photo by TAMMY HOBSON
A pair of Magazine defenders try to wrap up Mounainburg’s Chris Robbins (23) at Friday’s 2A-4 Conference game at Dragon Field.
The playoff picture will be determined Friday night as Alma hosts Shiloh Christian for the 5A West title.
Mountainburg is likely to wrap up the No. 3 seed in the 2A-4, but will have a non-conference game at home against Pocola.
Both Cedarville and Van Buren will miss the playoffs this season.
Siloam Springs at Van Buren
Siloam Springs, the eight-point favorite over Van Buren — according to Hootens.com, is also on a current six-game conference loss string this season. The Panthers average 15.6 points per game in against the the Northwest Arkansas schools, while giving up 37.1 ppg.
In comparison, the Pointers have scored 12.6 ppg game during conference play while the defense has surrendered 42 ppg.
Siloam Springs did have some close games, losing to Springdale, 24-2, and to Har-Ber, 42-35. The Pointers were defeated by Har-Ber, 43-6, and by Springdale 49-21.
“They’re similar to us,” said Van Buren coach Brooks Coatney. The Panthers “have played everybody tough, and they have a big offensive and defensive line.
“They’re going to be physical on defense and they tackle well. On film, they appear to be a good football team. They’re going to be pumped up and excited to play us. We have to be ready for them.”
The Panthers fell to Rogers 38-14 last week, while the Pointers suffered their first shut-out of the season, 35-0 to Rogers Heritage.
Dillon Kinsey led the defense last week with eight tackles. Cameron Farrow and junior Braden Osman had seven stops each. Kinsey is second on the tackles list this season with 64 while Farrow has 60. Osman leads the defense with 84 tackles.
Quarterback Brad Eversole has completed 99-of-173 passes for 1,046 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions.
Tyrone Joseph had 133 carries for 703 yards and seven touchdowns.
Last season the Pointers snapped a 29-game 7A West Conference loss string last season which dates back to 2007 season when it was part of the 5A West (prior to the current expansion). Van Buren defeated Siloam Springs 47-46. Garrett Brumley forced a fumble that was recovered by Jacquille Franklin in the final 25 seconds of the game at the Pointer 11. The Panthers had to burn off their three timeouts to stop the clock, but a solid punt kept Siloam from the end zone.
Van Buren led 27-7, but Siloam gained momentum in the second half to go up 46-40 with 3:34 remaining in the game.
Jacob Eason capped a 68-yard drive with a 15-yard run to give the Pointers the 47-46 lead. Utilizing penalties the Panthers were able to get into field goal position when Franklin grabbed the fumble.
Shiloh Christian at Alma
Alma earned a share of the 5A West title in last week’s come-from-behind win at Greenbrier last week. It was the first since 2004 has Alma had a conference title. Since that time, Greenwood got rolling and Greenbrier won the title last season.
On Friday, Alma has the chance to win the title outright if it beats Shiloh Christian (6-2-1, 5-1 5A West) at home at Airedale stadium.
“We are expecting a four-quarter slugfest with Shiloh Christian Friday night,” said first-year Alma coach Doug Loughridge. “There is a lot riding on this game for our football team: Outright conference championship, No. 1 seed in the playoffs, all playoff games at home, senior night.
“The direct outcome of this game as a great effect on our season as a whole. Our team will be ready to play. We know what’s at stake adn we’re not going to be fond of anyone coming to Alma and trying to take that away from us. These seniors have worked too hard leading this team to let it slip away on Week 10.”
Senior Alex Burris reached the century mark on defense as he picked up eight tackles last week to garner 100 this season. The two-time all-state selection continues to pace the defense. He also had his first two offensive touchdowns this season in last week’s game.
Alma’s offense gained 282 yards on the ground and just 185 through the air. Malachi White had 31 carries for 197 yards in last week’s contest.
Shiloh, who defeated Clarksville last week 35-7, ends the season with season with a two-game road trip.
“Shiloh is very efficient on offense and seldom does anything to beat themselves,” Loughridge said. “Shiloh is one of the best rushing teams we have seen this year. The Saints’ defense flies to the football and does not miss tacklers.”
Last season Shiloh kicked a last-second field goal to give the Saints the 16-14 win. Alma was limited to 44 yards of offense in the first half after leading 14-7 at the break.
Cedarville at Lavaca
The Pirates will miss the playoffs after their 46-6 loss to Charleston last week.
The Tigers struck quickly to lead 22-0 in the first quarter. Dylan Shelton hit Corey Fincher for a one-yard pass to put Cedarville on the board with 9:38 remaining in the first half.
The team began 5-0, but an ineligible player, reset the record to 2-3 and Cedarville hasn’t recovered as it dropped to 2-7 overall and 1-5 in the 3A-4 Conference.
Lavaca senior Anthony Todaro had 150 yards on 27 carries and he caught a 30-yard pass for another touchdown as the Golden Arrows defeated Mansfield 22-19.
The Golden Arrows haven’t won back-to-back games since they defeated Elkins and Mount Ida in Week 2 and 3.
The Pirates defeated Lavaca 40-0 to reach the playoffs last season.
Pocola (Okla.) at Mountainburg
The Dragons will spend the off-week hosting Pocola in a non-conference game at Dragon Field.
Mountainburg finished its 2A-4 run with a 5-3 league record, and could stand to host a first-round playoff game next week.
The Dragons built a 25-7 lead by scoring on its first four possessions, but turned the ball over on six of its next seven possessions as Magazine clawed back to win 28-27.
Last week Pocola (2-7, 1-5) lost 35-0 to Panama in the 2A-6 Conference finale for the Pocola Indians.
Through eight games this season Pocola quarterback Johnny Satterfield has thrown for 1,498 yards on 67 of 148 passing with eight interceptions and 18 touchdowns. Kyle Highley has received the majority of those yards with 30 catches for 714 yards and 10 touchdowns. Michael McBride leads the running game with 82 carries for 539 yards and five touchdowns. McBride has also caught 15 passes for 213 yards and four TDs.
Mountainburg’s Josh Skattebo now has 721 yards on 42 of 89 passing with three interceptions and four touchdowns.
Sophomore duo Samuel Copeland and Clayton Stephenson have combined for 1,000 yards rushing this season. Copeland has 477 yards on 77 carries and nine touchdowns, and Stephenson had 617 yards on 96 totes and four TDs.
Skattebo has 89 carries for 440 yards and 12 TDs this season.
Last season, Nathan Jones threw five touchdown passes as Mountainburg defeated Pocola 54-19. Jones threw TD passes of 48, 35, 35 and 64 yards and ran another from 29 yards out.