Warren started off the season with losing all its non-conference games but have bounced back within 8-4A Conference play with two blowout wins over Crossett and Star City.
Warren senior quarterback Drake Jones threw a total of four touchdown passes and rushed for another in last week’s 48-20 win at Star City.
“It was a big win for us being away and we improved a lot as a team”, said Warren coach Bo Hembree.
Warren (2-3, 2-0 in 8-4A) and Dumas (1-4, 1-1) usually play each other pretty close. In the past six games, the outcome has been decided by a touchdown score or less. But for Hembree, a win is a win.
“They’re pretty big and athletic. We just have to play our game and look to improve even more. At this point in conference play, you want to win them all”, Hembree said.
Star City at Hamburg
Star City’s 48-20 loss to Warren last week was highlighted by the Lumberjacks taking advantage of turnovers from the Bulldogs (3-2, 1-1 in 8-4A).
“We had too many turnovers and gave them the ball in short field position. With the offense they have, they can score with that. However, we ran the ball better than we have all season”, stated Star City head coach Jeff Furneaux.
Hamburg (4-1, 2-0) has shut out four opponents this season. The Lions allowed DeWitt and Magnolia inside the 20-yard line once and Monticello never penetrated the red zone. The Bulldogs will try to use the improvement of their run game to challenge the Hamburg defense.
“We’re going to try to run the football, have success on first down and cut down on the turnovers,” Furneaux said. “They’re a stingy defesnse so any opportunities they give us, we’re going to have to take advantage of them.”
Stuttgart at Newport
The defending 4A state champions had the lead on Heber Springs 35-14 in the third quarter a week ago and Heber Springs managed to score another touchdown to end the game 35-20.
“Heber Springs is a great team and we did a pretty good job running the football,” Stuttgart coach Billy Elmore said. Senior Tyler Luster ran for 203 yards and three touchdowns last week for the Ricebirds (3-2, 2-0 in 2-4A).
Newport (3-2, 0-2) led Lonoke 32-31 in the fourth quarter last week, but lost by seven points. The Ricebirds are still learning how to finish games.
“We don’t have a guarantee to put a dagger in them, but we do want to win the game so we can put them out of the race for the conference title”, Elmore said.
Stuttgart has won the last three meetings against Newport.
Sheridan at Benton
Sheridan (1-4, 0-2 in 7A/6A-South) is still looking for its first win in conference play. The Yellowjackets’ only win has been against Little Rock Hall 42-40 in their season opener.
While Sheridan’s losses have come by an average of 28 points, Benton (3-2, 1-1) has averaged 49 points per game in wins over Jacksonville, Greenbrier and Little Rock Fair. The only key advantage that Sheridan has at this point is history. Benton has only beaten Sheridan once in the past five years.
For head coach Louis Campbell, he believes the Yellowjackets will have to break the habit of turnovers and allowing the opposing team to score.
“They spread the ball out, they run the ball and their quarterback is the key to their offense”, said Campbell. “He can run, throw and make you miss. That’s a big challenge for us because we’ve been giving up points.”
Smackover at Drew Central
Drew Central (0-5, 0-2 in 6-3A) has lost their last 27 games and the Pirates will have the tall task of overcoming Smackover (5-0, 2-0) if they want a win tonight.
Smackover defeated Fouke and Prescott by a combined 22 points the past two weeks. Sophomore running back Dewayne Jones ran 12 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 29-21 win at Prescott.
“They’ve got a lot of speed”, said Drew Central head coach James White. “They get in a lot of different formations and we have to contain them. They throw the ball a little bit more than what we’ve seen, so our secondary has to make sure that they’re ready.”
The Pirates suffered a shutout once this season and have been outscored by their opponents 218-17.
Hampton (1-4, 0-2) at Woodlawn (0-3, 0-1)
Woodlawn (0-3, 0-1 in 8-2A) rushed 54 times for 200 yards in a 36-6 loss to Bearden two weeks ago. Woodlawn had an open date last week and used the break to its advantage.
“We got some of the people that were banged up and bruised back,” Woodlawn coach Zach Branch said. “We also worked on some of the kinks that we had on offense and defense. We just had an opportunity to work on our fundamentals.”
Hampton (1-4, 0-2) has won the last two meetings with Woodlawn and is coming off a 49-3 loss last week against Junction City.
“Every team has more speed than we do,” Branch said. “They have two guys who can beat us. They come in with a two-game winning streak, so they’ll have a positive attitude that they can come here and beat us.”
Also tonight: Monticello at Lake Village, Prescott at Fordyce and Genoa Central at McGehee.