Friday, November 14, 2008

2008 Playoffs - Round 1

Today we are previewing the 1st round of the state playoffs for the top 3 classifications. There will be plenty of excitement to go around, but half the teams will be preparing for basketball season come Saturday morning.

With the first two seeds from the conferences taking a BYE, there are four games with matchups between the 4 and 5 seeds and the 3 and 6 seeds.

4W Har-Ber versus 5C North Little Rock may be a better game than many think. Har-Ber is known as an offensive team, but have really stepped it up on defense the last two weeks by surrendering 13 points combined to Fayetteville and Bentonville. North Little Rock can play some defense, but have been anemic at times this year with the football. Look for them to keep it close, but for Har-Ber to come away with a two touchdown advantage. PREDICTION: Har-Ber 21, North Little Rock 7

3C Catholic versus 6W Fayetteville is probably the most intriguing matchup in 7A. Coming out of the shute, Fayetteville looked like they may be the team to beat after their 2-0 start. However, four straight losses and a 5-5 record shows how vulnerable this team can be. Catholic is 0-2 versus West teams this year, but those losses were by a touchdown or less to the Fort Smith schools. PREDICTION: Catholic 24, Fayetteville 20

4W Springdale versus 5C Bryant will probably not be a game you would want to go see. It's not that Springdale is that great, but moreso that Bryant is lost. They've salvaged a season to this point that was lost when their senior quarterback tore his ACL in the spring. Unfortunately, that's not the only bad news Bryant has had to deal with this year. PREDICTION: Springdale 35, Bryant 7.

3W Northside versus 6C Van Buren is a rematch of a 37-34 Northside victory in week 2. We don't think it will be that close this time. PREDICTION: Northside 38, Van Buren 14.

One seeds West Memphis and Pine Bluff and two seeds Jonesboro and Lake Hamilton have byes into the second round.

Parkview at Arkansas High
Parkview just won't go away. This is a game that you just feel like Texarkana will be able to control, but who isn't impressed with Coach Hardiman and the Patriots this year? We're going with the upset against our better senses. PREDICTION: Parkview 20, Texarkana 14

Sheridan at Jacksonville
Sheridan has problems with speed. Jacksoville has that. PREDICTION: Jacksonville 40, Sheridan 7.

Watson Chapel at Mountain Home
Watson Chapel may be the better team, but they may not have any legs after their trip to Mountain Hope. I do think they will get them back by halftime and win. PREDICTION: Watson Chapel 28, Mountain Home 21.

Marion at El Dorado
El Dorado tied for 1st place but received the 3-seed. That's okay, though, because Marion may be just as good as a BYE for them. PREDICTION: El Dorado 37, Marion 6.

Two games jump out at us as good first round matchups: Central Arkansas Christian at Magnolia and Alma at Pulaski Academy.

3W CAC at 2SW Magnolia
These two teams have been heading in opposite directions in recent weeks. After at huge win at Harrison, CAC has dropped two of four with those two wins being a battle against non-playoff teams Vilonia and Morrilton. After losing their first two conference games, Magnolia has been rolling with five straight including a convincing victory over Little Rock Christian. PREDICTION: Magnolia 28, CAC 14

4W Alma at 1SW PA
Alma was 5 yards away from a conference championship. Instead, they are traveling to PA with a 4-seed. PA has the number one offense in the nation, and will once again be tested by a West team. Last time PA played a West opponent in the first round, Siloam Springs. PA had the mercy rule by half. Despite what others think, we don't think this will be close. PREDICTION: PA 49, Alma 14.

Other Predictions:
Monticello 42, Wynne 13
West Helena 62, Sylvan Hills 28
Siloam Springs 14, Little Rock Christian 13
Greenwood 27, Camden Fairview 7
Batesville 35, White Hall 0
Beebe 28, Blytheville 20

4A to 2A Predictions. * Marks our game of the week.

Heber Springs

Harding Academy
Lafayette County
Green Forest
Glen Rose
Arkansas Baptist

Marked Tree
Cross County
Union Christian
Mount Ida
Mineral Springs*
Mountain Pine

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