El Dorado is the three-time defending Class 6A champion, but started off the season with an 0-2 record.
El Dorado has since rebounded to a 2-2 record and is still ranked No. 3 in 6A by Hootens.com. So Sheridan coach Louis Campbell knows the Wildcats are still a dangerous team.
“Like always, they are big, have their tailback back from last year and he will be hard to stop,” he said. “They are the typical El Dorado team. They are going to move the ball and score.”
Sheridan (1-3) and El Dorado have been in the same conference (now 7A/6A-South) since 1991 and in that time, the Yellowjackets have not beaten the Wildcats. Campbell said he did not know that and it is not a psychological thing the Wildcats have on his team.
“It’s more to do with El Dorado,” he said. “Streaks are made to be broken and we are obviously going to play a perfect game to win. It’s going to be a challenge and that may be an understatement.”
If Sheridan is going to take down the defending champion, quarterback Dylan Flores will have to play a role after passing for 252 yards and two touchdowns in a 49-14 loss to Lake Hamilton.
“He has played well and it could’ve been a lot better because of several drops and the receivers running wrong routes or making the wrong adjustments,” Campbell said. “We are not going to be able to line up and pound the ball down their throat, so we have to throw the ball effectively and he will be a key element.”
Stuttgart at Heber Springs
Stuttgart (4-0) has its toughest task of the year so far when the Ricebirds travel to Heber Springs, the defending 2-4A Conference champion.
“Heber Springs is usually on the of the better teams in the conference,” Stuttgart coach Billy Elmore said. “They are doing everything right and you have to beat them because they are not going to give you a win.”
Stuttgart goes into the 2-4A Conference game as not only the top-ranked team in the conference by Hootens.com, but also the top-ranked team in Class 4A.
While Elmore would rather see his team at the top of 4A at the end of the season, he said it is still neat to see the Ricebirds at the top right now.
“I think anyone that tells you it isn’t neat to be ranked number one is lying,” he said. “It’s neat for the kids and neat for the fans, so not like we ignore it. But we also know there is another 10 weeks left and we want to be the number one team at the end of the year.”
Star City at Warren
Warren came into the 8-4A Conference season with an 0-3 record, but picked up its first win of the season over Crossett last week, 34-26.
“It was good and being 1-0 in the conference means a lot,” Warren coach Bo Hembree said. “It is better than last year at this point and hopefully we keep improving from week to week.”
The last time Warren started the season 0-3, it won its next seven games to win the conference, which was in 2009. Warren is still ranked No. 6 in Class 4A by Hootens.com.
The Lumberjacks have had success against Star City (3-1) in the past, having won eight of the last 10 meetings. But the Bulldogs did take the Lumberjacks to overtime last year and beat them two years ago.
“We were fortunate to beat them in overtime and they are always tough,” Hembree said. “I expect this game to be the same way. They are well coached and I think they do a great job.”
Star City (3-1) suffered its first loss of the season last week to Monticello, 28-27, as the Bulldogs failed on a two-point conversion in the final minutes.
Crossett at Dumas
Dumas (1-3) was able to pick up its first win of the year, 54-24, over Lake Village Lakeside last week.
Dumas coach Mark Courtney said the team needed the win.
“I don’t think one win gives you confidence because you have to be consistent, but we needed it,” he said. “The more encouraging thing is we did things better and have gotten better every week. We just keep progressing.”
Crossett (1-3) scored three late touchdowns before losing 34-26 to Warren last week.
“Crossett is a good team,” Courtney said. “Their skill guys are dangerous on offense and defensively they are solid at every position.”
Monticello at Hamburg
Monticello is coming off a big 28-27 8-4A Conference win over Star City last week. The Billies (2-2) had one win coming into the game and were shutout in two of their losses, and the Bulldogs were undefeated.
“It was a big game for our kids and it was a great atmosphere and a tight ballgame,” Monticello coach Greg Tiner said. “I thought our kids obviously played the best game they played all year. The biggest thing is we played hard for four quarters and we knew it was going to be a battle.”
Monticello travels to Hamburg (2-2), which goes from a game that was played during the first week of the season to a conference rivalry game.
“We played them a lot in the nonconference and it’s a big rivalry,” Tiner said. “They present a lot of problems because they are big upfront and can run on defense. It will be a tough ballgame for us.”
McGehee at Drew Central
McGehee (3-1) gave up 386 total yards in last week’s 39-35 6-3A Conference loss to Camden Harmony Grove, the Owls’ first loss of the year.
Drew Central’s (0-4) losing streak continued as the Pirates lost their 17th straight game, this time 75-36 to Prescott.
“Very excited to see how the team responds,” McGehee coach Marcus Haddock said. “It was a very tough game and we worked hard this week. Hopefully we come out this week and put our best foot forward.”
While the Owls may be ripe for the picking after a tough loss last week, Drew Central coach James White said McGehee is probably looking to take out some of its frustrations this week.
“They are going to be mad they lost last week and they are a pretty good team,” he said. “I imagine they are going to be firing on all cylinders.”
Fouke at Fordyce
Fordyce (4-0), which is ranked No. 4 in Class 3A by Hootens.com, beat Fouke (1-3) 39-12 last year and the outcome could be much of the same this year.
“They have been kind of down the last couple of years, so we have caught them at the right time,” Fordyce coach Tim Rodgers said. “It’s been easy the last couple of years.”
Fordyce got an easy win last week over Genoa Central, and Rodgers said the soft part of the schedule has been noticeable in practice.
“That’s been one of our problems. We know the teams we have been playing are kind of down and we have been going through the motions,” he said. “The next four out of five weeks are pretty hard games, and if we don’t start practicing better, it will probably hurt us. I think our seniors will set up and get their minds on the game.”
Rison at Hermitage
Rison (2-2), which is ranked No. 4 by Hootens.com, got a big lift last week after beating previously undefeated Parkers Chapel 49-14.
Rison coach Clay Totty said the wins have really helped the team focus after dealing with loss of teammate Logan Prescott, who died in a car crash before the season.
“A majority of our time has been spent with tragedies instead of the game we love to play,” he said. “We gained attention now for how we are playing football.”
Rison’s special teams was on full display last week after the unit had a slow start to the year. The Wildcats blocked a punt, recovered two kickoff fumbles and returned a punt for a touchdown.
Totty hopes the special teams’ play continues against Hermitage (1-3).
“That’s something that we have always emphasized and it was good to see it come together after a slow start to the year,” he said. “We expect to get those big plays and it’s good to see it happen against a quality opponent.”
Strong at Woodlawn
Woodlawn (0-4) searches for its first win of the season against defending state champion Strong.
“They are a very talented football team,” Woodlawn coach Ray Sessions said. “We won’t slow them down. They are too good. There is nowhere on the field that we matchup with them.
“I really don’t know what we can do to be successful against them. They are just too talented as a team and it’s going to be a tough game for us.”
Ridgway Christian’s game at El Dorado Westside has been postponed until next Friday due to too many injuries for Westside. Ridgway’s next game is at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Arkansas School for the Deaf.