Improved Catholic may need more



When Little Rock Catholic coach John Fogleman specifically pointed out that his team should improve on offense and play more physically on defense ahead of the game against Nolan (Texas) Catholic two weeks ago, the tone of his voice indicated that he meant every word of it.

There was no hesitation or concern on his part. If their Rockets were to stand a chance against a team that nearly won a state title in Texas last year, they were going to have to be much better than they were the week before in a 37-7 loss to Jonesboro. Catholic was eventually beaten by Nolan in triple overtime, but in the case of the Rockets they were nothing like the team that were blown away by 30 points in Game 1.

On Friday night, Catholic (0-2), who didn’t play last week, may have to do even better to defeat Benton.

The Panthers had plenty of time to heal their wounds following a loss to Saline County rival Bryant on Aug. 28 in the Salt Bowl. Benton (1-1) returned from an open date to pass Little Rock Southwest 63-19 last week behind a big outing from quarterback Stran Smith, who threw for 293 yards and three touchdowns in the first two quarters .

All of that, along with a 122-yard, two-point performance from running back Brandon Johnson, led to a 56-6 halftime advantage for Benton. While a 50-point lead after the first half isn’t expected when the Panthers face the Rockets at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Benton are the kind of team that can score en masse when pushed. offensively.

Catholic, again, will need to be strong inside and out, especially against Benton’s fast receptors. The Rockets, who won the game 35-28 last year, have also shown they can rack up points and distances, as evidenced by Nolan when Connor Pruss ran for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns and Preston Scott threw. for 385 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The big games of these two stars will increase Catholic’s chances of securing his first win of the season, but Benton will do whatever he can to try to prevent that from happening: Benton 41, Catholic 31

BRYANT IN LONGVIEW, TEXAS Arkansas ‘top team doesn’t hesitate to take on a challenge because that’s precisely what they’ll get against one of Texas’ top Class 5A, Division I teams. The Hornets’ 32-game winning streak will also be on the line in this one: Bryant 34, Longview 33

SAND SPRINGS, OKLA. AT SHILOH CHRISTIAN The only team to beat Shiloh Christian last season comes to Springdale for a recovery. The Saints have been on leave for a week so they will be more than ready to play. But Sand Springs is good – very good. Many points will be scored in a game that could go either way: Shiloh Christian 42, Sand Springs 35

McGEHEE AT CROSSETT A tough game for each team, which makes it even more intriguing. McGehee has speed everywhere, as does Crossett. The Eagles have very impressive wins over Osceola and Magnolia and have a slight home advantage. … maybe: Crossett 38, McGehee 36

VILONIA AT RUSSELLVILLE One of the best matches on the schedule for the third week. Both are scoring at a high pace, both have been playing defense and both have a lot of incentive to win this one. Russellville will try to prove he’s much better than a year ago, when Vilonia beat the Cyclones by five: Russellville 35, Vilonia 33

CHARLESTON TO OZARK These two have long fought for the bragging rights of Franklin County. Charleston has won six of the last eight meetings, but Ozark has accumulated 53 points in the past two years. Brandon Scott does his thing for the Tigers, however: Charleston 30, Ozark 28

FORT SMITH NORTHSIDE AT SPRINGDALE HAR-BER Northside may be looking for revenge after Har-Ber ended the 2020 Grizzlies season with a 21-point playoff victory. Wildcats hope for their first win of the year in their home opener: Northside 28, Har-Ber 24

LITTLE ROCK PARKVIEW AT PINE BLUFF Parkview had just enough to pass White Hall a week ago and now has a Pine Bluff team that hasn’t played since August 27. The Patriots were successful behind Jaylon White, but they’re gonna be pushed: Parkview 34, Pine Bluff 26

McCRORY AT BAPTIST PREP A large crowd should be in attendance to see the unbeaten Baptist Prep take on the No.1 Class 2A team. McCrory is certainly battle tested, having faced three high-quality teams before, but the Jaguars shouldn’t be surprised by what the Eagles throw at them: McCrory 36, Baptist Prep 22

RIVERCREST AT BROOKLAND Rivercrest had a chance to steal one on the road against Valley View, but was unsuccessful. Now the Colts will be aiming again on the road against a team from Brookland who have been solid on defense in what should be a back-and-forth battle. Rivercrest 26, Brookland 21

CARLISLE AT LAMAR Scoring has not been a problem for Carlisle over the past two weeks, but preventing other teams from doing the same. The Bison have given up at least 54 points in each of their first three games. Lamar is averaging 35.5 points: Lamar 44, Carlisle 26

MOUNTAIN HOME IN BATESVILLE Luge has been tough for Batesville for two games this year. However, all is not lost for the Pioneers. The good news is that they are hungry for victory # 1. The bad news, Mountain Home is also hungry for that first victory: Mountain Home 28, Batesville 20

LITTLE ROCK CHRISTIAN IN CENTER HILL, MRS. Jayvean Dyer-Jones and the Little Rock Christian offense have been strong all year. Still, the trip to Olive Branch, Mississippi shouldn’t be a snap. The Warriors should have no trouble scoring against a defense that has allowed 120 points in three games. Little Rock Christian 42, Center Hill 28

FORDYCE AT MONTICELLO The double class 2A champions haven’t missed much this year. Fordyce, despite new starters all over the field, has found ways to win, which the Redbugs have done in the last 20 games. Monticello has lost seven of the last nine between the two: Fordyce 28, Monticello 14

POCAHONTAS AT NETTLETON A week ago, Nettleton showed a lot of courage in his victory from behind against Mountain Home. The Raiders will once again have to show this tenacity because Pocahontas is more than formidable, especially on the ground: Nettleton 35, Pocahontas 28


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