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September 7, 2010

Week Two: NWA Preview

About: Today we are continuing our weekly prep footballcoverage by previewing some of the top games in North West Arkansas for Week Two of the 2010 Football Season.

Interact: Play Pick Um | Week One Poll: Most Likely To Lose | Pre-Season Rankings

#1 (Class 7A) Springdale Har-Ber vs #1 (Class 6A) El Dorado- Friday, September 10th
Har-Ber brings 12 starters back as well from their first state championship team ever in just their fourth year of varsity football. Har-Ber is lead on offense by 6'7'', 314 pound tackle Brey Cook, who committed to Arkansas earlier this summer and a strong running game, spearheaded by three different running backs, senior Gordon Welch, junior Preston Pianalto, and sophomore Tucker Lee. Linebacker Hunter Kissinger, who received his first offer from Louisiana-Monroe earlier in the week, leads the defense from his rover positon. Key Stat: Har-Ber set a school record for points (63) and yards (683) last week against Stillwater, OK.
El Dorado returns 12 starters from a season ago, when they avenged an earlier loss in conference season to Pine Bluff 27-20 at War Memorial Stadium to win the class 6A state Championship. The Wildcats are led by senior quarterback Taylor Reed on offense, who was offered by Arkansas State earlier this summer and passed for over 2,300 yards last season. Ryan Williams, a three year starter at defensive tackle, and linebacker Cameron Mahone, who earned the state title game MVP when he had 12 tackles, a sack, and an interception return for a touchdown in the win over the Zebras, lead the defense. Key Stat: El Dorado is 2-5-1 over the past decade against teams from the 7A-West
Brandon Kirkpatrick's Pick: Har-Ber by 6 | Kyle O'Neal's Pick: El Dorado by 3 | Luke Matheson's Pick: El Dorado by 2

#6 (Class 7A) Fayetteville at #7 (Class 6A)Russellville - Friday, September 10th
The Purple Dogs traveled to St. Louis last week and left with a 48-0 victory over Parkway. They are lead on offense by Arkansas commit Brandon Allen at quarterback, sophomore running back Brice Gahagans, wide receiver Chris Smith, and tight end and Hog commit Demetrius Dean. On the defensive side of the ball, Devin Bowers is a standout from end and score on a fumble recovery last week. Daryl Patton moved Dylan Hale from running back to linebacker in the off-season and the decision is already starting to pay dividends, as Hale played very well last week against Parkway. Key Stat: Gahagans ran for 108 yards on just 10 carries in his first ever varsity game last week.
Russellville drops from the 7A to the 6A this season, but deals with the most inexperienced team they have had in quite a while. Just six starters return for a team that lost to Har-Ber in the second round of the playoffs, most notable among them Ole Miss commit, tackle Mitch Hall. Another three year starter, Logan Purtle, plays opposite Hall at left tackle. The Cyclones have put an emphasis on stacking the defensive side of the ball with speed the past two seasons and the strength of the defensive unit lies with the defensive line, where two starters return, Ru Massey and Luke Reeves. Senior Marterious Gates is Russelville's best cover corner. Key Stat: Russellville has won 24 games over the past three seasons, third most of any 6A school.
Brandon Kirkpatrick's Pick: Fayetteville by 17 | Kyle O'Neal's Pick: Fayetteville by 10 | Luke Matheson's Pick: Fayetteville by 21

#8 (Class 5A) Vilonia vs #10 (Class 5A) Wynne - Friday, September 10th
Vilonia returns 12 starters this season, including junior James Sax, who rushed for over 1,000 yards last season as a sophomore. Quarterback Drew Knowles is the trigger man for the Eagles double wing attack, while Jake Wiedmair, a 5'10'', 230 pound senior is the workhouse in the backfield. Senior Zach Mitchell, a three year starter, leads the secondary from his free safety position and Sax is a college prospect at linebacker (330 pound bench press). Key Stat: Knowles rushed for 143 yards last week against Sylvan Hills.
Wynne, one of the most successful programs in the history of Arkansas football, has fallen on hard times lately but seems to be on the upswing, returning 17 starters from last season and coming off a 21-18 victory against Marion last week. The Yellowjackets still run their vaunted Diamond T and are led by senior quarterback Zach Trail and speedy classmate Justin Cobb, who lines up all over the backfield. College prospect Phillip Gahr, 6'2', 250 pounds, toils at tight end. Three year starter Ethan Dollar anchors the defense from his end position, while Trail pulls double duty at free safety. Key Stat: Wynne won as many games last season (5) as it had in the two previous seasons before.:
Brandon Kirkpatrick's Pick: Vilonia by 6 | Kyle O'Neal's Pick: Vilonia by 12 | Luke Matheson's Pick: Vilonia by 14

West Forkvs Farmington- Friday, September 10th
West Fork's returns 16 starters from a playoff team a year ago, as well as making the drop from the 4-4A to the 1-3A. The Tigers offense is led by senior running back Logan Genz, as well as five returning starters on the offensive line, led by right tackle Taylor Karnes and right guard Taylor Shadrick. Senior tackle, 6'4'', 310 pounds, anchors the defensive line, while Genz returns at linebacker for his third season after making 120 tackles last season. Griff Smith leads the secondary from his safety position, after starting their the two previous seasons. Key Stat: The last time West Fork made the drop to the class 3A, they won 11 games advanced all the way to the semifinals of state.
Farmington is led on offense by quarterback Trey Spencer, who passed for 760 yards last year in nine games. Junior Jared Martin and sophomore Spencer Boudrey, who play running back and slot respectively, are the primary weapons in the running game. Top receiver, Benton Cooper, provides good size and hands. The offensive line is anchored by three year starter Kelton Knipmeyer, while senior Brad Fitsch plugs holes at defensive tackle. Middle linebacker Joey Sputo collected over 100 tackles last season and splits time at fullback this season. Key Stat: Martin averaged 100 yards a game last season, despite spilting carries and battling injuries all season long.
Brandon Kirkpatrick's Pick: Farmington by 5 | Kyle O'Neal's Pick: West Fork by 7 | Luke Matheson's Pick: Farmington by 2

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