54 points in the last three weeks after scoring a combined 43 points in their first three games.
This week, Warren travels to DeWitt (1-4, 1-2).
“Just another conference game and it’s one step closer to our goal,” Warren coach Bo Hembree said. “Try and make it four in a row and it’s always tough game to go to DeWitt.”
The Dragons have only scored 39 points this season, allowing the Lumberjacks defense a chance to improve, Hembree said.
“We just want to keep improving,” he said. “We have gotten better the last three weeks and want that to continue.
Monticello at Crossett
Monticello’s (3-3, 2-1 in 8-4A Conference) inconsistent season continued last week, but in a positive way.
A week after scoring just seven points in a loss to Hamburg, the Billies put 33 on the board against Lake Village. In their losses, the Billies have scored just seven points, compared to 102 points in its victories.
Crossett (3-3, 2-1) sits in the same position as Monticello in the conference.
“It’s a big, big ballgame and whoever wins will be 3-1 and in good shape in the conference race,” Monticello coach Greg Tiner said. “There’s a lot riding on it.”
The Eagles have won more games this year than the previous two years combined.
“They are much, much better than last year and the kids are playing hard,” Tiner said. “Coach Mark Kelley has done a great job there and they have the best running back we have seen all year. Our kids will have to play hard.”
Smackover at Fordyce
Fordyce suffered its first loss of the season and had its defense exposed in the process in the 58-34 defeat to Prescott.
Fordyce (5-1, 2-1 in 6-3A Conference) gave up 606 total yards and coach Tim Rodgers said the team has been working on that side of the ball in practice this week.
“We didn’t do a good job of tackling, of blocking or of anything,” he said. “We have been working on that and it hurts a lot more after you lose.”
Rodgers said Prescott was able to attack Fordyce’s secondary and that will have to improve against Smackover (5-1, 2-1), which is ranked No. 6 in Class 3A by Hootens.com. That is one spot ahead of Fordyce.
“The secondary got exposed and Prescott was the first team to throw the ball on us a lot,” Rodgers said. “It was also the first game we didn’t tackle well and we missed a lot of blocking assignments on offense.”
Drew Central at Genoa Central
The last time Drew Central (0-5, 0-3 8-4A Conference) won a football game was two years ago against Genoa Central (2-4, 0-3), the Pirates’ opponent this week.
A win this week would snap an 18-game losing streak, but Drew Central coach James White said he thinks the team does not even know who the last win was against.
“Not sure if they know that or not, so we just have to go out and play football,” he said. “We are making way too many mistakes and until we fix our problems, it won’t matter who we play.”
White said Genoa Central is a very physical football team.
“They are good in the trenches and their running backs run hard,” he said. “We have to come ready to fire off the ball.”
Fouke at McGehee
McGehee (5-1, 2-1 in 6-3A Conference) faces a Fouke (1-5, 0-3) defense that has had trouble stopping opposing offenses.
Fouke has given up an average of 37 points in the last three weeks, while McGehee averages 32.5 points per game.
Junction City at Woodlawn
Woodlawn (0-6, 0-3 in 8-2A Conference) faces a Junction City (5-1, 4-0) team that is No. 1 in 2A, according to Hootens.com, and has won 13 league games in a row.
Woodlawn has scored only 16 points all season and Junction City has given up just 49 points. The Bears have given up 255 points this season.